The Old Boys’ Club (OBC) of the Herald Media (The Korea Herald [KH] and Herald Business [HB]) had its year-end reunion at the Maehwa (Apricot) Room of the Seoul Press Center on Dec. 8, 2014. Every year, the former members of the leading English daily and the Korean-language sister business daily have a regular reunion meeting to ‘ring out the Old Year and usher in the New.’
Among the 120-plus participants in the reunion, besides Chairman Yun Ik-han of the OBC and incumbent President & CEO Lee Young-man of the Herald Media, were former Presidents Choi Suh-young, Kim Kyung-chul and Park Haeng-hwan; incumbent KH Managing Editor Hwang Jang-jin; former KH Managing Editors Kim Yong-soo, Choi Jang-suk and Min Byung-il; former Deputy Managing Editors Chung Bong-uk and Choi Sung-jin; and former Cultural Editor Lee Kyung-sik (now publisher- chairman of The Korea Post). (See list of attendants at the end of this Article.)
Presided over by Secretary General Lee Moon-hee of the OBC, it was also a regular general meeting of the Club that elected new officers for those who had fulfilled their tour of duty. Among them were Chairman Yun and Auditors Lee Kyung-sik (KH) and Choi Kwi-jo (BH). There was an aye-and-nay vote, and all three officers were retained for another term.
Speaking to the meeting, Chairman Yun thanked the Old Boys (and Girls) for reposing their generous confidence in him and the other two officers, and assured his best effort to further vitalize the activities of the Club.
Yun said, “I would say that all of us here have spent their golden age with the two newspapers of the Herald with the exception of their school days and the childhood. This is nidana, as the Buddhists say, a precious relationship formed in one? life. It would be a great loss if we should fail to continue to enjoy this relationship in our post-retirement life as a valuable asset.”
Then he said: “They say that people get to like the next-door neighbors better than their blood relatives because they meet the neighbors more often than the kin. However, in the case of the Old Boys, there are some who left the company not from their own free will during the ups and downs of the country and the company. Against this backdrop, to speak frankly, there were some who said, ‘I would very much wish to attend the reunion but there are some faces I don’t want to see any more.’ However, some of such members plucked up their courage, came to the reunion and changed their mind in favor of not missing the meeting any more.” (See further details toward the end of this Article.)
Chairman Yun’s speech was followed by congratulatory remarks by incumbent President & CEO Lee Young-man of KH and HB, who said that he was very glad to see the reunion of the Old Boys Club attended by more and more members each time--thanks to the hard efforts put in by Chairman Yun.
Then he said that he was sorry that he had not been unable to honor his promise to secure an adequate office space for the OBC at the new Herald Building but that he would continue his effort to keep that promise.
Lee explained that the new office building in Namyeong-dong, Seoul (near Camp Coiner of the USAG-Y) had a floor space of 3,200 pyeong (about 12,000 square meters) but that the space was wholly occupied by the members of the KH, HB and other affiliated business organizations of the Herald.
Lee then assured that the company had a plan to purchase an adequate land lot nearby when the USAG-Y is relocated from Seoul in the next two or three years and that it could be the time he would be able to keep that promise.
Then there was a congratulatory speech by former President Choi Suh-young and this was followed by the offer of a toast by the ‘oldest Old Boy’ at the meeting, Ahn Kwang-sik.
The food and beverage at the buffet dinner were excellent and, as in the previous years, there was a nice gift pack for everyone.
Come to think of it. Years ago, before the takeover of the Herald Media by Chairman Hong Jungwook (a Stanford LL.D.), every ‘Old Boy’ had to chip in to make the year-end reunion dinner. The old practice of kittying-in is no longer done since Chairman Hong said, “Seonbae- nim (My Seniors), from now it is going to be on me.”
There was still more good news this year. The number of OB members’ donors in excess of one million won has increased, and this year they included former OBC Secretary General Lee Joong-kang and President Kim Kyung-hae of Communications Korea.
Excerpts from the speech of Chairman Yun:
I would say that all of us here have spent their golden age with the two newspapers of the Herald with the exception their school days and the childhood. This is nidana, as the Buddhists say, a precious relationship formed in one? life. It would be a great loss if we should fail to continue to enjoy this relationship as a valuable asset.
We had a reunion trekking last spring and autumn, and the ‘Old Boys’ all said, “We should meet more often.” We at the executive team of the Club are highly encouraged and we are doing our best to meet such a wish of the members.
They say that people get to like the next-door neighbors better than their blood relatives because they meet the neighbors more often than their kin.
However, in the case of the Old Boys, there are some who left the company not from their own free will during the ups and downs of the country and the company. Against this backdrop, to speak frankly, there were some Old Boys who said, “I would very much wish to attend the reunion but there are some faces I don’t want to see any more.”
Some of such members, however, plucked up their courage and came to the reunion. Then they changed their mind in favor of coming to the meeting.
All of us here have lesser days to live than those we have already spent.
Some people opt to shut themselves in the narrow rut of resentment over such unhappy incidents and shrink the range of their vision. If they would just think twice, decide to open up their mind and approach the ‘wrongdoers,’ they should come across an unexpected world of happiness.
We at the Club witness such encounters as we meet more often. I think that looking back on the fond memories and forgetting the bad ones, we can enrich the rest of our lives.
This meeting here this evening, I would say, is one of such good occasions when the elusive members can summon their courage and come meet their old buddies. I would like to raise my voice and cry out, “Leave the less-happy bygones behind and come a step closer toward each other!” The executive team of the Club will do their utmost and leave no stone unturned until they realize a zero absenteeism.
At this meaningful meeting, we have in attendance Mr. Lee Young-man, the president and CEO of the Herald Media, and many other members of the company in active duty. I am grateful for the unreserved support and assistance the company has given us.
To us, the company is like the ‘Mother’s Home’ of a married woman and the alma mater of a graduate. It is our ardent desire that our ‘mother? home’ and the alma mater continue to prosper. To this end, all of us ‘Old Boys’ will add our support.
Against this backdrop, I hope that our next meeting would be one that everyone would yearn for more than at any other time before.
I would like to close my remarks by pledging my best effort to make the Old Boys Club a haven where we will all have our peace of the mind as well as a pleasant time.
Partial list of participants:
Presidents Choi Suh-young, Kim Kyung-chul and Park Haeng-hwan; former Korea Herald (KH) Managing Editors Kim Yong-soo, Choi Jang-suk and Min Byung-il; former Deputy Managing Editors Chung Bong-uk and Choi Sung-jin; and former Cultural Editor Lee Kyung-sik (now publisher-chairman of The Korea Post); and former Advertising Manager Hwang Chang-young. Among the former members of the Korean-language Herald Business attending the party were Managing Editor Han Dong-hee; Deputy Managing Editors Choi Kwi-jo and Chun Sang-ki; Cultural Editor Lee Hyang-sook; Photo Editor Kim Young-il; and Advertising General Manager Lee Pung-hee and Manager Hwang Chang-young. Among the former members of the KH and HB from the business-related offices were General Managers Park Young-ho, Pyo Jae-du (English-language training school) and Kim Young-an (production); Publication Managers Paek Pung-hyun and Kim Jong-soo; Auditing Manager Won Yong-dae, Production Manager Chung Chul-mo; and Emergency/Contingency Planning Manager Han Jil-hwan.