Another Trinity Forum over. Another Rugby World Cup come and gone. From a parochial Kiwi publisher’s perspective one triumph followed by an excrutiating case of what might have been.
The 20th anniversary edition of The Trinity Forum, held here in Hong Kong, may have been the best yet. In terms of calibre of speakers, size of audience (well over 400), excellence of social events, and technical quality it was certainly right up there.
After such events I feel as if I’ve been put through a mental wringer, the psychological equivalent of being run over by the Springboks forward pack (more of which, alas, in a moment), the unrelenting concentration required meaning that relief rather than exhilaration is the dominant emotion afterwards.
But how very good it was to welcome delegates from all around the world to Hong Kong, a place closed to them for so long because of the pandemic. For many visitors it was either their first experience of the Special Administrative Region or their first since before the crisis.
But it’s now guaranteed that all will return after a remarkable gesture by Airport Authority Hong Kong CEO Fred Lam at the Gala Dinner. There was great excitement in the room as he revealed that the evening’s lucky draw winners – 50 of them – would each receive a return air ticket to Hong Kong.
But there was more to come. Once the names were revealed on the giant screen, Lam announced that all Gala Dinner guests would receive a ticket to Hong Kong. What’s more, the 50 lucky winners drawn earlier would receive two. The free tickets are part of a government scheme announced in 2022 to stimulate the COVID-ravaged local tourism sector.
What a great way to cap an event where we heard time and again how resilient Hong Kong is in the face of adversity.
As for the Rugby World Cup, well, you win some, you lose some. And if losing some includes your skipper to a red card early on then you are up against it in any match, let alone a World Cup final against the ferocious Springboks. Well done South Africa. And so a long four-year wait begins for the chance for redemption. At least it’s only 12 months for a reprise of The Trinity Forum. ✈