Chinese Club of Queensland Chinese New Year Dinner 2020
Thank you, Mr President. Minister Hinchliffe, representing the Premier of Queensland; Justice Mullins, representing the Chief Justice; and Minister Grace; Patron, Peter Lui; former Premier, Mr Campbell Newman; Lord Mayor; Consul General and Members of the Consular Corps; Police Commissioner; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure for Kaye and me to join you for the celebration of Chinese New Year 2020, and the beginning of the Year of the Rat.
“Celebration” has not been an easy word to use in recent times because of the destructive bushfires that have brought grief and loss to Australians from Queensland to Western Australia – others, of course, still endure drought and in the north and central west of our State right now, floods.
The bushfire danger has not yet passed, and I know that we all keep at the forefront of our hearts and minds the safety and welfare of affected communities, and the courage and sacrifice of our firefighters.
As we do all those affected and potentially affected by the Coronavirus, which has sprung upon us and is commanding the close attention of our governments – and the cooperation of the people.
Let us hope in that respect that the Year of the Rat brings the sense of renewal, of a fresh start, that is associated with this sign, which begins anew the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac.
The rat in the Chinese Zodiac is a protector, a bringer of good luck, prosperity, and wisdom.
I am pleased about this as I was born in the Year of the Rat.
I will not dwell this evening on the positive character traits of those born as ‘Rats’ – for fear of being accused of boasting. I leave it to others to judge, though I am tempted to ask Kaye if descriptions like ‘shy but adorable’ remind her of anyone she knows.
There has been plenty of interesting advice on activities that ‘Rats’ should steer clear of at Chinese New Year period in order to avoid bad luck.
Avoiding sharp objects and refraining from lending money are among them. So are avoiding both house cleaning and laundry.
Fortunately attending Chinese New Year celebrations is not on the ‘to be avoided’ list.
This evening we are all free to enjoy the famous hospitality of the Chinese Club, the convivial company and entertainment.
We can reflect, with gratitude, on the enormous contributions of the Chinese community in Queensland to the prosperity and well-being of our State.
And on the role of the Chinese Club of Queensland across 67 years in supporting that goal, including through generosity to many community organisations.
I thank all those associated with the Club – including President, Mr Michael Chan, committee members and Patron, Mr Peter Liu, here tonight; I congratulate you all on your admirable achievements.
Kaye and I wish you, your friends, families and colleagues, and all Queenslanders a Year of the Rat that brings prosperity, success and happiness. Thank you.