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100 outstanding youths celebrate before taking off

03 Jul 2004


The closing ceremony for Cathay Pacific’s first ever “I Can Fly” programme took place at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today. All members of the programme were reunited after they “took off” at the inaugural event in March 2003 and will graduate together today.

The Cathay Pacific “I Can Fly” programme aims to nurture the spirit of social service and an enthusiasm for aviation among local youngsters. The programme has been a great success and these 1,000 local young students have served over 60 organisations through social service activities throughout the programme year.

The ceremony started off with a singing performance from “I Can Fly” member Jimmy Lee of the Spirit of Kai Tak group who submitted 3 original compositions as his creative project for the programme. The song expressed how his dream had come true, followed by a video and sharing session from pilots and members that detailed what they saw and how the “I Can Fly” programme had changed their lives.

All guests of honour helped to conduct the graduation ceremony, announcing the graduation and presenting the “I Can Fly” graduation hats to members. All members cheered their success and shared their feelings about how much they were going to miss the programme.

Members were also overjoyed after their pilot leaders announced the 100 outstanding members who have been selected to join the overseas trips sponsored by Cathay Pacific. These members will be flown to one of the three aviation facilities: BAE Flying School in Adelaide, Australia, Boeing aircraft plant in Seattle, U.S. or Airbus aircraft plant in Toulouse, France. They will be able to witness the aircraft manufacturing process or experience a unique flying experience.

Mr. Philip Chen said ‘Cathay Pacific is very proud of the members. They have picked up a lot of aviation knowledge and used what they’ve learnt to serve 3,000 people in the Hong Kong community during the past year. We would like to encourage all members to soar and further promote the ‘I Can Fly’ spirit to every corner of Hong Kong.’

Mr Stephen Ip, who is the Patron for the “I Can Fly” programme, congratulated all the graduating members. He also welcomed Cathay Pacific’s decision to organise the programme again for the coming year and thanked all the supporting organisations for providing such opportunities for Hong Kong youth to excel, saying he believed they would grow up as the future aviation leaders of Hong Kong.

Other guest of honour of the event included:
Ms. Fanny Law, Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower
Mr. Norman Lo, Director General of Civil Aviation
Mr Paul Tang, Director of Social Welfare
Mr Nick Rhodes, Cathay Pacific Director Flight Operations,
Dr Lui Sun-wing, Vice President (Partnership Development) of the Hong Kong
Polytechnic University
Dr. Rosanna Wong, Executive Director, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Group
Mr. Lawrence Cheng, Chief Creative Officer, Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Co. Ltd

Officiating guests and the 1,000 “I Can Fly” members show the “I Can Fly” gesture.“I Can Fly” members are overjoyed after the graduation
The pilot leaders and members share how the “I Can Fly” programme had changed their lives.Cathay Pacific Director & Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen and Hong Kong Polytechnic University Vice President (Partnership Development) Dr. Lui Sun-wing thank the Hong Kong Polytechnic University helpers for their support to the programme.