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The branch's 2006/2007 AGM was held at The Mariners' Club on the 25th May 2007
Chairman 's Annual Report

efore I present you with a summary of the branch's activities since last years AGM, I must thank my fellow NICOM members for their support through the last Branch year. In particular, gold stars go to :

Rhod McNeill — longstanding Honorary Secretary, who despite having a 'better half' in Japan still manages to get to the majority of our committee meetings, and succeeds in getting the draft minutes out before the next meeting. Rhod keeps us in line and keeps in contact with NI HQ in London.

Petty Leung — who has continued to serve as Honorary Treasurer, and who we may finally allow to take a break from that post.

Luca Ferrerio who continues to get the photographs and reports on to the branch website before the event has actually finished.

Marso Law — for accepting the post of Vice Chairman and his continued work, along with Thomas Yeung and Petty Leung and the MPPF (The Maritime Professional Promotion Federation), to assist and inspire those youngsters who want a career at sea. The Branch's donation to the MPPF is going towards supporting such a young student in his studies for a Certificate of Competency, and we all look forward to hear how he gets on.

Alan Loynd — a Past Chairman, who continues to provide details of useful contacts for the arranging of possible events and visits. How can we ever forget the Branch visit to the Kadoorie Farm which he helped to arrange. The memory of getting down on our knees to inspect and smell badger 'skat' and listening to the ecstatic howls of wild boar in the bushes has still not left me.

Graham Cowling, Dave Watkins, Matthew Fenton and also Petty Leung, who form the sub committee for the 2007 NIHK Branch Seminar — more on that later.

Summary of events held

19.10.06 Fred Doll – Doll Shipping Consultancy –'How Market Trends
affect Operations'
Held at the FCC, and followed up by some excellent dancing by the speaker Mr. Doll, and Petty Leung, who really will pull out all the stops when Branch duty calls.

12.11.06 Myself and Eric Edmondson attended the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph, and laid the Hong Kong Branch wreath in memory of the servicemen and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I was impressed by the international representation at the event, and recommend attendance to anybody who has never been.

21.11.06 Graham Charlton & John Allum - Burgoynes – The Role of the
Forensic Scientist in Marine Investigations.
A well attended and long overdue presentation at the Yacht Club, which proved worth the wait.

26.11.06 Visit to USS Kittyhawk, anchored in Hong Kong. The 2nd time the Branch has organized a visit to the aircraft carrier.

03.12.06 Visit to tall ship 'Goteburg'. An 'excellent' VIP guided tour organized by John Wilson. The 18th century replica of the East India Company tall ship was in Hong Kong as part of a two year voyage, which should come to an end in the Autumn of 2007 in Sweden. Rumours that Eric Edmondson had sailed on the original ship and was the officer of the watch when it grounded on entering her home port are I understand not true. Eric was actually on leave at the time.

19.12.06 NIHK Xmas dinner at Mariners Club. "Rather like Pamela Anderson's front porch – very nice but requires a lot of support". My thanks go to those that did attend and make it a pleasant evening. We should make a point of organizing and holding the next Xmas dinner a little earlier in the Xmas season before everybody has left town.

"She was small and very interesting and had lots of the latest equipment" was one of the comments I received from Robert Herman. And I 'think' he was actually referring to the British Royal Navy survey vessel HMS ECHO which was visited a small group of members and guests, including Robert and his son, on 22.12.06.

11.01.07 Visit to HK MarDep Ship simulator. The 2nd time the branch had visited the simulator on Stonecutter's Island. The ships operated by the two groups managed to stay afloat and did not collide with each other. I would urge any shipmanagers in the room to approach the facility to use it for in house training and assessment of their seagoing staff, and also for familiarization of their office staff, who most likely have never been on the bridge of a ship.

04.03.07 JW & PL – HK marathon runs. Actually that should be –John Wilson – 1st time running in a Half Marathon, and Petty Leung, running again in the Full Marathon. We both finished the runs, and I will be presenting a cheque to the Reverend Peter Ellis later for the sponsorship money I raised. An excellent way to spend a Sunday, and I expect the Branch should have more than two runners in next years event, with the Committee members leading by example. My thanks to everybody who generously sponsored my run. Every cent will be going to the Mission To Seafarers in Hong Kong.

28.03.07 Ian Maclean – Ince & Co – Maximising Recovery. This wasn't a mariners guide on how to recover from a night out with Harry Hirst, but was actually, so I am told, a very useful presentation on how a company can best protect itself and best help itself to recover losses that have occurred as a results of marine casualties and disputes.

My thanks go to all the speakers at our presentations, and also to the companies that provided sponsorship for some of the presentations.

In addition, l must make a special mention of the junk trips that have been organized by Dave Watkins, and offer my thanks to The China Navigation Company, for the use of their fine vessels. I was going to try to explain to you what it looks like to see Dave Watkins and Andy Morris of Lloyd's Register sitting snugly together in an inflatable doughnut, and being swung around at great velocity, and almost unstoppable momentum, behind a speed boat. Words fail me however, and all I can say is that you just have to be there to see and believe it. However, on behalf of the branch I feel l must apologise to anybody whose house on the neighboring islands may have been flooded by the ensuing tidal wave, and to any turtles that may have been nesting peacefully on the nearby beach, who would have been woken by Dave and Andy's screams and the laughter coming from those of us watching this demonstration of synchronized body surfing, and finally to China Navigation, who most likely have had to replace a very tired engine in their speed boat.

Future events

If the Marine Department allow it, and China Navigation get the speed boat engine fixed, hopefully there will be more doughnut runs for Dave Watkins and other Branch members. A presentation by a local WWF representative and a visit to a local marine conservation park is in the pipeline, and maybe also a presentation by Securewest, the company who have been involved in the clean up of the beach in the UK after the grounding of the 'MSC Napoli'.

09.11.07 2007 Seminar. After much debate and many sleepless nights the Branch Committee decided the theme for the Branch seminar, which is held every two years, should be 'Marine Accidents : the problems and solutions'. This will be a follow up to the 2005 seminar which looked at Seafarer manning and training.

I have approached Star Cruises, and it looks like the event will be held on their ship 'Superstar Aquarius', which will be based in Hong Kong from next month.

The Seminar promises to be very interesting, with speakers already confirmed including speakers from outside Hong Kong.

Please mark your diaries and Blackberry's for the event – 9th November 2007. In due course we will be releasing details of all the exciting sponsorship opportunities available to the event, as well as tickets to the day itself.

Thank you then to all NICOM members for their support and ideas. Keep them coming. Thanks to the members who have attended our events – 'keep coming', and keep telling others about the activities of the Nautical Institute and the Hong Kong branch, and the oganisations we support in Hong Kong, such as the Mission To Seafarers and the MPPF. I think we belong to a fine and worthwhile organization in the Nautical Institute. If you need any further information, then ask Rhod, or alternatively, look at the Hong Kong branch website and the main NI website.

A poolside bbq has been organized for this evening, and cadets and staff from the California Maritime Academy vessel 'GOLDEN BEAR' will be joining us – please say hello to them and while you are doing that why not buy the cadets a drink, non-alcoholic of course.

Thank you
John Wilson

AGM in photos

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The Nautical Institute Hong Kong Branch
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16 July 2024
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