The HKIE Veneree Club
By Ir Dr CHAN Fuk Cheung
Celebrating the 5th anniversary of the club for retired engineers
The HKIE Veneree Club was formed on 18 January 2012 in response to the President's initiatives for the Session 2011/2012, to facilitate sharing by retired engineers with young engineers and to promote social exchange among members. The HKIE Presidential Address by this writer, presented on 15 September 2011, had the following statement: "Retired engineers, irrespective of the type of engineering work they did, have a wealth of engineering experience that can be beneficial to young engineers. The HKIE should encourage such experience sharing. ..... To better care for our retired engineers, a club for them will be set up in the HKIE, called Veneree Club". Ir John T W Sze is the founding Chairman of the HKIE Veneree Club. Currently, the Veneree Club is managed under the leadership of Chairman Ir S W Cheung together with ten committee members.
'Veneree' is a French word with a meaning of 'venerated person'. The Club's Chinese name is "ºÍ½å¾ÇªÀ". The Club provides a channel for retired engineers to actively help engineering development and, at the same time, provides activities that retired engineers can enjoy. For example, monthly tea gatherings are organised along with light and interesting talks on a wide range of topics. Retired engineers are encouraged to offer professional enhancement lectures, mentor associate members and be school engineers for secondary schools. These were the initial ideas when the HKIE Veneree Club was first formed. According to the HKIE's record in 2012, there were around 500 retired engineers. In 2017, the number has increased to around 960. To fulfil its objectives, Veneree Club organises activities to enrich the knowledge and social connections of members and to nurture young engineers. Apart from monthly tea gatherings and talks, there are also visits and outings as well as provision of engineering advice to the community.
In the morning of the third Wednesday of every month, Veneree Club organises a tea gathering and invites guest speakers to give presentation on various interesting topics ranging from health and life enjoyment to the environment and advances in engineering development, etc. The talk is usually held at the HKIE Headquarters, from 10:00am to noon. In this friendly environment, members meet both new and old friends as well as broaden their knowledge. The talks receive very good responses. The number of participants increased from an average of around 25 in 2012 to more than 60 in 2017.
From time to time, Veneree Club also organises outings for its members. These include hikes, boat trips and visits to Science Park, museums and the Legislative Council, etc. These social activities promote friendship among the members and help experience sharing. It is definitely a good demonstration of lifelong learning among our retired engineers.
The HKIE Engineering Exposition is a major annual event organised for our young engineers. When it was first held in May 2013, it was co-organised by Veneree Club and the HKIE Young Members Committee. The theme of the Exposition was "From Engineering Career to Life Challenges". Twelve experienced engineers from different disciplines were invited as guest speakers to share their experience in career development, the challenges they faced, and the attitude they adopted. Although their paths may be different and their specialties may vary, they all took very positive steps to accomplish their goals.
To allow speakers to elaborate their experience more deeply, in 2014 we invited only six speakers and re-focused the theme on "Engineering Life Challenges". In addition to presentations, there was a panel discussion to enable more interaction with the floor. Starting from 2015, Veneree Club took the sole responsibility of organising this annual event. There is a lunch gathering at the end of the Exposition too. At each table, an experienced engineer will sit among the young engineers to facilitate exchange of experience in a more casual manner. This arrangement has proved to be very successful. Each year, the event attracts about 200 young engineers from different disciplines and companies. Ir Philip Kwong was the organising committee chairman for these Engineering Exposition events.
HAD's AP Easy Scheme
In response to the invitation of the Home Affairs Department (HAD) in 2014, Verenee Club represented the HKIE in providing a voluntary service for the Government's AP Easy Scheme, which aimed to assist selected Owner's Corporation (OC) of eligible buildings aged 20 years and above. Under the leadership of Ir Dr Y L Choi, Veneree Club deployed six expert teams, each comprising two retired engineers, to meet with OCs and provide advice for cases referred by HAD. In order to help train young engineers in handling public affairs, we also recruited eight young engineers as assistants to observe the interviewing process and prepare notes of meetings. Representatives from Veneree Club also gave talks on building maintenance and advised on technical issues at seminars organised by HAD as a social service.
The HKIE Veneree Committee is normally held in the early morning at the HKIE, the day before the tea gathering and talk. The Committee adopts a simple, leisurely and relaxed meeting style with harmony and enjoyment in mind. The minutes of meeting are in the form of mind-maps highlighting key issues being discussed and agreed. Thank you to our Hon Secretary Mr David Cheung for drawing these amazing minutes.
The operation of Veneree Club was first funded directly by the HKIE with an amount of HK$10,000 in both 2012 and 2013. Subsequent to the successful organisation of the Engineering Exposition with the financial support of sponsors, Veneree Club was able to contribute the surplus from the event towards the purchase of premises for the HKIE Headquarters amounting to HK$20,000 in March 2015 and HK$10,000 in December 2016 respectively. Thank you to our Hon Treasurer Ir Peter Tsang for his effective management of financial matters.
5th anniversary celebration
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Veneree Club, a 5 min video was prepared (YouTube link at: https://youtu.be/ITU3zsfiqIo). It highlights the activities organised over the past five years.
HKIE members interested in joining our Veneree activities are welcome to submit their contact details during one of the regular Wednesday meetings. Your name will then be placed in the email circulation list. Details of Veneree Club activities can be found on the HKIE website under 'Event of Interest Group' at http://www.hkie.org.hk/eng/html/EventsInterestGps/VenereeClub.asp.
Any HKIE member who has retired from the practice of his profession or business and is not in full-time employment may apply to the HKIE Council to pay a reduced annual subscription, dependent on the length of his continuous membership, as detailed below:
- Continuous membership of 25 years and over: 90% remission
- Continuous membership of at least 20 years but not more than 25 years: 60% remission
- Continuous membership of at least 15 years but not more than 20 years: 30% remission
Any member who has retired may continue to pay his full membership fees for a sufficient period to earn the reduction he or she desires.
Retired members are exempt from the mandatory Continuing Professional Development requirement.
Should you wish your membership status to be changed, please submit your declaration in the members� login area of the HKIE website at http://www.hkie.org.hk. Upon receipt of your declaration, your membership status will be changed to 'retired'. Should you require further assistance, please contact the Membership Section of the HKIE. If you have joined HKIE for more than 50 years, you will automatically receive a letter in the month when you reached 50 years of membership, showing that your membership fee will be waived from that year onward.
Veneree Club would like to express its gratitude to the HKIE Headquarters for its support. The present Chairman Ir S W Cheung would like to thank all past and present committee members for their hard work and good team spirit to make Veneree Club a success.
Outing to Kat O on 6 June 2012
Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Veneree Club