Tributes to Bowring upon his retirement

Arthur Bowring (centre) among friends

Arthur Bowring finally retired from duty on a splendid night of celebration and accolades at the Renaissance Harbour View on 24 May.

Many of Hong Kong Maritime’s leading lights gathered at the hotel to wish Mr Bowring a happy retirement following a more than 20-year career with The Hong Kong Shipowners Association. After two decades as managing director of HKSOA, Mr Bowring spent an additional 18 months as senior consultant and advisor.

One of Mr Bowring’s outstanding achievements during his tenure was his contribution to the Fair Winds Charter in 2013, which eventually led to the mandatory use of low sulphur fuel while ships are at berth in Hong Kong, an event recalled by former Legco member, and under secretary for the environment in the HKSAR Government, Christine Loh, who said: “ It was the highest point in my policy life. We couldn’t have done what we did for Hong Kong without Arthur.”

Reflecting on Mr Bowring’s career, current HKSOA chairman, Jack Hsu said: “Apart from his tireless work for Hong Kong shipping and society, I think we also need to recognize on a much larger scale Arthur being the champion of our industry… it is through his love of our industry that he has made a huge difference across the entire spectrum of our industry on a global scale.”

Last week during the annual general meeting of the International Chamber of Shipping, ICS chairman Esben Poulsson said of Mr Bowring:

“His contribution to the Maritime Labour Convention has been tremendous. As far as I know we are the only industry sector that has a worldwide bill of rights. The effort that went into attaining that was monumental.”

“Arthur’s achievements in representing Hong Kong on the global stage and the recognition he has received from numerous titans of the shipping industry have been well documented and recounted,” noted Tim Huxley, director of Mandarin Shipping.

Responding to the outburst of admiration, Mr Bowring said: “It’s been a fascinating 20 years with some difficult and frustrating times and some major successes. But perhaps you need one to have the other.”

“What we have achieved, we’ve achieved together. I’d like to thank you all for the opportunity and privilege to be able to promote, protect and represent your interests. It’s been a real pleasure to work with the most active, dynamic and forward-thinking ship owners and ship managers in the business and the multitude of services that surround it,” he concluded.

Following the proceedings Mr Bowring revealed he had no plans to leave Hong Kong in the short term. It appears indeed that he might be a gun for hire.

The evening was sponsored by former HKSOA chairman and chairman of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport, Sabrina Chao.

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