Dirty, Dangerous & Difficult!
With unsightly hoardings, ubiquitous red and white cones, and lurching steel tower cranes peppering the landscape, you would be forgiven for thinking that Hong Kong is just one big construction site!
It’s very evident that Hong Kong has developed at a remarkable pace over the past 30 years which has meant that construction work and the construction community has never been far away from you.
The construction industry in Hong Kong is 400,000 people strong and whilst the fruits of its labour are outstanding; take IFC, the HK Convention Centre, Chek Lap Kok Airport (built on an artificial island) and the bridge to Macau being as just a few examples, the business has often been described as dirty, dangerous and difficult!
Indeed the construction industry in Hong Kong has historically been a hazardous environment and many companies and individuals have come to recognize the need to improve and reduce injuries and fatalities on construction projects in line with established trends throughout the world.
Enter Stage Left, The Lighthouse Club!
The Lighthouse Club is a charitable institution with two major objectives, to provide financial assistance to those in need within the construction industry and to their dependent families through membership funds and proceeds raised from regular events, and equally important, to promote good fellowship and co-operation amongst its members. The Club also promotes construction safety initiatives through education and awards.
Eddie Ward and a close knit group of like-minded construction industry friends shared a light-hearted evening back in 1956, attending a public works exhibition in Tyneside in the north of England. They enjoyed the camaraderie so much that they pledged there and then to establish a club “for the furtherance of good fellowship among people in the construction industry”. This merry band of construction related “warriors” were at the time being illuminated by the Lighthouse across the shores of Whitley Bay and so the club was aptly named! 22 clubs exist across the UK, each managed by a local committee and all sharing the same objectives and ethos of the Lighthouse Club charter.
The Lighthouse Club in Hong Kong was established in 1986 and for the past 30 years, has provided financial support to those less fortunate within the Hong Kong construction industry, as well as an ideal networking opportunity for like-minded individuals and corporates to come together, talk construction shop, share best practice, promote awareness, raise funds and have fun!
Regional clubs have been established across the Middle East, Asia and Australia and a Lighthouse Club International is being born as we speak to “mother ship” these international efforts.
Membership in Hong Kong is currently around 1000, representing a wide cross section of the industry and destined to grow significantly in the coming years through planned initiatives. If you work within or are associated with the construction industry you’re eligible to join and if you can afford a round of drinks you can afford to join!
Why Join the Lighthouse Club?
As an individual you can get together on a regular basis with like-minded construction professionals both young and not so young, attend and participate in seminars and networking functions, site visits, golf days, BBQ’s and gala dinners and raise funds in the process for those in your industry who are not having such a good time.
If you are a corporate, you can be recognised as a supporter, leader and promoter of safety within the construction industry as well as a sponsor of a tremendously worthy cause!
It’s heartwarming to note that great steps have been made in recent years, from the efforts of corporates and individuals, with changing and improving the safety culture in both the management and workforce of companies, through more informed design of construction projects, as well as through employing safer construction technologies.
Whilst the Lighthouse Club forefathers may not be getting any younger, the young members group operates as an active, dedicated and key community who host regular events specifically run by and for Lighthouse Club young members.
Just as there are women Prime Ministers, there are women in construction with a dedicated group organising regular activities as well as exchanging thoughts and experiences.
And in case you were wondering…..HK$2 Million each year is raised and distributed to those less fortunate within the Hong Kong construction industry. Who do we help? Here’s a beautiful example: Kimmy was 15 when her dad, who is a construction worker, was hit by a car on his way to site about 2 years ago. Her dad suffered a serious head injury. His condition is so severe that it is unlikely that he will work again. The Lighthouse Club has provided a monthly allowance to Kimmy’s family to help them to weather this difficult storm and allow Kimmy to continue her education. Despite this tragedy, Kimmy has continued to perform well in school and now studying for a double degree in Law and Politics at the Hong Kong University. Kimmy writes to the Lighthouse Club from time to time expressing her gratitude to the Club and its members.
A Place to Find Out About Career Opportunities
The construction industry in Hong Kong continues to struggle with a shortage of skills and whilst it’s not the smoothest of rides, there are always opportunities for those willing to take the “bull by the horns” and you just never know who you might bump into at the next Lighthouse Club gathering? Come along and find out...or drop a line to Elaine Man on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle East, Hong Kong & Asia Construction Recruitment Specialist