Dear Fellow Rotarians,

I hope this email finds every one of you ok after the 2 Typhoons Hato and Pakhar!

Hato attacked us directly last Wednesday causing tragic casualties, large areas of flooding, damaged the power and water supply.  I understand some of our Rotarians suffered from flooding, and many of us from the power down and lack of water supply. This is a real disaster. We have to cancel our meeting last Thursday because Venetian was unable to provide service for us due to the unstable supply of power and water. 

We, immediately, joined hands together with our Rotaractors, worked with CSR, to help clear the mess before Pakhar which was expected to arrive few days later. At first, we only expected to recruit 60 pax, 30 Umac students for the 3pm session and 30 Rtn. and Rotaractors for the 6pm, after work session on Friday. CSR concerned the safety of our Rtns and students and asked us to help clear the trees and leaves of Avenida Republica so that the road and drainage would not be blocked which is important and saved the heavy duty work to others. However, we had a group of 20 extra volunteers from JW Marriot joining us which helped us finished the work earlier than expected.  So we relocate the majority 6pm volunteers who were mainly working Rotarians and Rotaractors to help clear the severely flooded area at Patane area (工人康樂館). With the amazing help of social media, we didn’t realize we called for over 100 Rotarians, Rotaractors and volunteers on Friday. We continued to help clearing the mess at Patane area yesterday morning and Ha Van area (下環) in the afternoon. We stopped calling for action this morning as no. 8 signal was hoisted and we just started to call for action again for the Fa Chi Kei area as the signal was lowered at 1pm. 

Salute to all Rotarians and Rotaractors who volunteered their physical and mental skills, hearts and time in the past few days working in the front line or behind the scenes. You can see from the below link and the attached photos that we have PP Fred, our senior Rtn. working hard with his broom, new Rtns. Li Ying and Marc clearing up trees and leaves since 3pm, PP David, Rtns. Yasmin, Yuko, her husband Andrew and 2 of her friends and Rtnne. Eugenia joined in after work at 6pm until Ave. Republica was cleared. IPP Sam, PPs Synthia and Filipe, Rtns. Aris and Chris worked for the Patane area on Friday evening until mid-night. Most of them started to work again the following day at Patane and Ha Van. Up till now, when I’m preparing this email, Chris and Li Ying are on their way to Fai Chi Kei. PE Elvo, though not helping in clearing the mess physically, he’s been helping with his expertise in the psychological area. We must also thank PP Synthia in the coordination and for 300 bottles of Macau Tower water and PP Kevin for boxes of surgical gloves and masks.

I understand, most of our Rotarians who are in Macau must have offered help in one way or the other, though not physically with us, e.g. PP Guy, Rtn. Raymond volunteered in their own corporations, Rtn. Mario who had arranged 15 volunteers but must have helped in other areas eventually. I salute to Rtn. Joao also, who just had a few hours of sleep per day and keeping citizens updated of the situation of Macau. Many of our Rotarians are out of town like Pres. Fatima who is on a trip to Mongolia with the District until tomorrow, Liz in Hanoi, Pedro in Portugal and many others, their hearts are with us.

We do appreciate the great help of the PLA troops who did a wonderful job in helping to relief this disaster. As citizens of Macau, we should also helped ourselves.  As Rotarians, we are always ready to ‘Lend A Hand’.

One more thing I would like to share with you all.  I find all the love and unity in Macau because of this disaster. So many volunteers just arrived to the affected area, many self prepared with gloves and masks and started working.  Many youngsters who never tidy their own room, started to clean up the mess. On Friday, I was busy in coordinating and forgot that I didn’t have a bite until 8pm and while I was standing in the dark near Litoral Rest. where there were no power in the whole area, waiting for PE Elvo to pick me up to his home for a shower, cos my home had no water, feeling hungry when you realized you didn’t have anything the whole day, a couple pushing a cart full of lunch boxes offered a box of noodle to me free. It was so sweet then, and I started to eat on the street. They, in fact, offered to everyone on the street because those on the street were either volunteers or residents of the area without power and water. 

Another thing I’d like to share is about our bus shelter. We are so proud that it stood there healthily and strong without hurting at all, while the old tree next door was blown down completely and the Pagoda Library’s roof was also damaged. 

Please pray for the speedy recovery of Macau and we do hope the Government learns its lesson.

Yours always in Rotary with Rotary Spirit ‘Service Above Self’