Monday, July 9, 2007

ISA HK/China --- Our Station is 2 years old

***Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only. Comments from non-Station members will not be entertained.***

Dear Station Members,

By the time this Station Mail is read, our Station is already over 2 years old.

In the past 2 years of ups & downs in our running, this Station has grown steadily with strength to a target well beyond the original intention. We have never planned to be what we are today. It just happened naturally with social participation. Anyone joining long enough in our Station would realize that we never hard-sell our Station Membership, but friends & neighbours found out about us & wanted to join. Of course we let them. It is an ISA Policy to open participation without discrimination in race, colour, religion & background. Anyone agreeing with our principles is welcomed to come in. Then we grow...

Our Station Mail is now circulated to HK, Macau, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia & the USA. The media has given us a lot of exposure by interviewing & reporting our activities. The name of ISA has grown from something of an unknown two years ago to a household brand in our landscape industry. ISA tree standards & practice recommendations are accepted as a quality assurance for tree work.

By today, according to incomplete Station statistics, Station Membership is over 340 no. in active participation. Approx. 90% of our Station Members are degree holders & approx. 70% have Master Degree of some kind. About 1/4 are Senior Civil Servants, with the rest coming in from all kinds of professions. We embody Professors as well as Students, Politicians & Environmentalists, not to mention Landscapers (Designers & Practitioners) who form the largest group. Our diversification is vast when compared with other professional bodies in our society which serve only specific interest. Here we serve anybody interested. Our Station has provided a platform for all personnel to co-exist in peace & harmony, partly due to nobody knows who's who within our Station. Faction who may be displeased with the other side will talk in manner to the Station Manager, who will mediate for the best interest of all.

Since Feb 2005, this Station has helped Arbor Global of Hawaii to organize 4 CA exams & 4 CTW exams in our territory. From Apr 2007 onwards, our Station will begin to organize our own CA & CTW exam in our region with local Proctors. We are constantly observing & hawking on potential candidates to qualify for Proctorship. Depending on our future exam demand, we shall try to identify a few more Proctors to help out in organizing the event. It is our current Station policy to recommend Proctors out of the CA Family, since our Station will know them best in background & ability. Their participation in the CA family will provide observation for apprehending their plausibility to acquire Proctorship, & Proctors will help in the administration of the Station as well. In a way, the Station Manager is trying to phase out his own influence step by step, & try to invite sharing with his work.

In the Station activities, we have organized Study Tours to China, Singapore (twice) & Australia. We shall be organizing a delegation with a minimum of 10 participants to the ISA International Conference in Hawaii from July 28 - Aug 3 this summer. We have also helped to organize the first-ever Climbing Jamboree in HK/China under the leadership of CLP & Fung Kai School in Jan 2007, & our Station has trained the Fung Kai Climbers to climb professionally from scratch in just a few months. Our Station has been invited to give Tree Seminars at Housing Dept & Drainage Services Dept, & the Station Manager & Ken So have been invited to give regular lectures at the Construction Industry Training Authority for Tree Works Supervision training. Our Station has opened up Eurasian Tree Farm (ETF) in China for regular visit on Saturdays with ISA tree standards, Structural Pruning & Basic Tree Climbing demonstrated there since Dec 2006. Already dozens of Station Members have visited ETF in the past two months.

In our regional cooperation, our collaboration with the National Parks Board (Nparks) of the Singapore Govt has given us the opportunity to send our candidates to attend arborist training in Singapore. Nparks has now become our reference & back-up for regional arboricultural advisory on subtropical tree care practices. Through the help of Nparks & their training programs, we are able to reach out to Taiwan & China where Mandarin is the dominant language. Trained candidates in these two regions can attend ISA exams in Singapore or HK at their personal preference. Together with Nparks, we are gradually building a regional network of ISA Arborists in our part of the world.

Upon the Geelong Conference in Australia in Oct 2006, our Station has been invited to apply for the status of Associated Organization of ISA in our territory. This official status has brought us independence to run our own affairs to fit our local conditions, & growth has accelerated by some 20% in just a few months. We in particular have noticed the enrolment of non-landscapers who are genuine tree-lovers & wish to join just to learn more about trees. Our Station will certainly give them the correct information & their international practices.

Things are looking rosy in our Station development, although confusion would arise from time to time. This Station understands that we can not make everybody happy but we shall try our best. Our system is not the best designed & we are constantly looking at practical ways to upgrade it, without sacrificing social harmony nor the interest of the majority, & to be in line with ISA principles & policies. It is not an easy job but we shall try. After all, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Therefore, our Station will march on ahead, without funding & without an official structure, at least for the time being. While gathering strength & social respect, this Station will invite suitable personnel to join our leadership. Ken So of KFBG & Thomas CY Chow of Fung Kai School are two such promising helmsmen with keen participation at present. More will be invited in time. There are young & educated candidates with integrity & ability to join our leadership from the CA Family. All they need is participation & further training. The Station Manager sincerely believes we can form our own team & run our own affairs in our territory with success.

Another year of excitement is now waiting ahead of us. We look forward to be growing steadily again. May we learn from our mistakes & advance with confidence in our course to affirm arboriculture & ISA in our territory in the next 12 months to come. May we be able to present a better report than this one next February...

God bless.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

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