Posted by: thebluemusicblog | March 17, 2014


APAY means Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs and the Executive Committee meeting took place in Hong Kong with 150 participants from  around Asia pacific. An excellent  crossroad of YMCA leaders where I can meet leaders from many countries.


Here Marleen Yamada, HK and Dr Song from Korea together with Ingunn.
We arrived in Hong Kong from Geneva, we were immediately welcomed by CEO Aldrin in the best rooms of Salisbury Hotel in YMCA of Hong Kong and speedily set out to find the APAY leadership somewhere in Hong Kong for the first welcome dinner. As always heartwarming to met good old friends and a few new ones.
We went walking along the sea side of Hong Kong and enjoying the atmosphere and good conversation as we were strolling along. Amazing sculptures and exhibitions are decorating the walkway.
As jet lag started to make its usual impact on us, and a certain dizziness led the thoughts in direction pillows and beds, more pieces of modern art are enlightening the horizon.
Next day the meetings start in the great building of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, and I am invited to speak to a training session with lay people on Roles and Responsibilities between the different layers of YMCAs and WAY history and future visions. I had a very attentive audience and many good questions and comments were shared among us.
IMG_2698The day continued with a Training  Session for staff and National Coordinators on OMV – One Million Voices Research. Jose and I did that together, and we showed the instruction video with Professor Fred for the first time. Fred is working very well from the screen, and the video was very warmly welcomed by the staff and leaders. We then divided them in small groups to test out the questionnaires and share feedback and questions. A very worth while exercise.
IMG_2702 Dinner was a great celebration of old and new friendship as we were invited by the Chinese YMCA  and its lay and professional leadership for a fabulous welcome dinner with numerous gourmet dishes from the rich cuisine of the Chinese kitchen.
The President of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, Dr Cecil Chan, an old friend and solid supporter of the WAY in many different positions. He gave a most eloquent and elegant opening speech.
As the dinner developed too everybody’s satisfaction and joy, a very special guest was introduced, Mr Tu Hanqiao, General Secretary National Coucil of YMCAs of China from Shanghai. He gave a very interesting and fascinating report from the YMCA work in mainland China. That was really a highlight during the welcome reception!
Tu Hanqiao,  General Secretary National Coucil of YMCAs of China
Next day came the official opening of the APAY ExCom after a brilliant training session on Youth Empowerment, very competently facilitated by Change Agents from APAY. I was fascinated by the performance and the good discussions it lead to. Congratulations young people of APAY!
Young people could speak as NGSs and NGSs could speak as young people, so quite a role play developed during the Youth Empowerment session!
I was invited by the APAY President, Mr Jau,  to give some words of greetings to the meeting. I used the opportunity to underline my good friend Mr Jau’s words, that an element of humor is not unhealthy when we facilitate a meeting like this. The Gospel itself opens up for joyful expressions and the situation just now in APAY certainly gives reason for optimism and future hopes.
More youthful expressions in breath taking dance!
Next day continuation of the meeting took the form of committee meetings on different issues, and I used the opportunity to go through with a series of side meetings, among others with the full leadership of Taiwan YMCA. We had a very informative conversation and I was really well updated on the recent YMCA developments in Taiwan. Later on the same morning I had lunch with my new friend from Mainland China, General Secretary Tu. He and I had a wonderful conversation and really found the tone together, Blue Music per Excellence!  Of course we were interrupted by some very competent ladies from the local YMCAs with at least three guests from far away. Anyway – who says no to a Kodak moment?
Next day there was an official lunch on invitation from Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong with the leadership of Taiwan YMCA, Mainland China YMCA and WAY.  In the evening farewell dinner at Salisbury YMCA Hotel and I was asked to give a keynote speech on the visions for World Alliance, OUR WAY.
After that we had Green Awards distributed.
Thank you note from Vice President Peter Malone from Australia.
Change Agents and leadership of YMCA of Hong Kong. Note the ties!
Saturday a great visit to Hong Kong Museum of Art and a very exciting exhibition by a famous artist from Taiwan, Ju Ming.The new exhibition was called Sculpting the Living World and was absolutely fascinating and recommended as a mind opener!
After that refreshing art experience it was heading towards the Airport again and catching a 6 hours flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai and changing in Mumbai in the middle of the night to catch a connection to Ahmedabad towards the north of India where we landed early morning. With not too much sleep and a grinding cold from  HK we started our programme in India. More photos tomorrow, as I again am facing some shortcomings with hotel wireless connections. I also notice that my travel programme has become more and more intense, so there is not much time left for blogging and mails in the late evenings after the day’s programme is over. A few hours sleep become a priority. More tomorrow as we move into the richness of the Indian realities.


  1. Wow ! Cecil is still there !! What about Jack Young – is he ? Have such fond memories of these two gentlemen, and both HK YMCA’s, who we had the priviege of sharing their Centennaries with in 2001 as the NZ YMCA representatives. My wife, daughter, and Mum & Dad attended also. My Dad was the President of the Tauranga YMCA here in NZ at the time, and I was the CEO of the New Plymouth YMCA. All in the family 🙂 Please say Hello to Cecil (and Jack) from the Downs family in NZ if you you have the chance.

    • Good to hear from you, Chris, I understand that the photo of Cecil brought you back some sentimental moments. Good! He is in excellent shape and form. Jack was not there, as I could observe. All well, my friend! Johan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: