Urgent Numbers | Hong Kong Seventh | Elevated Risk Management

The Weekly has unearthed three fascinating events in history that happened on this day (30 June).
Firstly; what do the following numbers have in common... 000, 110, 111, 112 and 911? They are all, of course, the emergency telephone numbers of Australia, Japan (police), New Zealand, EU/India and the US/Canada. But the grand-mother of them all is 999 which was introduced in the UK on 30 June 1937. The service now receives about 23,500 calls a day. Whilst many are life-savers, there are a staggering number of time-wasters. For instance, last year, five patients alone made 8,303 calls between them! And here are a few examples of the more mindless calls that have been received:
         "Can you call me a cab? I'm out of credit on my mobile phone".
         "There's a hedgehog in my garden".
         "I can't find my trousers".
         "I've got snot in my throat".

Come on! If you were one of these callers, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself.
Secondly; on 30 June 1997, the UK's 99-year lease of Hong Kong came to an end. At the time, all sorts of dire consequences were predicted.  So how are things nowadays on the property front in Hong Kong?

  1. Whilst there is concern over the escalating US-China trade war, Grade A office rents in Central on Hong Kong Island are, according to Knight Frank, currently HK$160 per sq ft per month making them the most expensive in the world.

  2. The office vacancy rate is just 1.6%.

  3. Despite its ongoing prosperity, Hong Kong has slipped from Number 2 in St Bride's Managers Annual World Cities Index (when launched nine years ago) to Number 7 now. This year Hong Kong has been overtaken by Tokyo - now ranked second - New York (3), Paris (4), Sydney (5) and Singapore (6). Notwithstanding all the current political hoo-ha, London remains Number 1, as it has been every year since 2011.

  4. The Hong Kong Sevens, which is regarded as the premier tournament in the Rugby World Series, will be moving to a new state-of-the-art, 50,000-seater stadium at Kai Tak on the site of the former airport. The overall scheme which will include a large hotel, a 10,000-seater indoor arena and a public sports ground is expected to cost around HK$32 billion (£3 billion). The scheduled completion date of 2022, however, looks likely to slip to 2024.

Thirdly; at 5 pm on 30 June 1859 and watched by a crowd of about twenty-five thousand, 34 year old Charles Blondin tightrope walked across Niagara Falls. For the fashionados amongst the readership, he was wearing pink tights. A third of the way across, he sat down, dangled a rope to the 'Maid of the Mist' tourist boat below and hauled up a bottle of wine. After appropriate refreshment, and passing the sagging half-way point, he broke into a run! He subsequently completed the feat about 300 times. He did it... backwards, with a hood over his head, without a balancing pole, pushing a wheel-barrow, somersaulting, back-flipping, with someone on his back, in shackles, with a table and chair and most outrageously, on one occasion, carrying a stove and utensils. He lit it and proceeded to cook himself an omelette! The Weekly wonders what today's Risk Management Brigade would have to say about all of this. Surely, one of their first questions would have been to ask Monsieur Blondin whether he was properly qualified to light a match!