As part of its longstanding tradition, Chi Sun College organised its third high table for the academic year of 2016-2017 on 23rd November 2016, a day before Thanksgiving. The distinguished speaker of this High Table was none other than the highly esteemed Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Mr. Carlson Tong.
As introduced by ChiSunner Gunjid, Mr. Tong is a true “role model of note” and “man of distinction.” Prior to this appointment, he had served as the Chairman of KPMG in China and Hong Kong, the chairman of the Asia Pacific Region, and a member of the global board.
Upon his retirement from KPMG in 2011, Mr. Tong has been playing an active role in public and community services. Currently, apart from chairing the SFC, he is also the Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC), a member of the Listing Nominating Committee of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, a member of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee and the Banking Advisory Committee of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Chairman of the Hong Kong Sports Institute Limited.
With the spirit of Thanksgiving in mind, Mr. Tong shared personal experiences from his own life to make us ChiSunners realize the importance of grabbing the opportunities when they come, respecting imperfections in other people and most importantly the importance of our family and friends. In today’s competitive world, while pursuing our ambitions, we often end up overlooking the importance of our families. Mr. Tong, with his motivating and uplifting speech made us remember that while one definitely needs hard work, the support of his/her family is also an essential ingredient in the potion of success.
In his speech, Mr. Tong highlighted the confusion and uncertainty he felt as a fresh college graduate. Not knowing what to do with his life, he opted for a gap year after school. Interning for a local accounting firm helped him find his calling, and with this motivation, he set off to the UK. Though it was difficult at first, he eventually not only succeeded but thrived in his ambitions, achieving all that he has today. In Mr. Tong’s words: “It might have been fate; I believe in fate, but where there is opportunity, grab it.”
Describing how his wife plays a pivotal role in making him the person he is, Mr. Tong urged the students to not only follow a good role model, but also surround themselves with good friends and family who can help them to not let their ego get the best of them. Sharing his own experience with his adopted son Chi-Tat, a child with mental disability, Mr. Carlson described how Chi-Tat taught him to be more inclusive and tolerant of people with mental disabilities.
Among other things, Mr. Tong advised us to treat others in the way we expect to be treated; to not despair when we fail but also to not get too carried away with success; to listen to people and trying to reach a consensus before making a decision and to always try our best no matter how hard the task is. And most importantly, to “live the moment, treasure the moment with our friends and family, because at the end of the day they are what really matters.”
Ending the evening in a high note, the College Master shared a toast, saying: “I want to echo what Carlson said about being inclusive, being compassionate and being true with your own frailties, because ultimately that is what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s not really necessary to say thanks when everything goes your way. It is at the most testing and the trying times that we need to give thanks. We need to give thanks for the elegant imperfections of life. It is when we are at our lowest point; when we think that things aren’t going our way; when we feel helpless; when we feel hopeless, that we give thanks.”
By: Maitraee Mistry, Bachelor of Engineering, Year 1