Hong Kong— “Chung chau jit fye lok!” (“Happy Mid-Autumn Festival”) came the traditional salutation — and the 70 or so elderly residents of the Helping Hand Siu Sai Wan Housing for the Elderly beamed with joy as being greeted in such fluent Cantonese by Michael Huddart, Manulife (International) Limited’s (MIL) Executive Vice President and General Manager for Hong Kong. MIL’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Waples also offered his best Mid-Autumn wishes to the old folk — in Mandarin.
The two Manulife senior executives led more than 20 Manulife volunteers in delivering special Mid-Autumn Festival gift bags to the elderly last Friday. They spent hours going from room to room, and had a great time chatting and laughing with the senior citizens.
“Being the employees of a caring company, Manulife colleagues are always ready to go out of their way to help and show our care for others,” said Mr. Huddart. “At Manulife we always strive to bring dreams to life for our customers, staff and the community as a whole. I hope today’s visit brought some joy into the lives of these elderly people – I know that we Manulifers all had a great time.
“The Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally a time when Chinese family values are uppermost and I think it does us all good to stop and think about what these people, who are now in their ‘golden years’, have contributed to society. We owe them a great deal and there is so much inspiring life experience and knowledge that we could learn from them,”
The residents of this old folks’ home — most well into their eighties — are all very independent, catering for themselves in this special housing unit, and many of them are still extremely young at heart! There was no question of a generation gap as they chatted animatedly with the Manulife volunteers, many of whom were less than half their age. A trio of them even gave the visitors a mastery tai-chi performance!
They were particularly impressed by the care with which the Manulife Mid-Autumn Festival gifts were chosen: the moon cakes — usually such a high-calorie treat — were special low-sugar ones, the pears were plump and ripe, the abalone-flavoured noodles were of the highest quality, and there was a handy Manulife fan to cool down with!
At the end-of-visit photo-taking session, one 87-year-old lady summed up the visit: “The real joy of a day like today is meeting all these wonderful young people and realising that, far from being forgotten, we old-timers are actually appreciated and cared for.”
About Manulife (International) Limited
Manulife (International) Limited is a member of the Manulife Financial group of companies. Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$410 billion (approximately HK$3,016.4 billion) as at June 30, 2007.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
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