This is my first year as chair of the Friends and I feel extremely privileged to have served this rewarding charity. I would like to thank our dedicated board members for giving me their friendly, unstinting support and excellent advice, without which the Friends’ achievements and smooth functioning would not have been possible.
During the year, the Friends organised an array of well attended tours, talks, visits to galleries, and private viewings. These included a well-appreciated tour of the Imperial Museum in Taiwan and an informative and entertaining lecture by Dr. Ng Yuet Lau, a prominent artist of the Lingnan style of painting. The Study Group had an interesting year after finding out that the Maritime Museum, their long-time home, was unable to accommodate them. Patrick found them a new home just in time for the new term. We participated in two successful Art Fairs this year and saw many visitors to our booth. Most importantly, we awarded five research grants, two PhD support prizes, and six summer internships
This is a year of transition when four dedicated and invaluable board members are leaving the Friends’ Board. Therese Lesaffre, well known and well regarded by our members, has devoted her services to the Friends for 22 years. Therese has organised tours, kept the membership records meticulously and has given the board sound advice, all of which will be sorely missed. Fortunately, Therese will still be involved with the Friends as she is organising the Paris Abu Dhabi Louvre trip in 2019, a much anticipated event! Make sure you register your interest with Therese. I would like to thank Linda Ferguson for her efforts on the events committee and for her continued generous support. We are also sad to see the departure of Alex Choa and Vicky Li, who did a great job in establishing and growing the Young Friends. We are welcoming a number of new and keen volunteers to support us with the Events Committee and the Young Friends
We are strengthening our already excellent relationship with the Museum and the Fine Arts Department. Both Prof. Josh Yiu of the Museum and Prof. Frank Vigneron of the Fine Arts Department have been supportive and a pleasure to work with. We are looking forward to organising special events for the Friends in conjunction with both institutions in the coming year. We are also look forward to establishing a good rapport with the new Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University, Professor Rocky Tuan, in the future.
It is hard to believe that the 35th Anniversary Collectors Circle was convened three years ago and expired in September 2018. We are now constituting the 40th Anniversary Collectors Circle which will support the Museum’s ‘Artist in Residence’ programme. The programme seeks to invite renowned artists to stay at the University where they will share their experiences and skills, and work with the academic staff and students of the Fine Arts Department. It is encouraging that we are already seeing interest from our members and a leading auction house.
We are improving our website and social media presence by expanding the FFF and our Friends Facebook page. Although we are proud of the quality of the hardcopy newsletter, we are being kinder to the environment whilst saving money for more good works by reducing production to once a year.
As we go into the final months of 2018, we look forward to an exciting 2019 where there will be tours, exclusive events organized in conjunction with the Museum, and a novel and interesting fund raiser.
I would also like to thank our generous sponsors and partners, who over the last year have afforded us opportunities that allow us to make the Friends’ experience unique and worthy.
Finally, I would like once again to express my gratitude to my board members, all our volunteers, and sponsors. The Friends is only successful because of all your efforts.