Speech by CE at Beam International Foundation gala dinner

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Beam International Foundation 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner "The Art of a Beaming Smile" cum 90th Birthday Party for Sir David Akers-Jones this evening (March 17):
Sir David (Chairman of the Beam International Foundation, Sir David Akers-Jones), Dr Pang (Chairman-designate of the Beam International Foundation, Dr Peter Pang), Mr Tan (Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Tan Tieniu), friends, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     ​Good evening. I am very pleased to be here tonight, to pay tribute to a Hong Kong organisation built on smiles, and equally importantly, to the man behind it.
     For 25 years, the Beam International Foundation has brought happy faces to needy children throughout the Mainland of China. Last year, Beam completed 11 medical missions and nearly 2 000 free surgeries for children suffering from cleft condition.

In Guizhou, Sichuan, Xinjiang, and other parts of the Mainland.
     What the Foundation offers far exceeds cosmetic change. Its operations bring real hope, confidence, renewed promise and relief to needy children - and to their families and friends.
     So many smiles flow from Beam, and the many people behind it. Partner hospitals, medical professionals, charity partners, donors, volunteers, trainers and, of course, Sir David Akers-Jones.
     For a good many of those 25 years, Sir David has been at the helm of Beam.

Sir David knows well the power of a child's smile. And beyond that, the critical importance of goodwill and charity, of creating opportunity, through advocacy as well as aid.
     The training scholarship set up by Sir David in 2013 helps young Mainland surgeons advance skills in cleft lip and palate surgeries. These young surgeons - while passing on the skills at their parent hospitals - volunteer their services in every corner of the Mainland of China, helping thousands of children beam – again.
     And for that, we are grateful to Sir David.

For his devotion to the betterment of lives of others.
     This evening, we also gather to celebrate the 25th - times 3.6 - birthday of Sir David Akers-Jones. In his inimitable way, Sir David has made immense contribution to Hong Kong and the country. In the words of the senior partner for whom I worked 20, 30 years ago, Sir David always has a sense of quiet authority about him.

As I speak, my mind is filled with fond memories of the many dinner discussions that Sir David hosted, from his home in Island House in Tai Po decades ago, to Dragon View in Sham Tseng. At one such dinner in May 1989, I was carrying a huge Motorola mobile phone, and that was 1989, and had to leave it on just in case Regina, my wife, had to call me - we were expecting our first child. And I have had numerous meetings with Sir David, on housing, the Girl Guides, nature, country parks, and germinating acorns of Cyclobalanopsis edithiae, a local oak.
     So, thank you, David, and happy birthday.

Thank you for all that you have done for Hong Kong and China. And happy anniversary too to Beam. I trust that Beam will carry on the good deeds under the capable leadership of Dr Pang, and put the smiles back on the faces of many more children on the Mainland.

Thank you.

Published on: 2017-03-17

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