Following is the speech delivered by the Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at the "Heartwarming" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony today (September 10):
The Honourable Chan, Dr Ho, distinguished guests, colleagues and friends from the media,
Welcome to the issuing ceremony of "Heartwarming" Special Stamps.
This set of stamps carries with it two thoughtful themes, "Celebrations" and "Care and Love", which I think are most relevant to the times we are living in. Take "Celebrations". We have all kinds of things to celebrate and commemorate almost on a daily basis. Although today is not Liberation or Reunification Day, it may well be your very birthday. But to all seven million people living in this city, today is a day we should all remember with a grin stretching from ear to ear, for it is the 80th day since Hong Kong has been removed from WHO's list of SARS-infected areas. As far as Hongkong Post is concerned, today is also worthy of sending champagne corks popping as we are about to issue our first set of Hong Kong stamps printed with no-value indicator. In fact, we have been approached from time to time by different institutions asking if arrangement could be made to issue stamps tailored specially for them, either for celebratory events or important functions. However, we could not entertain every one of them and some have to be disappointed. That's why we are delighted to issue these "Heartwarming" stamps which the market longs for as senders are allowed to add specific messages, images or even company logos on them to suit their own publicity and promotional purposes.
The second theme, "Care and Love," is just as meaningful. The whole city was shrouded in gloom and doom when SARS struck earlier this year, as under the daunting pressure we almost succumbed to despair and fear. Fortunately, we were seen through the crisis by some of the most courageous and competent medical personnel, who care for the patients, take their profession with the utmost seriousness and serve the public selflessly. But there were others who contributed just as much during the trying times. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, for one, initiated the "Caring Families, Caring Communities" campaign to promote the idea and culture of "mutual caring." Hongkong Post didn't take a back seat, either. We collected donations for The Hong Kong Red Cross at post offices, issued the "One Heart One Mind Bless Hong Kong" souvenir cover to pay tribute to medical personnel, and gave away the "Hello from Hong Kong" postcard as a means to promote Hong Kong overseas.
I'm glad to have Dr William Ho, Chief Executive of the Hospital Authority, and the Honourable Bernard Chan, Chairperson of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, officiating at today's ceremony. I want to take this opportunity to express my admiration for the dedication and significant efforts of medical personnel, the staff and associates of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and, last but not least, the staff of Hongkong Post during the outbreak.
Hongkong Post has always been at the forefront of promoting the caring culture as we have made considerable efforts to create a pleasant working environment for our staff and to satisfy our customers in all possible ways. To take this commitment a step further, we are going to designate one day in September as the "Hongkong Post Love and Care Day", starting next year. I sincerely hope that the whole society will live by the principle of caring from the heart, just as we do.
End/Wednesday, September 10, 2003