지난 5월 22일 STX조선소에서 TRANSPETROL사의 S-1165/1179호선 명명식이 있었습니다.
황 성혁 사장의 부인 장화자씨가 Godmother를 하였습니다. 그날 Dinner에서 읽었던 Congratulatory Remarks 입니다. 옛날 Nigeria 에 배 팔러 다니던 시절의 이야기이며 한국의 전통적 가족 관계를 강조하고 싶었습니다.
Transpetrol Naming Ceremony.
Chairman Harry Rutten, Vice Chairman Jang Won-gap, President Chung Gwang-suk, Graceous sponsors, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
After witnessing the completion of beautiful ships and fine performance of god mothers, I am standing here, as a very touched and very proud husband of one of the god mothers Chang Hwaja.
As the family of first god mother and Mr Jang experienced, my family have been through the glorious as well as the disappointing days in Korean shipbuilding industry. People can easily say this magic achievement is obliged only to the toil and the sweat of hard working Korean men, but it is from misunderstanding. It has been achieved by the devoted and tolerating Korean wives.
I will tell you my story. It is my family’s as well as all our society’s story. In late 70s, when I was traveling more than 200 days away from home, Nigeria was the most frequent menu of my journey. I had to go there whenever they called, because, then, they were the greatest client for the baby shipyard in Korea, located far away from the centre of global industry. One day, about a week before Korea’s biggest family gathering, Full Moon Festival Day, TK Chung, then the head of Hyundai shipyard, called me to his office and handed me a telex message. I told him “I have seen it.” It was a request from Nigeria to have another meeting in London. “What should we do” he asked. “It is only a couple of weeks passed since I came back from Nigeria, and festival day is coming very near” I replied. “But we can not say “No” to them. Let us make a compromise. You will go there with your colleague and introduce him to the Nigerian Shipping Company, then you come back” he suggested. There is no other way but to accept. My wife was preparing food and ancestor worshipping process for the family gathering, because I am the eldest son of 5 brothers and a sister family. She was not very unfamiliar with the kind of situation and reluctantly accepted TK Chung’s compromise. I went out to London and started discussion with a desperate hope to leave my colleague in the meeting and come back home as soon as possible. When I explained my situation, the Nigerian boss expressed his understanding, but as soon as I left the seat, he stopped talking and waited for me to come back. What could I do. I had to stay and my colleague returned home. I broke my promise to my wife again. I was brought to Nigeria to stay about a week. When I came back to London, already 15 days after I left home, I found my wife’s letter waiting for me. I was almost chalked, as she has never written a letter while I was traveling. She said in her letter “I have prepared resignation letter for you and ready to send it to the chairman Chung, because I can not tolerate the way of management of this group anymore.” I managed to persuade her to stop it, after heavy sweating in anxiety.
When I told this story to a common friend of many of us, James Freeland, he simply said “Oh, what a cultural difference.” I asked “What do you mean.” He said “If she were European woman, you would receive the notice of divorce. Why should she bother to send a letter to the Chairman.” I was grateful to the genuine culture of Korea for keeping my home so healthy and happy through all those difficult days.
Dear gracious Chang Hwaja, I love you and appreciate everything you have done for the family and for this precious industry.
Thank you Harry for giving me a chance to say an appreciation to my dear wife. Thank you for all in this room and working in the shipyard and in owner’s office, to carry on this project so cooperative and satisfactory upto the end.
Thank you very much.