The management of Korea’s leading English daily, The Korea Herald, and its sister Korean-language business daily, Herald Kyungje, hosted a year-end reception for their ‘Old Boys’ (retirees) at the Press Center in Seoul on Dec. 7, 2015.
Over 110 former and incumbent members of the company, including the publisher-presidents, senior executives, managing editors, desk editors and reporters, attended the year-end party as well as President Yun Ik-han of the Old Boys’ Club (OBC).
Present at the annual reunion were incumbent Publisher-President Lee Young-man, Vice President Kim Kwang-sun, Managing Editor Hwang Jang-jin and a number of desk editors and business managers.
Among the ‘Old Boys’ attending the reception, besides President Yun, were former Presidents Choi Suh-young, Park Jung-woong, Lee Jong-woo, Kim Kyung-chul, Park Haeng-hwan. There also were former Managing Editor Min Byung-il and Cultural Editor Lee Kyung-sik (now publisher-chairman of The Korea Post Media).
Speaking to the ‘Old Boys,’ incumbent President Lee of the Herald Corporation said that, thanks to the hard work put in by all the members the Herald Corporation, the company was making profit. This was news to many media organizations in Korea because newspapers no longer made money as they used to do before because there were so many of them and the competition was extremely keen.
The black-figure management of The Herald Media began after the takeover of the company by Chairman Jungwook Hong (graduate of Harvard and Stanford universities in the United States) in 2002, who is the son of Korea’s top movie star, Namgoong Won.
President Yun of the Herald Old Boys' Club, an energetic and active editor-turned former executive vice president of the company, was obviously pleased with the large turnout of the ‘Old Boys’ who made a good contrast with the attendees at the past gatherings. He thanked the ‘Old Boys’ as well as the incumbent management of the company. He said in part:
“I am immeasurably happy and thankful for your kind attendance. It is not a common compliment made by the MCs of event-organizing companies. It comes from the bottom of my heart. I have been thinking that I could make a speech impromptu by virtue of my experiences in my social life. However, at this meeting I would like to be honest and confess that it comes as a bit of burden to do so.” Further details of his speech follow:
Activities of the ‘Old Boys of The Herald Media’ have been gaining in importance and so I have made notes so that I would not make our important guests waste their precious time.
All the guests here at this meeting have gone through the ups and downs of the modern and contemporary periods of our history struggling to successfully carry out their duties as journalists under all descriptions of adversities. They have gone through various periods of our history, including the colonial rule by Imperial Japan, period of liberated Korea, the Korean War, the Bballi Bballi ('Quickly, Quickly') Period of Rapid Economic Development and the Period of Democratization that followed. You are all living witnesses to these changes in Korea.
We shared our time together that is much longer than that which includes our childhood and the school years put together. We shared our joys and sorrows together trying to find a meaning in the same field--journalism.
I, too, spent a total of 31 years working with The Herald Media. I trust that everyone here spent a better part of their life with The Herald Media.
We shared our thoughts and experiences together, which are so precious to us and which therefore should be cherished in our heart for a long, long time. Of course, there were times when we did not understand each other enough and were not all that happy.
However, the repeated meetings of the Old Boys’ Club remind us that the memories are all sweet and precious and that we should have met more often. The friendship rekindled at the reunion meetings contribute to broadening the range and scope of the friendship and happiness among all the members.
They say that there is a new trend at the year-end parties where lectures are given on current affairs. We, too, were tempted to try such a program. However, more Old Boys suggested that the reunion meetings were too precious an occasion to be wasted for such a purpose. Instead, we chose the clarinet music by one of our Old Boys, who presented some beautiful melodies including Amzaing Grace.
For the arrangement kindly made for this party by The Herald Media, I would like to express my profound gratitude together with all the Old Boys, and wish the company continued success, endless development and growth. I hope that our reunion meeting will continue to grow in attendance, and i humbly solicit your assistance and cooperation in making the future reunion meetings attended even by a larger number of members of the company of yesterday and today. Thank you.