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A Message from the President

A Message from the President
Dear Members,
I wanted to give you an update about the topic I know is on everyone’s mind — the status of the lease of our Clubhouse.
Our current lease, which is administered by Hong Kong’s Government Property Agency, expires on 1 January 2023, which means we are less than 70 days from the end of the lease. We first engaged the Hong Kong government in December 2021, to express our interest in a renewal, giving one year’s notice of our desire to stay. Our request was formally acknowledged then.
Much has happened over the last year, including the awful Covid fifth wave, and the change of administration on July 1. But at every opportunity, in my position as President, and on behalf of the Board, I have reiterated our request for a lease renewal to various relevant departments of the Government. In all of my communications, I have mentioned the urgency of the matter, so as to end the uncertainty, provide some security to our members and our staff, and to allow us to conduct needed maintenance work on our Clubhouse, a Grade 1 historic building, of which we are the proud custodians.
I have received recent assurances from the Government that they are aware of our concerns, and that the Government is actively working on our request for a renewal. I remain in constant contact, but at this point, we just have to wait for the official response.
I know the lack of a firm response so far has left many of you anxious and with many questions, but I remain very optimistic. While it may be frustrating to not have clarity immediately, given the tight timeframe, this process actually does not seem unusual; the current lease was signed on 29 December 2015, after the process started in August. Previous leases were also signed in December.
Please rest assured that I and all members of the Board have made this our top priority. We will keep you updated the moment anything changes.
In the meantime, as you can see from our events listing, we are going full steam ahead with planning, including a return to live music after a long wait. And I want to thank you for your continued support of the Club.
Keith Richburg
24 October 2022

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