Mark Your Calendar: 60th Anniversary Gala is Scheduled for 2021/4/24

Events 校友活動 Sep 05, 2020

2020/7/11下午,60周年校慶籌委會在母校舉行了一場公開會議,經過大家踴躍的參與和討論後,决定晚宴維持在2021/4/24週六晚舉行。雖然有不少校友提出基於疫情考慮校慶晚宴應延期/延後再議,但校方表示school calendar安排該週末為Homecoming Day難以改變,而校慶慶祝活動和日期為荃官校務事宜而非校友會決定,作為校慶協辦方的校友會只可考慮是否配合校慶日舉行Gala Dinner。與會者對疫情帶來的不確定性表示顧慮,但有兩位校友慷慨地提出願意承擔如期舉辦校慶晚宴潛在的財務風險。最終會議通過繼續按原定計劃推進,並如屆時因「限聚令」仍然有效的話再延遲三個月舉行。

For full meeting minute, please see below:

60th Anniversary Gala Dinner
Working Group Meeting Minutes

Date:      11 July 2020
Time:      2:30 pm
Venue: TWGSS Lecture Room.

1.     Samuel LAI, referring to 60ABWG002, briefed the attendees on the background of and the relevant issues regarding the proposed postponement for the Gala Dinner from April to July 2021 in view of public health concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.     Principal TANG cited past practices in which the School would first set the date for the Gala Dinner and the Working Group would then follow up.  She stated that the School Administration (the School) preferred the most April 2021 for the Gala Dinner considering the School’s operational schedule.  She added that although April was very much preferred, she had offered July and October as additional options for discussion upon Samuel LAI’s request.

3.     Kelvin CHEUNG did not support the idea of re-scheduling the Gala Dinner from April 2021 to July, which has been set as a milestone date, and suggested that should the circumstances so require, the Working Group may by March 2021 simply cancel the Dinner and postpone it to April 2022, to be held together with the celebration of the 61st anniversary.

4.     Teresa SHUM reported on her visit to L'hotel Nina et Convention Centre (the hotel) with Nicam LEUNG on 2 July.  They had liaised with a manager/director of the hotel and arrived at a deal under which for a minimum of 70 tables, the price per table would be set at HKD7,800 for 24thApril 2021, HKD8,500 for July 2021, and HKD9,500 for October 2021.  The hotel agreed that if 24thApril 2021 was booked for the Gala Dinner; no additional charge would be incurred for moving the event to July or October 2021 if April had to be cancelled as per the government’s instructions.

5.     Long WONG was concerned about the short period of time available for promotions if the Gala Dinner was to be scheduled for April 2021.

6.     Wing LAU reported on the survey conducted earlier in the month with representatives from the Classes of 1966 to 2019.  A total of 26 Class Representatives expressed preference for postponing the Gala Dinner, 17 for keeping to April 2021 and one for cancelling the event altogether.  Eight Class Representatives were not available to comment.  Anthony CHAN queried the survey items that respondents were provided with sufficient background information and the possible impacts from the proposed postponement to make informed decisions.  Richard MAK stated that he did not received the survey despite he was the 1981 class representative. Similar situation was noted for Kelvin CHEUNG who was the 1976 class representative.  Wing LAUexplained that she was aware of the supportive attitude of both class representatives and hence decided not to send them the survey.

7.     Principal TANG added that if the Gala Dinner was to be held in July or October 2021 it could not be bundled with the Homecoming Day.  Richard MAK added that the organisation of Gala Dinner was part of the celebration program for the 60th Anniversary that the School was the organizer, not the AA.AA’s role should be the supporting organization of the event.

8.     Samuel LAI proposed Working Group à AA (ExCo) à School as the hierarchy of decision making pertaining to the date of the Gala Dinner.  The meeting agreed.

9.     Samuel LAI expressed concerns over potentially not having any guests of honour if the Gala Dinner was to be held in April 2021.  Also. he made an educated guess that not many alumni would enroll and those who were fine with April would likely enroll even if the Gala Dinner was postponed to July or October 2021.  Furthermore, launching the publicity for a celebratory event in the midst of the pandemic might elicit criticisms among alumni.  Richard MAK said that it was hard to predict the development of the Covid-19 pandemic in 10 months’ time .  Kelvin CHEUNG and he will pay the deposit required by the hotel for the  Gala Dinner upfront to support the organization of the event..

[Post-meeting Note:  Subsequent to the meeting, it was confirmed that Richard MAK and Kelvin CHEUNG will take up the financial risks if the deposit has to be forfeited.  In case of shortfall in revenue to cover the banquet costs, they will pay the difference.]

10.  Victoria CHEUNG, from the travel sector, considered it unlikely that the travel ban would be lifted by February 2021.  She was also concerned that short-notice cancellation might not be easily accommodated.

11.  Hoi-leung LEUNG, a medical doctor, was quoted by Wing LAU as suggesting that large gatherings should be avoided before immunity against COVID-19 was generally acquired e.g. via the advent of vaccines.

12.  Teresa SHUM considered it unnecessary to worry about the initial response rate  (and therefore the financial consideration) thanks to the support on deposit money from Richard MAK and Kelvin CHEUNG.  Anthony CHAN cautioned about the considerations to be made when assigning participants to tables.

13.  Kelvin CHEUNG said given the uncertainty that could not be eliminated for whichever date the Gala Dinner was scheduled, alumni could make their own judgement on whether to enroll.  He also envisaged that in any case, response to enrolments would likely be confirmed when it would be close to the dinner day, and reduction of the number of guaranteed tables from 100 to 70 have already considered this risk factor.

14.  Samuel LAI was concerned that should the Gala Dinner, currently scheduled for April, be cancelled in March, a high volume of complicated administrative work might arise in relation to refunding.  Kelvin CHEUNG suggested that in the promotional leaflet for the Gala Dinner the conditions for refunds etc. be stated to help alumni make informed decisions.  Samuel LAI said that alumni’s perceptions should be considered even when refund policies were well documented in promotional materials.

15.  Samuel LAI queried if WPD Fund fundraising would be affected should the Gala Dinner be postponed.  Richard MAK replied that although the WPD Fund planned to leverage on the Gala Dinner as the climax of a series of fundraising effort, WPD Fund fundraising would proceed as scheduled because the Fund resources will be depleted by 2021.

16.  Principal TANG highlighted the cost advantage from scheduling the Gala Dinner for April with possible rescheduling to July or October if need be.  Anthony CHAN commended Teresa SHUM for her effort to strike a good deal with the hotel.

17.  Samuel LAI asked if it was to keep to April 2021, what the ‘lines to take’ with which to communicate with alumni who had expressed non-preference for April 2021 would be.  FRANKIE LI suggested mentioning key stakeholders’ views as one of the reasons for keeping to April 2021.  Kelvin CHEUNG suggested including in publicity materials (1) the potential risk factors that participants would have to consider given the persisting uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, (2) the possibility for a rescheduling to July 2021, and (3) the message that alumni should be aware of the terms and conditions stipulated in the materials.

18.  One of the attendees from the Class of 1981 commented that the School’s concerns should be prioritised over the findings of the informal alumni poll.  Richard MAK stated that the WPD Fund committee would support the School’s decisions.  Principal TANG reiterated that April would be the best time for the School.  With this, Samuel LAI put to the meeting that the Gala Dinner be scheduled for April as originally planned and be postponed at a time near the event if need be.  The Meeting had no other views.

19.  FRANKIE LI hoped that whichever date the Gala Dinner would be scheduled for, the Working Group including members who had preferred a different date would continue to render their full support.  He also appealed to the senior alumni to be more accommodating towards the young alumni.

20.  FRANKIE LI queried whether promotions of the dinner had to be launched shortly when COVID-19 cases were still increasing in Hong Kong.  Principal TANG suggested waiting until end-August 2020 for the official kick-off of the marketing of the event.  Richard MAK added that WPD Fund-related publicity would be tied in with Gala Dinner promotions.

21.  Based on the rate of HKD7,800 per table for April 2021, HKD780 per head was proposed as the early bird rate and HKD880 per head as the regular rate.  The Meeting had agreed that deposit could be placed given that the date for the Gala Dinner had been confirmed.

22.  Richard MAK introduced four members (all present) from the Class of 1981 to the Working Group.  These new members were Soya CHAN, Debby YIM, Cathy MOK and Sa LEE. Samuel Lai welcomed them to the Working Group.


September 2020
60A Gala Dinner Working Group