Life of Friendship and Love
I still remember the day I came to the Chamber for a job interview. I was only 20 years old and had been unemployed for several months after the garment manufacturing company that I had been working for relocated their operations to the Mainland. The interview lasted for two hours, after which I told the human resources manager: “You won’t regret hiring me if you give me this opportunity.”
The next day I stayed home all day to avoid missing a call, and it was a date that I’ll never forget because the Chamber called me and offered me the job! But the Chamber gave me more than a job, because it is also where I have made many lasting friendships. It is also where I met my future wife Winnie in 2000. Over the years we became good friends and her kindness and cheerful personality won my affection. Our friendship gradually blossomed into romance and in 2013 we got married. We were thrilled that almost every colleague attended our wedding banquet, where they presented us with a giant cheque on a foam board for $1,000,000. The cheque may not have been real, but we still keep this precious gift because for us it is priceless.
Harry Law Chi Wah, 21 years
Pioneering New Markets
The Chamber has always been a pioneer in paving the way for Hong Kong businesses to enter into new and emerging markets. Notable examples of this were Russia and Vietnam, which adopted market liberalization policies in the late 1980s.
I was lucky to be involved in a number of missions that the Chamber organized to Vietnam back then, which included a high-level delegation with the then-Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan. I still have fond memories of the friends and acquaintances that I made in Vietnam and like to think that we contributed in some small way to the bilateral ties that Hong Kong enjoys today with this Asian dragon.
Simon Ngan, 31 years
Inspiring Business People
I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and interview so many inspiring people over the years working for the Chamber. From amazing SMEs building their business into major corporations, to global business icons and Prime Ministers.
One very memorable interview was with Alibaba’s Jack Ma in a hotel meeting room. He was such a friendly and an accommodating guy. As I wanted to take his photo for the cover of The Bulletin, I asked if he would mind not doing the standard “standing in front of a wall” pose, and instead sit on a coffee table cross-legged. His entourage were a bit nervous about the idea, but he laughed and said sure, that is usually how he sits in meetings with his team!
Malcolm Ainsworth, 21 years
They always say it is better to give than to receive, and my experience in helping out with the Chamber’s CSR activities certainly reinforces this saying. I have participated in more CSR events that I can remember over the years, but I will never forget the faces of the elderly people that we put a smile on when playing games with them or giving them little gifts. I feel very lucky to have been able to bring some joy in their lives in an elderly home.
On another CSR activity, I was assigned to take care of a two-year-old girl at the Play House and Play Cafe at Tsuen Wan D Park. She was from a children’s home, and was scared of strangers. She was crying as we boarded the coach but after a short time she relaxed and warmed to me. Although we were asked to let the toddlers walk around and feed themselves to encourage them to be independent, this little girl wanted me to hold her as if she was scared I would leave her. We played and ate and laughed all afternoon, and although my arm was aching the whole next day from carrying her, I was happy that I was able to let that little girl feel warm and loved.
Celia Lo, 28 years
Simple Joys of Innocence
One beautiful morning in September 2017, I participated in one of the Chamber’s volunteer programmes, and was paired up with a 30-month toddler. He will have long forgotten me now, but I’ll never forget him nodding his head each time I introduced to him different vehicles and buildings, as if he was storing them in his memory.
I’ll also never forget how happy he was to eat dim sum and spend time with me. With all the excitement of the day, he fell asleep on my shoulder, but checked a few times with his sleepy eyes to make sure I was still with him.
We carried the exhausted toddlers back to the Children’s Residential Home under the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children. Although the children were happy and well cared for, it was heartbreaking to think that their parents were unfit to take care of them, or that they had been abandoned or orphaned. I don’t know where these toddlers are today, but I pray they are happy and healthy living with a loving family.
Fion Chui, 10 years
Tea Is Served
Although I am an 82-year-old granny, and I retired almost 19 years ago, I am still in touch with my former colleagues. I joined the Chamber as Tea Lady back in the 1990s. It was a big challenge for me as I had to serve quite a number of foreign bosses, and I couldn’t speak a word of English, which was frustrating. However, everyone at the Chamber was so kind and taught me some basic English. They even learnt a little bit of Cantonese from me so we could wish each other “good morning” in Cantonese. Such compassion made my days working at the Chamber full of fun and laughter.
When I was about to retire, the then CEO Dr Woon joked that I didn’t seem to be the sort of granny who would take good care of grandchildren, so I had better keep working at the Chamber. Thank you for the love and care I have received from everyone at the Chamber. It was a very happy and meaningful time.
Ying Ying, 12 years
Since the day we joined HKGCC, we were lucky to be working with caring and talented colleagues. The Chamber has always been like family to us, and who would have thought that we would have also found true love. We met at the Chamber and got married with many of our old colleagues joining our wedding banquet. We owe the Chamber one of the greatest pleasures of our life, each other.
Kath and Cherry
Santa and the Chinese God of Wealth
I never imagined I would be dressing up as a Santa Claus or the Chinese God of Wealth when I started working at the Chamber. But one year, my colleague said: “You look like Santa!” – as I am not exactly slim – “so you should be Santa Claus for the Chamber’s Christmas cocktail reception.” I was nervous at first, but as having your photo taken with Santa is an annual tradition and seeing everyone’s smiling face eagerly asking me to take photos with them soon made me relax and enjoy the event.
For the Chamber’s Chinese New Year Dinner, my colleagues then also persuaded me to dress up as the God of Wealth to dish out golden chocolate coins and red packets to members for luck and prosperity. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, I have not been able to take photos with members for the past two years, but I hope to see you all again soon!
Gary Chung, 15 years