Hong Kong Branch AGM a lively affair
Around 50 members gathered on 31st May for the Branch AGM. These dedicated individuals were greeted with a glass of champagne before getting down to business.
Outgoing Hon. Chairman Carlos Antao gave his report on a successful year, and Hon. Treasurer Petty Leung summarised the financial position – which is healthy as a result of the biennial seminar last year and should allow us to make donations to our three chosen charities.
Some new faces were added to the committee, and Paul Walton was elected Chairman with Amit Bhargava as his deputy. Aalok Sharma replaces Amit as Hon. Secretary, while Petty was re-elected to the Treasury by acclaim.
After an efficient AGM, we were treated to a talk by Nicholas Brooke SBS JP, who is Chairman of Hong Kong’s Harbourfront Commission (among many other distinguished public services). He gave us a short summary of the Commission’s successes to date, and a more detailed explanation of present and future targets.
Perhaps the most important task of the Harbourfront Commission in the next few years will be the enhancement of the Central harbourfront area, where developers will have to be restrained so the people of Hong Kong can get a world-class waterfront to complement our world-class harbour. Members were inspired by the talk, and Mr. Brooke received several offers of support as a result of his heartfelt address. The full presentation can be viewed on the branch website, and is well worth a look.
Mr Brooke was then succeeded by Gregoir Cleary, and his team from House of Fine Wines. Guests were then treated to a short speech by a special guest, Mr. Laurent Brotte, the grandson of Charles Brotte, the founder in 1931 of their famous independent winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France. Laurent offered the guests a taste of the famous ‘La Fiole du Pape’ red wine, originally created in 1952, and even signed a few of the unusually shaped bottles on the night to eager buyers.
Greg then showed guests ‘how to taste wine like a pro’, as those gathered gladly sampled wines from France and Italy. Greg gave a clear explanation of each wine, and shared the interesting news that several European winemakers are now producing wines specifically for the Asian market. Apparently, we Asians are not too keen on high acidity, and the winemakers are responding with new wines which are more appealing to the Asian palate.
An excellent evening.
Mr. Nicholas Brooke, SBS, JP, has been the Chairman of the Harbourfront Commission since its establishment in 2010. The Commission was established to succeed the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC), to advise the Government on harbourfront planning, design, management and other related matters with the objective of fostering and facilitating the development of the Victoria harbourfront. In 2012, Mr. Brooke was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) in recognition of his distinguished public and community service, particularly his significant contribution, as former Chairman of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation.
Thanks to The American P & I Club for sponsoring and hosting the event and to Stephenson Harwood for venue support. Thanks also to sponsors HOL Maritime Services Hong Kong, Branscombe Marine Consultants, and Admiralty Chambers.