More on Writing

Three weeks passed since my last blog, during which UK had elected another Prime Minister, while China held its 20th National People’s Congress to confirm and confer a third term on President on XI Jinping. In Hong Kong, the Observatory had a Typhoon Signal No. 8 hoisted the first time in 50 years in November which lasted some 17 hours, but which failed to affect the proceedings of an Investment Summit and attendance from overseas, including the USA.

The inertia was stronger than I had expected; or have I simply been lazier than I thought I was. As Hong Kong began to open up the borders and more visitors are coming in and as more people are flying out, the place does seem to be coming to life once again. The TV footages from the Rugby Sevens were tale telling. They brought memories from my last months in InvestHK when we were amongst the sponsors. I have also booked for the next Rotary International Convention scheduled to be held in Melbourne late May and early June in 2023, but have yet to plan for the next skiing trip. Meanwhile, people have been asking when we would start travelling again. It is true that we haven’t left Hong Kong since March 2020, or nearly three years, but we haven’t been idle all these months; and we don’t think we need to travel to prove that we are alive and well. On the contrary, I have been thinking that I should write more – more regularly and with discipline – while I can lest I might forget how the days and years have slipped through. Let me cite three recent cases to illustrate my point.

First, I have been holding the office of Secretary of my lodge – the Rotarian Lodge of Hong Kong – for 25 years. The Lodge was founded or consecrated in October 1990. I was first appointed Secretary in October 1994 and have held the office until last week, apart from three years in between. I believe I must have made enough mistakes all these years; and I am grateful that another member has agreed to take over. I might dwell on this in greater detail in my next memoir.

Second, Su took me to the Fintech Week earlier this week in the HKCEC. A few friends and ex-colleagues had set up stalls there so that we could get there free. I haven’t been to such events for some time. It so happened that at least two or three of Su’s friends had been encouraged, recruited or sponsored by InvestHK to participate. InvestHK staged an impressive stall at the show. As we walked past, someone called me by name and invited us to go in. It was an ex-colleague Karen Mak whom I hadn’t met for nearly 20 years. We had a great chat, as nostalgia set in. I then met another ex-colleague and a few new colleagues who had joined after my time. It was just like yesterday once more.

I can’t help asking of myself what I had done, or what had happened to me in the last 20 to 30 years. Maybe they were the wrong questions? But these questions had prompted me to put together and publish my first memoir; and I was very pleased that last night I gave a copy each to two of Su’s friends who came to Mei Foo for a drink after lunch, but who stayed till mid-night. Alan appeared to be very pleased with the book and was highly complimentary on the book cover. Clement was rather drunk by then, but seemed to be happy with the book too.

Third, David Hui. who lived in North York, Canada, had heard of my book in January 2021 and said he would pick up a copy when he visited Hong Kong later in the year. I said I could be writing a sequel by then and asked for his postal address. To cut the long story short, I got the address, sent him a copy in May 2021 by surface mail; he asked his brother in Hong Kong to pay me for the book and postal charges; and he received it in August 2021. On Monday, his wife Teresa texted Hong Kong that David passed away at home peacefully. I wouldn’t know how much of my book he had read; we would never know. He was such a good friend and a seasoned musician; I particularly like his sense of humour.

For these and other reasons, I owe it to myself to continue to write and write with more discipline, lest I forget.

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