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    Civil Engineering
    25 years ago
    Civil Engineering Reunion on Dec 12, 2003


    Class Reunion of the Civil 1978

    Our Civil Engineering Class of 1978 celebrated the Silver Jubilee with a great reunion dinner at the new Graduate House, HKU on the evening of 12 December 2003. After a quarter of a century, 26 of the 70 civil graduates brought along their wives and children, making a family gathering of 46. We were extremely honoured to have Prof. Y K Cheung, our former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of Department, Mr. Peter KK Lee, the Head of Department, and Mr. Chan Yiu-hung, the mathematics lecturer as our Guests of the evening. Lui Ping Hon and Clement Siu had done a good job receiving the Guests. The group of 49 had a wonderful evening as you can see the cheerful faces in the pictures.

    We started with a good chat in the cocktail in the cozy Restaurant of Joseph in Graduate House where it was decorated with some fine paintings (reproduction). When some old faces turned up, we had first to figure out the names of the old buddies. Nicknames are easier to come to mind. Later came our beloved wives and children who also enjoyed the evening immensely.

    The whole class have almost turned into boys (all the 70 in civil were boys), rewinding the clock back 25 years. We were so excited to tell one another what had happened all these years and what others have become. We also said hello to our classmate Lewis Lee at Canada over the mobile. Everybody kept on talking, some quite ignoring the MC who tried hard to play the rundown. Each of us had "a thousand words" to tell. Everyone had a good recollection and interaction among the old buddies and teachers, wives and children.

    Many of us still remembered our laboratory work and experiments in Duncan Sloss and Ho Tung Workshop; mass lecture at the Science Building and the Lee Shu Fun Building in QM; and the toil (and nighmare) at the computer centre with the pack of wrongly placed punched cards. Those days, computers were not quite interactive. Most of us had the painful experience of having to queue for the computer clinic to get help in understanding the crytic error messages generated by the system. In today's term, they were just not user friendly. Luckily our classmate Dr. Pong Man-chi has turned our HKU Computer Centre much more friendly to use today. My kid never complains about the HKU computer centre. (Please see Dr. Pong's article http://www.alumni.hku.hk/class78/viewsouvenir.html#pong regarding his reflection in Beijing.)

    We must thank the DAAO, and Miss Janet Chung in particular who had arranged very attractive table prizes for the evening. Husbands and wives, boys and girls loved the gifts so much. My wife admired at the "castle". To thank our Professors, we had framed a little poem in a photo frame as a report card to our "teachers", reporting to them what we civils had done these 25 years after graduation, just as the Shaolin graduates in the movie returned to the Monastery in the Mount to report to their Kung Fu Masters what they have done all these years. The little rhyme is reproduced below.

    Particularly worth mentioning are those 8 classmates who brought the whole family along that evening. I would like to start with our God Child, MT Yeung's two daughters who are becoming the new "Twins' in a few years' time. KH Tao took good care of our accounts. The two little sons of Wong Pui-shun made friends with Wong Him-sun's little boy. Li Kam-por later dug up invaluable photos of 1978 for the souvenir programme this evening. Lee Tai Kwan's wife raised a good question on the paintings in the Restaurant, which led me to dig up the old picture album of the Louvre from Paris. The youngest of all, So Tat-keung's third son, a 5-year-old recited a Chinese poem for us, in Putonghua! The oldest boy that evening, my son took over the job of taking pictures for guests as you can see his work along with this article. Last but not least, I have to thank SY Chan who picked the date of 12/12/2003 so that most of our class could remember and came and had these memorable moments captured right here.

     
    Stephen and Florence Lam 林瑞麟 葉慕菲 (SocSc)

    Transformations at HKU

    During the three years at University of Hong Kong, I experienced two transformations which set the course for my career and the rest of my life.

    I read Science for my A-Levels. When I started to read Social Sciences, I discovered that this was a totally different academic discipline. In Economics, there were lots of formulae. But unlike Physics and Chemistry, the equations did not necessarily lead to precise answers. It took me some time to realize that in Social Sciences we were supposed to observe society and to assess what would be the right course to pursue for the community as a whole. Upon graduation, when I joined the Government as a policy administrator, the Social Sciences training provided me with the right frame of mind to approach issues such as transport, housing and other public affairs which have been my preoccupation for the last twenty-five years.

    During my university days, I also came to know the Lord Jesus through joining the Christian Association Fellowship. Knowing the Gospel was like scales falling from one's eyes, and thereafter I could see clearly that what we go through in the present life is transient, and that we all need the eternal salvation which Jesus brings to all those who are willing to accept Him as personal saviour. Florence and I shared this experience together during our first year. We never knew that the most important turning point in our life would occur during the days at HKU. Our life and family have been built on this most important foundation.

     

    Simon Fung 馮成章 (SocSc)

     

     

    「少年一別,重逢己是白頭人。昔日的一切如今已是美麗的回憶﹗

    紅磚外牆的學生會大樓、內媢邟n的食堂、雜亂得很的學苑大房、小得很的三蛇竇。。。。早已被時代的步伐吞噬了。不過大學生活的烙印還是脫不了的。

    1975年盛夏的學生會迎新營讓我認識到香港大學原來有一份學生報叫《學苑》。已再沒法記起是那位同學的提點﹕「到學苑幫幫手哪﹗」

    就是這樣的輕聲呼喚,讓我得以順利跨進新聞工作的大門。當時「大仙」們討論的馬列史毛,艱澀得很,要花上很大的力氣才能看得懂、聽得明。萬萬料想不到這卻成為了我認識中國的起步點。當天「認中關社」的活動,更為我日後加入新聞界提供了必須的基礎。

    究竟這是命運的安排,抑或是機緣巧合,這已不再重要。反證我已在這個行業打滾了快四分一個世紀了。離開大學之後,只曾在官場打滾過一年,接茷K加入了香港電台當新聞記者。自始便與新聞行業結下了不解之緣。先後在《東方日報》及《明報》工作。如今有幸還可在《明報》編輯部繼續幹活。

    有人說,相識了兒時的友誼最能經得起考驗。盼望可以藉茪策葵25周年同學聚會,再續前緣﹗

    附上近30年前的一幀sss迎新營的舊照,以及當年「三蛇」的競選宣言,讓大家一起懷舊一番。

    Eddy Lee 李偉才 (Science)

     

    A Colourful 25 Years

    Strange as it may seem, my 25 years after obtaining my BSc degree in physics from HKU have been quite colourful. I had been a school science teacher, assistant curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum, scientific officer (and later senior scientific officer) of the Royal Observatory, part-time teacher at the University of Sydney and (at the same time) a PhD student at the University of New South Wales. After living in Australia for four years and obtaining my doctoral degree, my homecoming brought me back not only to Hong Kong, but back to HKU as well. Joining the School of Professional and Continuing Education as an assistant professor, I first headed the research and development unit of the School, and was later appointed as the Director of Studies of SPACE Shanghai - a school in Shanghai set up jointly by HKU SPACE and the Fudan University.

    Throughout the years, I have published 18 books, one of which was selected as one of ten outstanding books for young people in 2000. I have conducted radio science programmes, given countless talks in schools and universities, written in newspapers and magazines, and was awarded the Outstanding Young Persons' Award back in 1985 for promoting the understanding and appreciation of science among the public in Hong Kong. Having served the executive committee for years, I became chairman of the Outstanding Young Persons' Association for the year 2002-2003. I was the "Famine Star" in the World Vision "Famine 30" charity functions for several years in a row.

    As a Class I meteorologist according to the World Meteorological Organisation classification, I was the first meteorologist to present weather programmes on television in Hong Kong on a regular basis. Meanwhile, my work at the Royal Observatory required that I became experts in weather satellite reception, meteorological telecommunications, seismology, time service, astronomy, geomagnetism, nuclear radiation monitoring as well as disaster preparedness and prevention respectively. Outside office hours, I was engaged in the launching of the first science fiction magazine in Hong Kong, and was one of the founders (and currently the vice-chairman) of the Hong Kong Science Fiction Club. Talk about lifelong learning and multiple careers, and I can see an exemplar (however unbelievably) each time I look into the mirror.

    Pictures to Share


    幾乎與菏花池齊名的 Chem Lawn(化學大樓前的草地), 巳經湮沒在歷史的洪流之中…


    在舊學生會大樓--即如今的圖書館--之前拍照留念。
    一九七七年底,出任由理學會主辦的「科學雙週」(Science Fortnight) 的籌委會主席,圖為在陸佑堂舉行開幕典禮時向校方及同學們致詞。



    三年大學生活其間,皆有積極參與社會服務團的活動。照片所見,乃與一班黃大仙的青年工友在大學菏花池合照。

    Union Festival 中參加辯論比賽,畢業的那一年,更出任隊長率領港大辯論隊與中文大學一決雌雄。


    在週年晚宴上,向嘉賓廖秀冬博士講解傑出青年協會的活動。
    以傑出青年協會主席的身份,主持2003年的週年大會。
    Ross Lai 賴嘉年 (Arts)

     

    天外有天,人外有人

    小時候,只知道讀書、讀書、讀書,其他的事,可以不想就不想。

    我唸的中學有"咪家天堂"之稱,於是我亦順理成章以不錯的成績考入香港大學。

    迎新期內,我首次接觸到來自其他中學的同學,感覺是他們年紀都比我大。言語談間,知道他們很多都是考過幾次入學試才成功擠身這最高學府。我對這種鍥而不捨的精神肅然起敬。

    港大校園是思想形態的戰場。學生會、系會、宿生會以至其他屬會的選舉,每每是各種政治派系之爭,各陣營旗幟鮮明,好不熱鬧。我開始看到了社會的縮影、感覺到社會的多元化。另一方面,相對於各師兄師姐的博聞雄辯,我自覺井蛙不如。

    為了補救我見識的不足,畢業後我選擇了一份可以容許我廣泛接觸各行各業的工作,就是當記者。當時香港各傳媒大多只聘請唸新聞傳理的學生,只有香港電台肯僱用我這個略懂莎士比亞但其餘一無所知的年青人,於是我就加入無冕皇帝的行列。

    從香港大學這小社會,進入香港這大社會,自然又是一大衝擊。在電台新聞部各前輩提攜引領下,我接觸不少大人物、小人物。雖然經歷與日俱增,但心態上越是自覺一無所知。

    於是,經過幾年記者生涯後,很自然的投入了公用事務行業。掌握了傳訊的基本技巧,就不難在各界之間打滾。如今我任職過九廣鐵路、九巴、中電這些公用事業機構,亦感受過香港期貨交易所的銅板味道和香港科技大學的學術氛圍。

    每次轉換一次工作環境,都給我帶來無盡喜悅和期盼。挑戰越多,生命就越是充實。我在港大的最大得著,就是認識到世界的廣大和自己的渺小。

    Eric Cheng 鄭成光 (Architecture)

    搭 棚 的 工 作


    我自小就對搭棚這項工作十分著迷。搭棚的工人往往能以極快的速度,似乎只是三兩下功夫,就把建築物的外牆包圍起來。建築業中負責其他工作的工人自此就可以在竹棚上自由上落,好不方便。

    直至我進了港大唸書,我發現原來大學正如一個廣闊無垠的竹棚,讓莘莘學子們更易與世界接軌。在大學裡的首三年生活,令我畢生受益。首先應該感謝建築學系的教授及老師們,他們精心編排了課程,教學態度認真嚴謹,甚至安排世界一流建築大師訪問港大和授課,並且展出他們的作品,均令我們的學術知識得以鞏固和提升。唸建築系的弟兄姊妹,大家都團結一心,使人莫大的歸屬感。在孜孜不倦地學習氛圍下,大家都勤奮向學,努力向著目標邁進。

    和現今大學相似,二十八年前香港大學裡的各個學系、學會都會定期或不定期地舉辦各式各樣的活動,這些活動的背後不但造就了不少領袖人物,而且還提供了機會給一些想嘗試新事物的同學。以我自己為例,因為我對許多新事物都有著無窮興趣,所以每年暑假均會參加學生會舉辦的或是屬會主辦的海外學習團,曾到過日本、韓國、美國等地的大學參觀訪問,獲益良多。

    另外,使我瞬間成長的就要算入住大學舍堂的機會。我之所以對舍堂這樣感恩,是因為我覺得大學舍堂的生活,的的確確豐富了我的人生,而且是終身難忘的美好經歷,我們一起走過了一段有快樂、有苦惱的青蔥歲月;一起經歷了年少的輕狂、憤怒,還有對生活對人生的熱切期望。在舍堂生活,不僅能結識不同學系的同學,擴大自己的圈子,更重要的是提供了一條渠道讓我們學習溝通的重要性。大學的舍堂生活其實就是一個微型社會的縮影,我們學懂了如何與各種性格的人溝通、合作及生活。

    畢業以後,我考獲測量師的專業資格,除了積極在專業領域中拓展我的事業外,更參與擴建大學校園工作,以求回饋母校。看著大學裡的各幢主要的學科大樓相繼完工入伙,心裡就感到非常欣慰與滿足。往後的日子,我參建了很多本港矚目的建築工程,包括匯豐總行大樓,又一城商場及國際金融中心等大型建築工程,我都是運用了在港大裡學習到的寶貴知識,才能順利地協助工程完成的。目前我在城大任職,繼續向我的學生教授建築的知識,但我會將港大賦於我一切銘記於心,更願將來可以繼續參與擴建港大這個廣闊的棚架,使更多的港大生能夠看得更高、望得更遠。

    Doreen Lee 李玉芳 (Arts)
    It is a delightful surprise that some of my classmates can still recall my name for I was major in 'cutting-class' back then! Living up to the motto "working hard and playing hard in HKU", I worked very hard to earn pocket money for the latest fashions (looking good has always been the number one enjoyable thing to me) and played very hard all the time. I was almost like a hermit - hiding away from the lecture rooms.

    I was not too upset when I discovered my certificate was accidentally thrown away by my brother's maid 20 years ago. Thanks to the few friends who had unreservedly supplied me with their life-saving notes, or I have no one else that could ever testify whether I had truly graduated with honours!

    Having made a confession about my past mischievousness, I must say HKU definitely gave me a solid foundation and a good start to my career as well as social life. The Arts Faculty helped nurture my power of association and develop a boundless, creative imagination - something I believe is essential to succeed in the world of commerce. And there I learned to enjoy life to the fullest.

    Charles Hing Lung Chan 陳慶龍 (Mechanical Engineering)

     

    Time to Remember

    It's been 25 years since we graduated. Yes, that's a long time! A quarter of a century! But yet those memories of our university days are so vivid in our minds!

    I don't know about you, but the 3 years in Mech Eng I consider the best time in my life. How can I forget all those good things: the shock when I first went into Hornell Hall (full size full frontal poster of a Japanese girl), learnt to play Tin Kau, dinner and night snacks in Water Street.

    And all those social gatherings: preparing invitation letters, picking them up from Star Ferry, preparing the food and drinks, drawing lots to determine who's going to be the "street sweepers" (remember Captain Lee chartering a mini bus?)

    The highlight has got to be Eng Nite '78, when M3 won the President's Cup; the roar of laughter when we sang our songs. I still wonder how come we were so creative then.

    From not knowing one another at our first lecture (if my memory serves me right, it should be Drawing in Peel Lab Drawing Office, Mr Sykes asking us to buy engineering scale, and "don't insult me by bring in a ruler"), we had became great friends when we graduated. And up to this day, we still treasure our friendships, enjoying every gathering we manage to organise, however rare and geographically diverse that may be.

    不經不覺畢業已經廿五年,足有四分一個世紀。但昔日的點滴,依然歷歷在目。

    在我來說,三年的 Mech Eng 生涯可算是我的黃金歲月。太多美好回憶了:猶記第一次踏入 Hornell Hall的驚訝(迎面一幅日本女優正面全身海報),其後的發揚國萃(打天九),水街宵夜 …

    還有 So Gat:砌邀請信,到天星碼頭接人,準備飲食,抽簽看誰做"清道伕"(還記得李隊長包 van仔嗎?)

    最難忘應該是78年的工程之夜了。我們M3嬴得會長杯,博得台下如雷的掌聲。原來我們當年是那麼具創意的!

    從第一堂互不相識(若無記錯,該是在 Peel Lab Drawing Office上繪圖課,Mr Sykes 叫我們買 Engineering Scale, 還說 "Don't insult me by bringing in a ruler")到三年後的沙煲兄弟。至今我們仍很珍惜我們的友誼,珍惜每一次難得的聚會。

    Wu Yin Ching 胡燕青 (Arts)

    夢想發芽的地方


    港大在多方面塑造了我。她給了我平生最好的師友,還有我今天的家庭。同時,母校也讓我學會了獨處,幫助我由一個小女孩變成一個成熟的女性。因此,我的女兒如今也選擇在港大讀書。我從事文學創作,母校的影響更是巨大。

    我從小喜歡文學創作,但寫作是寂寞的、奢侈的。寂寞,說的是寫作很少能夠帶來知音或回響;奢侈,說的是寫作無法幫助我們打好事業、經濟基礎,時間卻用去很多。奢侈會讓人產生"不務正業"的內疚,寂寞更會令人覺得沒趣而停筆。所以,香港許多初露頭角的"文藝青年"不是放棄了寫作,以學術研究的"大業"取而代之,就是把天賦的才華用在叫好又叫座的創作行業上。他們寧願去當廣告人,或去作曲、填詞、拍電影、搞出版,也不再從事文學創作。可是,我在港大遇上的良師益友卻一直推動我,令我不輟前行。我曾經短暫地做過廣告、編劇,但都沒有在尖端的商業社會或繽紛的傳媒世界安頓下來。現在下筆,我依舊寫新詩、散文和少兒故事。

    念中五的時候,我最愛讀《中國學生周報》,開始投稿。可是他們不久就停刊了。對我這剛剛開始投入文學創作的高中生來?,這多麼叫人傷心啊。幸好,我的同班同學忽然告訴我,他哥哥的補習老師和朋友辦了一個詩刊,名叫《詩風》。我把詩稿投去,他們竟然刊登了,還為那首詩開設了"中學生專欄",把我的詩刊出;接著的一期,一位作者更用上了幾千字來評論我的那一詩。我還記得同學在中五的教室堮陬菕m詩風》興奮地把這件事告訴我的那一幕。

    不久,我穿著校服來到了港大的利馬竇堂。原來,《詩風》的編輯全都是港大的研究生或畢業生,他們約我見面,表達對我的欣賞,還邀請我加入《詩風》的編委會。這對一個剛上中六的孩子來?,是多麼使人興奮的事呀!此事以後,雖然我的中文科老師不斷在全班同學面前攻擊新詩、又責備我寫作,我依然有勇氣和他抬槓,一直寫到今天。那是因為當年五位港大研究院的學長胡國賢(香港著名詩人"羈魂")、黃國彬(今嶺南大學翻譯系系主任)、陸健鴻(現居美國,詩寫得很好)、郭懿言(陸健鴻的太太)和譚福基(現任中學校長)對我無間的鼓勵和栽培。他們教我讀書,用心評價我的詩、讓我覺得備受重視。因此無論在學校塈@文拿什麼樣的爛分數、聽怎樣難聽的話,我仍能夠堅持寫、堅持發表、堅持澆灌自己的理想。
    到我從港大文學院畢業,我的詩集也寫好了;這些學長和許多中文系同學,還有部分教授、導師,竟然掏腰包資助我出版!我的第一本書,就是這樣印好了的。天知道我多麼感激他們。對一個年輕的寫作人來說,沒有第一本書,根本就不會有第二本,這很容易明白。從此以後,創作的路,我覺得自己已經走定了,充滿疑惑的心也漸漸安靜下來。我說港大給了我益友,確實如此,數十年來從未間斷,其中一位正是外子。

    開始工作,出版經費漸漸有了,可是自己生了小孩,也要上班,創作的氛圍畢竟變得稀薄了。到了這個階段,如果不是因為鍾玲教授定期的催迫和鼓勵,我也可能會中途停下。那時,鍾老師在港大教書。我跟一位小師妹去老師家聽她的小組課,聽得津津有味,當時同訪老師的,還有幾位港大的研究生、畢業生,我們定期聚會,讀彼此的作品。漸漸,一個創作、讀詩的群體組成了。我們常常在老師的家把酒論詩,動輒暢談到深夜。老師後來要回臺灣教學,我們還是欲罷不能。老師每次來港訪友,我們都會跑到她下榻的酒店繼續開詩會。這樣的聚會直到現在,還繼續舉行。真高興她又回到香港來工作了。這對我的創作生涯,真是太重要了!鍾老師不光是良師,更是我為人處世的一位師傅。一年多前我家媯o生了很不愉快的事,老師從臺灣打長途電話來安慰我,開解我一個多小時;我工作性質"轉型"了,未上任先給嚇個半死,老師又即時把手教導,助我度過難關。我說港大給我良師,此是一例。

    數年前回到中文系跟系主任單周堯老師吃午飯,他說了一句極有視野的話:"一個中文系怎能夠只培養學者,卻完全不栽培作家呢?"我聽了,心中那感激、感動之火至今不滅。我可能尚不能稱為"作家",可是,這話使我覺得自己即無成就,但一生的夢想已經受到了充分肯定。如今,我在另一所大學設計課程、籌辦詩會、設計活動以推廣寫作教學,難道不是受到母校的影響嗎?

    如果我在寫作上有機會得到任何榮譽的話,我希望我的母校--香港大學--也同來分享。我更希望港大主動投入資源,繼續栽培新一代的寫作人。

    Stephen Suen 孫漢明 (SocSc)

    金風玉露,人間無數

    「少年聽雨歌樓上,紅燭昏羅帳。」香港大學的玻璃之城利瑪竇宿舍是我少年時的歌樓。英式傳統的迎新活動,高桌晚餐、民歌音樂會、何東女子宿舍交流會,還有無數大大小小叫人春情勃發的舞會。青春擲地,鏗然有聲,歲月流金,逝者如斯。當年港大實行精英主義,在這個人生難得的平台上,我遇到無數氣質獨特、天資過人的同窗。當年我深信,假以時日,他們將會成為香港的驕傲。
    畢業後,唸經濟及管理的我,順理成章地進入商界,投身於競爭激烈、爭分奪秒的投資銀行界。赤子之心,碰到了滾滾紅塵,兩紅相遇,甜酸苦辣,乍暖還寒,又是一番光境。命運的安排,我更嚐到創業家必須面對生命刻骨銘心的痛苦。但昔日師友以身教的樂觀、勤奮、堅毅、勇氣、對生命及道德的尊重及承擔等等的港大承傳,成為我在驚濤駭浪的商海中的定海神針。我必須承認,商場上的成績,為我帶來了豐腴而複雜的物質及精神生活,但相比港大當年的流金歲月,總有一絲一點無以名之的缺憾,成為日後我對生命反思的伏線,正是「壯年聽雨客舟中,江闊雲低,斷雁叫西風。」
    人到中年百事哀,身體及週遭環境的變化,叫我對死亡及生命的價值不得不提出更深沉的反思。在這生命的迷陣中,港大再次成為我尋找道路、真理、生命的殿堂。兩年前報讀了港大佛學研究中心的碩士課程,二十五年後,荷花池畔,蟬鳥低鳴、披星戴月,感慨萬千。拿著那些跟宏觀經濟學同樣沉重的佛經,步入講堂,似水流年,一念三千。講堂上的經濟學家變成高僧,堂下的黃毛小子也白了少年頭。萬法唯心,一念之間,港大亦由歌樓變成僧盧。歲月如流,能不唏噓?人在港大,我是「如今聽雨僧盧下,鬢已星星也,悲歡離合總無情,一任階前點滴到天明。」

    Pong Man Chi 龐民治 (Civil Engineering)
    The University has provided vast varieties of opportunities for her students to explore. If not having studied at the University, I would
    not have worked at the Institute of Software, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and got the rare experience of the "early stage of
    socialism" in China in 1986-1989 as a Chinese born in Hong Kong.
    Looking back till now, the experiences in the University and in Beijing are most memorable.
       

    Tang Wai-Ming 鄧偉明 (Civil Engineering)
    Yip Hung-Wai 葉鴻偉
    (Civil Engineering)

    Chow Wing-Kwong 鄒永光 (Civil Engineering)

    Tang Wai-Ming (鄧偉明) and Yip Hung-Wai (葉鴻偉) by Zhujiang at Guangzhou (珠江橋畔) in July 1978

    Civil 1978
    Front row from left: Yip hung-Wai
    (葉鴻偉), Tang Wai-Ming (鄧偉明);
    Back row second from right Chow Wing-Kwong (鄒永光) at 陳家祠 Guangzhou in July 1978

     
    Lee Cheuk Yan 李卓人 (Civil Engineering)
    [獲明報允許刊載]

    明報 2004-02-15什麼人訪問什麼人 D04版

    <火紅年代系列之三>

    李卓人 阻住地球轉

    富商胡應湘一次提到反對普選時,說怕會選出像李卓人般的「黨棍」,反映李卓人為工人階級利益鬥爭堅定不移的形象,如何深入人心。

    早於 30 年前念大學時,他已受到學生運動薰陶,畢業時毅然決定放棄土木工程的專業,擔負起為工人爭取權益的責任。回顧過去 25 年參與工運的歷程,身兼立法會議員的職工盟秘書長李卓人深感「一生無悔」,他更慶幸自己多年來仍保持初出茅廬時的赤子之心,以前不滿的,現在一樣不滿;以前是憤怒青年,今日則變成憤怒中年。

    無產階級領袖小資產階級嗜好

    今日李卓人雖然已成為「無產階級」的領袖,但仍保留一些「小資產階級」的嗜好,愛聽古典音樂及潛水。

    李卓人 1959 年與家人從汕頭潮陽來港時已成破落戶,但他家族以前則屬地主階級;二三十年代時,他的叔父輩家塈馧]有網球場。雖然談不上富裕,他年少時家庭也屬小康之家,不愁衣食,母親更具大學學歷。

    雖然李卓人今日在推動社會改革方面走在前線,入大學前他仍是一個住在象牙塔內的少年,對社會毫無接觸。「我記得我中學時很貪玩,給人補習掙了一些錢,喜歡與同學去打保齡,去香港酒店飲 Lemon squash (檸檬雜飲) ,又去環境清靜的教會讀書,基本上同當時的社會脫節。」

    他 1975 年進入香港大學念土木工程系,開始受到學生運動的衝擊。當時,學運仍有兩條路線之爭,即分為標榜「認中」的國粹派及「關社」的社會派。

    艇戶事件影響投入社運棄本行

    入大學初期,他很少關心周圍的事物,大部分時間去遊玩,到大二那年,他正式成為聖約翰堂的宿生,並出任宿生會的文化秘書,負責推展關社活動。 1976 年他開始參與艇戶事件,稍後更與余仲賢 (「平機會風波」主角) 及馮可立 (前社區組織協會主任) 等活躍分子一齊搞活動。「當時我有去香港仔探望艇戶,怎知在途中不小心跌落水,成身濕透,本來去關心人,變成要被人照顧。那次落海飲艇戶水,可以說成為我積極參與社會運動的一次『洗禮』。」

    李卓人承認,當時積極參與關社活動多少也是受一些屬學運「社會派」同學的影響。雖然傾向關社,自己也對中國有感情,當時也喜歡唱《我的祖國》,但不是完全認同那一類。

    大學畢業時,李卓人已決定不做老本行。「我不想一生人對住那些工程,只想做關於人的工作;要有承擔,為窮人爭取,改變處境。」他也想不到,有關勞工權益的工作,一做便做了 25 年。如果他與當年的同學一樣,畢業後加入政府,現可晉升至首席工程師,再上一級便到助理署長。

    讀完土木工程又不做專業的土木工程師,卻從事另一種風馬牛不相及,且經常要與資本家及政府抗爭的職業,李卓人形容父母只有無可奈何地接受這事實,但內心非常不明白其中的原因,他們更懷疑是否與他曾患病有關。「有一次父母同我太太講,懷疑是因為我大學時患過肝炎,痊癒之後就變成這樣,其實兩者根本絕無關係。」

    父母再三勸喻轉行一口拒絕

    對於他選擇了一個風險高、經常要上街抗議的行業,他父母一直很擔心,原來他們已經先後三次勸喻他要小心,最好盡快轉行。「第一次是 1989 年,我被人拘留3 日,父母很擔心,勸我回來之後不要再做,但我一口拒絕。第二次是 1997 前,已移民美國的父母因曾吃過共產黨的虧,所以再勸我及早離開,老一輩很多有這種想法,認為無得同共產黨鬥。最近他們已降低標準,又再勸我不要罵董建華那麼多,講話不要那麼絕。」

    雖然身為香港數以萬計「無產階級」的代表,原來他始終不懂得唱普羅大眾喜歡的歌曲。「我中學已聽英文歌,到 1987 、 88 年時又開始愛上古典音樂,由於很少去卡拉 OK ,所以被街坊或工友邀請上台唱歌時,我總感到有些尷尬,通常只靠一首《友誼之光》過關。」

    李卓人坦言他的嗜好屬小資產階級的玩兒。原來他喜歡淺水浮潛,通常一年也會去兩次,以泰國布吉為多,間中會前往他最喜歡的加勒比海及夏威夷。除了淺水浮潛,他偶爾也會去帶氧氣筒潛水。

    不是不共渡時艱是防止趁火打劫

    李卓人經常要搜索枯腸,想辦法協助工人解困。他建議應實施工時限制,以騰出更多職位,例如數年前他曾成功爭取兩政府部門實施外判管理員每日只工作8 小時,騰出了 4000 個職位;另外,他又成功迫使政府規定,將外判工人的工資列為考慮標書的因素之一,使工資不致偏低。「這是幾年來我做議員覺得有些用的例子,亦是比較成功的例子。」

    在失業率高企、工資持續下調的困境下,職工盟要負起頂住資方將危機轉嫁給工人的責任,策略是要組織工人頂住這種危機。「我不信所有困難都是資方承受不了,他們未清楚探討有沒有其他解決方法,便將全部困難由工人承受,即使出現嚴重困難,也要同工人先傾掂雙方如何分擔。」

    「不是不與老闆共渡時艱,而是要防止他們趁火打劫;切勿在困難時特別壓低工資,但困難紓緩後,又不去改善,這些我們很反對。」

    李卓人慨嘆經常要扮演「阻住地球轉」的角色。「現在的問題是有人願打,有人卻願捱,所以我們要頂住這個趨勢,實在不容易,有人話我們阻頭阻勢,阻住地球轉,我們就是要阻住地球轉,若轉得太快,會『 fing 甩晒』!有時有人話李卓人搞事,如果我唔搞 ,根本無可能有得傾。」

    常讀《孫子兵法》深記 84 年慘敗教訓

    李卓人深知,資本家很可能一見到他便感到頭痛,特別是那些內部正面對問題的公司,「若在這時候見到我們在他們公司附近派傳單,便會非常敏感,立刻向員工逐個『照肺』。我們打這些仗並不容易,當他們提高警覺後,我們更難做事,要好像打仗,經常要讀《孫子兵法》」。

    畢業後的 10 年內,李卓人在勞工界默默耕耘,見報率並不算高,但 89 年六四事件令他「揚名海外」。6 月初當他以支聯會代表身分前往北京支援學生後,返港前突然被北京公安人員帶走,扣查了3 天才獲釋,頓時成為頭條新聞人物。自此,他與支聯會結下不解緣,多年來均出任常委,但一直無法再踏足內地。

    對於工運如何發展,李卓人認為,目前工運肯定是民主運動的一部分,在這過程中仍要繼續組織工人加入工會,以壯大工運。當工運壯大後,職工盟最後要考慮是否實行兩條腿走路,將工會及政黨分家,工人黨全力爭取議席,工會則主力搞勞工,但這將是很遙遠的事。

    李卓人期望,當工人手上有選票時,可以令政府政策更注意保障勞工利益,但世界上大多數政黨也不像以前一樣,傾向工人階級,工黨執政也會向中間移動。他解釋,香港工人有選票是指廣泛的選舉權,除了所有立法會議席外,更包括特首選舉。

    雖然多年來曾為工人成功爭取利益,他卻深刻記得 84 年一次慘敗的教訓。當時地鐵員工為長短更問題抗議,有 200多人參加罷工;資方最後發難,將全部 200多人解僱,然後限令他們寫悔過書才准復工,最終有 13 名不肯就範的工會領袖被裁。他形容這一仗是徹底的慘敗。

    談到看書,李卓人在大學時很少看政治書,但喜歡看一些與工運有關的書籍,如共產黨組織工人抗爭史等。近年,除了一些與經濟有關的書籍外,個人則特別喜歡看年代久遠的中外歷史小說,包括清朝的乾隆、康熙及曾國藩的小說,以及最少 1000 年以前的外國歷史小說。

     
    Lam Lak On Leon 林力安 (Arts)
    從教師到作家
    一九七八年夏天,我從港大中文系畢業。當年已經二十五歲的我,為了急於與拍拖三年的校外女友陳小姐結婚,匆忙就業。

    很幸運我找到了大坑道新法書院(現已拆卸)的教職,是教五班中六級的中文,每個上午要教授六、七堂課。那時還年輕,可以應付得來。

    那些學生的年紀祇比我少幾歲。很多年後我知道他們其中有幾個唸了博士,在台、港的大學任教了。所以不要看輕那些入不了港大或出身於私校的學生。

    一九七九年秋天我轉到一間津中,那是在黃大仙的孔教大成中學。

    一九八零年五月我與陳小姐結婚,從旺角老家搬至上環,每天乘隧巴上班。

    我在大成教了四年,最有成就感是最後一年,我教那班中五會考生有多人會考取得優良。

    自結婚後,我的體重急升,當時不知已患了糖尿病,只覺眼疲勞,不耐勞,沒有寫詩了。

    一九八三年九月我轉至屯門一間教會中學(內定升為科主任)。我亦搬至屯門,太太仍在荃灣上班。八一年三月我已升為人父,育有一女,由外母照顧。

    在屯門那間中學四年,是我一生中最痛苦的時期。學校分為新舊兩派,我屬新派(校監系統),而舊派(舊校監、校長)人數佔多數,因此我們幾個新派的人處處受壓,孤立無援,聞校園而心驚。

    卒之四年後壯士斷臂,放棄升了級的位置,做了游走四方的代課老師。後因工作量過重,學生難教,健康不佳,終於在一九九三年離開教育界,結束了十五年不堪回首的教師生涯。

    我重拾年輕時的興趣 - 寫作。我不是那些天天寫專欄的作家,而是看書的興趣最大,有發現、有衝動才下筆的那種作家。

    從九十年代至二零零三年,我出版了七本書,有新詩、散文、新文學史料、人物簡介等。我最滿意的書是九四年出版的「林力安文錄」和二零零三年出版的「林力安卷」。

    我參加了「香港作家聯會」和「香港作家協會」已十年,前者較多活動。

    這十年作家生活很有成就感,眼看自已的著作在各大書局和圖書館佔有一席位。在中港的文學圈有一定的知名度,而且女兒已長大,去年自中大社工系畢業,現為社工;兒子也於今年進入悉尼大學。

    今年五十的我正在享受人生黃金般的季節 - 秋天。

    二零零四年二月廿六日

     
    Cecilia Lai Wan Chan 陳麗雲 (Social Sciences)
    From Student Movement to Social Activism

    Cecilia Lai Wan Chan, Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, as well as Director, Centre on Behavioral Health. (Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, January 1999 - January 2002)

    Studying Social Sciences (1975-1978):
    1. Professor Peter Hodge criticized us (HK students) for being too compliant and submissive in the first lecture of Introduction to Social Work. I learnt to be critical.
    2. Professor Nelson Chow guided us on policy analysis and come up with feasible alternatives while we were working on the Street Sleepers' Project, when he was working on his Ph.D. thesis.
    3. Dr. Joe Leung coached us into the circle of social action and taught us Rules for the Radicals. His party song was "The Impossible Dream".
    4. Mrs. Kathy Young gave us examples of how family relationships did not work out, and ways to correct them. She had so many touching stories to tell in her casework lectures.
    5. Professor S.L. Wong taught us social problems and how to ask appropriate questions for the understanding of Chinese communities, crime, family, and culture.
    6. Professor Edward Chan in his Introduction to Economics helped us understand the relationship between economic and social development. Economic or fiscal growth without increase in jobs is not be in the best interest of society.

    Undergraduate Days in HKU: A Taste of being an Agent for Social Change
    1. University is the training ground for future leaders with a passion: Visits to victims of government evacuation of squatter huts during student orientation camp, learn about Mao and Marx in study groups, cultivated a sense of patriotism during the time of the Cultural Revolution in China.
    2. HKU students as agents of social conscience: Being Chairperson of the Street Sleepers Project, we had 250 school mates from various faculties and halls participated in the survey of street sleepers during a deadly cold Chinese New Year. The Report and subsequent lobbying resulted in changes in the social security system, health service delivery and public housing eligibility for single and homeless older adults. We could make a difference.
    3. Age of Social Change: Cagemen Project of Tsuen Wan, changed housing policy to make rehousing for displaced residents in private accommodation possible. Children drown in Yaumatei boat squatters leading to advocacy projects and campaigns that subsequently changes of housing policy. Participation in the Tai Hang Tung Community Health Project helped us in becoming bare foot doctors to promote grassroots participation for public health in the community.

    Student Activities and the Campus: Abundance Opportunities
    1. Lily Pond with songs and study groups. (Now most of the Lily Pond is gone, yet there is a Sun Yet San Status.)
    2. Library open everyday and close at 11:00p.m. (Library opening hours are shorter now compared to our good old days.)
    3. Knowles 751, Social Work Society Room where overnight work was possible.
    4. Discussion groups and chit-chats in the only student canteen, the Student Union Canteen (now part of the Library and the Extension Building).
    5. AIESEC international exchange to Thailand, I learn about poverty and affluence. (First time living away from home for three months. Now there are much more opportunities of international exchange for undergraduate students.)
    6. Study Tour to India, Nepal and Bangladesh, the enmeshed relationship between politics, administration and livelihood of the people. The multi-ethnic and multi-language groups in this region reminded me of the important contribution of the First Emperor of Chung who unified the written language and measurements.
    7. Tours into China and the Big Character Posters in the Student Union Building before and after the Cultural Revolution, I was perplexed by the sudden changes in political propaganda.
    8. Fun time in mass dance, debates, canteen, library, Lily Pond…

    In 25 Years of Social Activism: with joy and enthusiasm
    1. Served the Mount Davis squatter area in Kennedy Town for six years, I contributed to the formation of a Joint Council on Squatter Policies, and developed models of community development in Chinese communities. Took on as Chairperson of the Kennedy Town and Mount Davis Area Committee. We promoted environmental concern groups and changed housing policies without confrontation. Cooperation and collaboration with officials are possible.
    2. Formed the Kennedy Town and Mount Davis Environmental Concern Group and moved incinerators, poultry laans, wholesale markets to make room for parks and public facilities. Encouraged local leaders to participate in District elections and we had good successes.
    3. From geographical communities to functional communities: With the development of political parties and district elections, I moved to focus on those who cannot advocate for themselves. They are the individuals who suffer in silence and in pain: persons with chronic illness or cancer, children on welfare, new arrivals, children whose parents are mentally ill or in prison, victims of domestic violence and bereaved families.
    4. From policy change to individual empowerment: With a comprehensive social safety net and infrastructure, I began to work towards individual empowerment for a peace of mind. Promoting resilience and inner strength in handling adversities become the focus of my social activism.

    Personal Growth and Fulfillment
    I am most grateful to my teachers, classmates, workmates and peers for making this path of humanity possible. All of my clients are my teachers for life. Their sharing of their personal stories and pain had given me strength in the battle-field for justice, social equity and peace of mind. Stories of dying patients, rape victims, cancer survivors, persons with disabilities reminded us how privileged we are, of being able to serve instead of being served.

    The Social Science Faculty Today
    Teaching in Faculty of Social Sciences has changed from mainly Undergraduate focused into a very strong Post-Graduate programme. Now, we have Master Programmes in criminology, behavioral Health, counseling, public administration, politics and international relations, social work, mental health, gerontology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, media studies and journalism, Buddhism, family and marital therapy, housing … These master programmes provide basic training to professionals as well as contribute to continuous education of administrators and managers.
    Structurally, we become more dynamic. Economics, Business and Statistics moved out of the Faculty. Social Sciences Faculty remains the most innovative, creative faculty with bright and intellectually superior students. There are new research centres in the areas of: Media Studies and Journalism, Buddhist Studies, Behavioral health, Criminology, Aging, Civil Society, Suicide Research and Prevention, Social Science Research, Family Institute, Global Economy and International Studies, Anthropology etc. These research centres provide solutions to urban problems, local and global.

    Visioning into the Future: Social scientists will continue to contribute on
    1. Enhancing social cohesion and reducing social alienation.
    2. Balance between an effective social safety net without hampering incentive to work among the population.
    3. Fostering social and familial support while containing community and relational dis-integration.
    4. Make life interesting and contain social problems of suicide, gambling, depression, crime etc.
    5. Altering the pathological perspective of problem solving into a strength-focused intervention for prevention and structural change.

     
    Winnie So 蘇詠翹 (Arts)

    I did not graduate in 1978. Due to some misfortune, I had to defer for one year. But I would like to be considered as the class of 78 because I grew up with people of this class.

    I have to say that HKU has shaped the path of my life. I became a Christian 4 months after I entered HKU. Influenced by the brothers and sisters in the fellowship, I gradually chose to be a secondary school teacher as my career. This career gave me great satisfaction and also opened the door for me to emigrate to Sydney in 1992. I met some good people from the HKUAA New South Wales Chapter there. Sydney will probably be the place of my retirement. I am now working as secretary in the School of Business. If God permits, I wish to stay in HKU for the rest of my working life.

    Below is a little poem I wrote recently:

    Back to HKU

    After all these years of wandering
    I stood gazing at the lilies
    in the pond
    and the same feeling aroused
    as Dr. Sun Yat Sen did in 1912
    of coming back to HKU ---
    A sense of homecoming.

    In the library, new to me
    I searched for old books
    written by Fowles and Larkin
    They were my former friends
    I got to know them
    in my undergraduate days
    And now I read them again
    in another light
    Refreshed by my various experiences
    they were not the same any more.

    Familiar girlhood and boyhood laughter
    you come across
    in corridor and escalator
    But of different generations
    still linger on
    in the University of Hong Kong.

     
    Ng Wai Ngan Helen 吳慧顏 (MBBS)
    遊子歸家

    有時覺得自己可算是非常幸福的人,不為什麼,只是因為大半生在念書和深造期間與美、中、英、德各國多所大學都很有「緣份」,多年來跟海內外好幾位老教授還保持著師生的聯系是我十分珍惜的。然而在諸所各學府中,香港大學在我心中還是佔著最特殊的地位,踓然屈指算來,我在外國生活的年數竟然比我在香港渡過的歲月要長了。

    一九九七年我曾回到美國母校Wellesley College 參加畢業廿五週年慶典,並重遊MIT,漫步麻省劍橋查理士河畔,可說是再訪校園想當年吧!去年年底特回港參加我醫學院78班廿五年班慶,今年初得楊紫芝教授帶遊醫學院新校園時,不禁覺得與孫中山先生的一句「我有如遊子歸家」(見《港大畢業生議會通訊》(Convocation Newsletter) 二零零三年秋季一期 )深有共鳴。中山先生一九二三年重訪港大時的講話,說「香港與港大是我知識的誕生地」,值得我們三讀而為香港自豪、為中國深思。

    我不若中山先生「棄醫從政(革命)」也不若魯迅「棄醫從文」,可算是「既醫兼文」吧。廿多年來兒科專業工作令我體會小兒教育對民族前途的重要性。另在國外鑽研中醫學和贊助中國文化活動之時,都在這些領域中感到如「遊子歸家」。

    二零零四年寫於德國

     
    Lau Siu Lung 劉小龍 (Architecture)
    The Road Not Taken

    When the Silver Jubilee Organizing Committee asked if I could write an article about my career and life experiences since graduation, my mind traveled back in time to spring 1980 when I received my US immigration visa in the mail. At that time, my wife and I were both working in HK and were at the start of our careers. After thinking it through, we decided to immigrate to the US. It was not an easy decision as it meant leaving what we had accomplished behind and striking out on our own in an unfamiliar country.

    In April 1980, we landed in San Francisco. After settling down, I started looking for a job. In late April, I interviewed with JBA, a construction management firm located in the picturesque Marina District in San Francisco. After more than an hour's Q&A on various technical topics, I got the job. Thanks to my Alma Mater for giving me a good knowledge base.

    JBA specialized in CPM scheduling and construction claims. A CPM schedule is a graphic presentation of a contractor's battle plan. How well it is thought out and executed directly impacts the bottom-line. US contractors take scheduling seriously. In the early 80's, schedules were processed with mainframe computers. At JBA, I learned how to apply scheduling as a planning tool as well as a claims tool.

    Claims analysis is an interesting game. Its first phase is like the bloodless version of a crime scene investigation - sieving through volumes of documents, conducting interviews, piecing evidence together, and establishing cause-effect-responsibility. Its second phase involves devising defense and offense strategies, and engaging in negotiations, legal maneuvers and court proceedings. Of the different types of claims, delay-and-disruption claims are the most "lethal". They carry huge price tags, yet are difficult to prove and defend, especially in pinpointing the elusive "as-built critical path" and quantifying inefficiencies. Coincidentally, the subject matter of my HKU graduation dissertation was construction claims. At JBA, I turned theory into practice.

    In spring 1984, I left JBA to join J&A, another construction management (CM) firm in downtown San Francisco. J&A's services covered the full spectrum of the CM business, including pre-construction services, program and project management, construction management, and post-construction services. I focused on the core of the business -- onsite construction management.

    In the US, the term "construction management" means more than just the traditional management of construction by a contractor. It also means an independent profession, abbreviated to "CM", which specializes in managing and delivering projects on behalf of project owners. Practitioners are primarily licensed engineers, architects or contractors with technical and contracting expertise. CM emerged in the 60's when developers began hiring construction managers to manage overlapped design-construction and multiple prime contracts. In the 70's, the US Government adopted CM in public works. Since then, CM has become the mainstream for government entities charged with capital improvement projects. They find the other benefits of CM equally attractive: adding technical and contracting expertise without expanding their permanent staff, transparency and accountability, insulation against blames and claims, and avoidance of conflict of interest.

    From 1984 through 1995, I stayed on consecutive CM field assignments covering different types of projects up and down California - two wastewater treatment plants; 10 miles of pipelines; a medium security jail complex; a community center and theater; a conference center; and a 120 acre project comprising a solid waste processing center, a city corporation complex for 8 city departments, and periphery roads.

    I started out as a field engineer and learned the trade from ground up. By mid-1985, I was given a free hand to run a pipeline project. In 1987, I became responsible for the make-or-break of a jail project. Between 1990 and 1995, projects I headed were primarily those won by submitting bids and leading team-members to compete in presentations. I enjoyed my projects, as each was unique - different location, different design, different construction methods, new teams and new friends. Bringing out a team's full potential, overcoming unexpected site and design problems, and steadily steering a project on the right course were challenges I dealt with on a daily basis. I felt great satisfaction when my projects were completed within time and budget and my clients and the public started using the facilities.

    Fifteen years passed by in a blink. Our family had established roots in our adopted country. Our children became teenagers. Life settled into a routine pattern. Just as I began to muse over the direction that our family was heading, an unexpected call from Taiwan in March 1995 took us on a new course.

    The caller was the project manager of a German general contractor constructing a US$800 million subway project in Taipei. He had been looking for a bilingual engineer conversant with US construction practices and techniques to head an architectural team managing 4 subway stations. He offered me an overseas assignment. In mid 1995, I started working in Taipei. My family joined me two months later. We stayed in Taiwan until mid 1999, shortly after the start of the subway line's revenue service.

    In those four years, I gained new perspectives at many fronts. Career-wise, it was a switch to the high-pressure high-risk side of the business, and a leap onto the league of mega-projects. The challenges were immense and the odds were high: a staff of 200 technical and administrative professionals assembled from 28 countries under three payroll systems; 2,000+ construction workers recruited from Thailand and the Philippines; countless suppliers, subcontractors and direct-hire locals; mafia influences; a joint venture Taiwanese partner in serious financial distress; language barriers and cultural differences (e.g. German perfectionism versus the locals' take-it-easy mindset); public relations with neighborhood residents; complicated regulations and procedures, etc. What is the best and fail-safe way to manage a mega-project like this? It was a question that fascinated me from the first day. I observed the way the project was managed, our strengths and weaknesses, our mistakes, the consequences and the price we paid, and I learned the dos and don'ts.

    What I value most though, are the experiences and insight I acquired in interacting with government officers, subcontractors and coworkers. Prior to going to Taiwan, I had thought the business culture in Taiwan would be similar to that in HK. It turned out to be quite different, and was closer to that described in stories from the old days when Guanxi was more important than the contract. It was an eye-opener.

    It was also during those four years that Taiwan went through rapid political changes that had far-reaching impacts on the society: constitutional amendments, the emergence of the DPP, the first public presidential election in 1996, and the 1999 Taipei mayoral election. These changes were paralleled by other socio-economic developments: a switch from traditional industries to IT manufacturing, rapid westernization, the expansion of Tzu-chi (a charity organization) into the global scene, and rampant scams involving millions of dollars and countless victims, etc. These events prompted me to think about the plight of the Chinese people, in the past, the present, and the future.

    Our family made many new friends. We traveled extensively within Taiwan, enjoyed its natural beauty, its cuisine, tea, art and culture, and the hospitality of its people, especially those in remote parts of the island. Our children benefited a great deal during those 4 years. They were enrolled at an international school that stressed balance between academia, extracurricular activities and character development. They had the opportunity to mix with students from different parts of the world. They also experienced different aspects of the Chinese culture and began to appreciate it.

    At the end of June 1999, we moved back to California. Soon I joined a US company to work on the US$16 billion Korea High Speed Rail Project. In August 1999, my family moved to Seoul, except my son who was in college in the US.

    I was one of the foreign advisors helping our client to manage the project. My main role was to provide construction management oversight for passenger stations. I spent my first year providing feasibility, constructibility and interface analyses, as well as technology transfers. Then I moved to the largest station site and became part of the client's management team and covered all aspects of the US$160 million station construction. It was interesting to observe the wide variety of materials and construction methods that Koreans adopted from different parts of the world. It was even more interesting to see Koreans' military management style, emphasizing on obedience and efficiency. I believe it has a lot to do with their society's hierarchal structure, which is rooted in Confucianism.

    Korean society is far more Confucianist than HK, Singapore and Taiwan, the three Chinese societies with which I am familiar. Subordinates still bow to their superiors when superiors enter the office. Grown-up children still stand to the side when their father enters a room. Conformity, loyalty and hardworking remain the key virtues valued by society, and contributed to the economic miracle that Korea accomplished in the short span of 50 years. Their achievement became more respectable after I learned of the economic plunders that Korea suffered during 36 years of Japanese occupation (1910 through 1945). Koreans are proud of their ethnic homogeneity, and feel more at ease in group-activities involving their own kind than with foreigners. While the use of English is gaining popularity in business settings, it is difficult to find English-speaking service providers in restaurants, cinemas and shopping malls. Language barrier remains an inconvenience in expatriates' daily lives.

    Nonetheless, as foreigners, my family found Seoul a highly livable city. In general, Koreans are very friendly, courteous and hospital towards foreigners. We could get around easily in this city of 12 million people. We were fond of visiting Korean ancient palaces and Buddhist temples, as well as its ever-expanding collection of modern shopping malls and skyscrapers. Personally I found certain aspects of the Korean culture, such as Korean cuisine, costume, folk dance, furniture, etc. very interesting as they had distinctly Korean origins. Shopping in Seoul is a unique and pleasurable experience. The entire city is like a gigantic shopping mall, with a few areas specializing in merchandise that cater to foreigners' tastes. My family had an enjoyable time during my first assignment in Korea, which lasted till December 2001.

    In February 2002, I went to Brazil as part of a project rescue team. It was a US$170 million hydro-electricity project, located in Mato Grosso State, the savanna region in Brazil's southwest. The project owner, a US power company, asked my employer to take over when the Brazilian general contractor defaulted. My responsibility was to finish the incomplete earthwork, which included 7 km of canals, two intake structures, a lateral spillway, a stilling basis, river closure, and extensive erosion repair. Earthwork must be completed in order to introduce water to start the turbines. With two superintendents and a deputy engineer, we planned, improvised and executed the work. When manpower peaked, we had 900+ workers working up and down the slopes of the canals, and had more than 25 pieces of earthwork machines moving all over the site.

    It was a single status assignment as security was a major concern. This remote region was notorious for highway robberies, kidnaps and frequent road-blockades by native Indians. Our jobsite and camp were completely fenced off and patrolled by arms-bearing security guards. Phone and Internet availabilities were very limited. I call those few months "A Tale of Four Cities" (but with good endings) as my family was living in four different parts of the world.

    But the temporary hardship was worth it, in exchange for a taste of the natural beauty of Brazil, and the spirit of its people. Our team commuted every day through agricultural fields and cattle ranges that stretched endlessly into the horizon. Often we saw emus in the fields. Sunrises and sunsets were spectacular. The last 10 km of our route snaked through a forest, where we saw several trees full of green parrots every morning. The jobsite was at the edge of Pantanal, the largest wetland in the world (twice the size of Colorado) and the habitat for countless species of living creatures. At the jobsite, sightings of toucans, macaws, and armadillos were common. We captured tarantulas, scorpions, and snakes, including an anaconda 14 feet long. My friends and I made several boat-excursions into the heart of Pantanal. I was mesmerized by its biodiversity: alligators sunbathing on the banks; colorful tropical fishes swimming in the river; capivaras diving and disappearing; eagles and vultures soaring in the sky; flocks of white herons resting on trees; king-fishers, giant cranes and many other types of birds dashing over the river; glimpses of the elusive tapirs; a giant ant-eater carrying its baby on its back crossing a trail gracefully; and four savanna wolves watching us from a distance. The rivers are infested with piranhas up to 10 inches long. We caught 16 in one trip and tasted deep-fried piranhas. We even swam in the rapid part of the river, betting on who would get bitten by piranhas first.

    Brazilians in this region may be poor, but poverty can't hold back their spirit and passion. Their favorite hand sign is the thumbs-up. They love to share. When they caught big fishes, they threw parties and invited a few of us along to get drunk. During the 2002 World Cup football series, most of the administration staff of 60 skipped work to watch the games on TV in a room designed to hold 20 people. When Brazil won the championship game, the whole room went crazy. During Brazil's annual carnival, we visited the town closest to our jobsite. Almost the entire town of 120,000 people came out to celebrate. Men and women, old and young all joined in singing and dancing their samba and mamba in the hot humid evenings. Their passion was electrifying, contagious and intoxicating.

    At the end of my Brazil assignment, I spent 5 days in the Amazon jungle, which offers a different biodiversity from Pantanal. I climbed a 120 feet tall tower to the top of the jungle to watch sunrises and the unveiling of the forest, the majestic flights of several species of Macaws (rainbow color large parrots close to 3 feet long), the lovely acrobats of families of spider monkeys, and many other types of parrots and birds that only stay at the top of the rain forest. I walked amongst hundreds of butterflies of different colors at a sandy beach. One evening I hired a boat and two guides to go into the river and captured two alligators, with one about 4 feet long. I also spent 4 days in the stunningly beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, relaxing on Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Beach. Brazil is a place that one can't forget.

    In October 2002, my wife and I moved back to Seoul on my second assignment in Korea - the US$3 billion rail link between Incheon Airport and downtown Seoul. The client is a private-public BOT consortium. My role is to provide interface management between different work-disciplines. The new assignment is quite demanding, and I enjoy the challenges. On weekends and holidays, my wife and I explore new places, meet new friends, and develop new hobbies. What lies ahead of us? Que Sera, Sera.

    In Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", my wife and I find an echo:

    "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both,
    And be one traveler, long I stood,
    And looked down one as far as I could,
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair, ….. ".

    (This article is dedicated to my wife Winifred, my son Frank, and my daughter Michelle.)

     

    CHOY Cheuk Mun 蔡焯敏 (Arts)


    雙緣人道鄉情


    香港大學的日子, 在如煙如夢如歌如戰鼓間, 便走了二十五年. 回首前塵擠身往陸佑堂的山坡若朝聖的新鮮人隊伍中, 頭上真的有個光環, 在耀目的太陽下跳躍, 飛翔,探問, 期待. 如今, 移居美國的人海江湖, 也是二十五年的時光, 斷續相間或艱苦或安逸的人生旅程. 這裡的晴空下, 我撐著一葉扁舟, 回記往日凌散片斷的波光韻律.

    二十五年的時光是一片廣大而看不到彼岸的時空. 中國就在這段的日子由一個貧窮歌頌人力木頭車的鄉土年代, 重點建造處處的現代化城市, 吐氣揚眉的在國際上抬起頭來. 香港也在這段時光在人才外流回歸回流的境說, 跨越種種困局成為世界上一個屹立不倒的超級大城市. 我的眼目在身居紐約後, 集中在一個白人主義唯我獨專的社會輾化成為一個多元文化模式的首席大都會, 而後來我又遷到美國的古都費城, 活在新舊交替, 舊多於新的保守氣候中. 我是以悲喜交集的心情活在中美的兩大時代, 起勁的吸收美國的積極樂觀及高度透視的文化,骨子裡又深深護植自己的中國根, 中國情.

    我就是在這兩種的文化衝突中渡過了二十五年. 猶記,一次在紐約的地鐵捧著港大友好的來信, 嚎哭得再不顧慮鄰座的目光. 直到今天, 我偶爾還會提起自己在昔日港大校園愛國家愛民族的星點豪情. 我在美的主流文化的狹縫裡, 徘徊在唐人街一所公立中學, 目睹一群自命教育家,借標榜雙語教育卻不顧學生吸毒入黨的處境, 只求偷生糊口. 後來我踏進哥倫比亞大學的教育學院的雙語系中, 雖在西班牙裔的教授的莫大勢力下, 幸得到一位來自台灣的中國教授提攜. 猶記在香港自小認知學好英文這件大事, 卻是在海外的教育理論確認讀好母語的重要性, 我欣然珍愛有五千年歷史, 仍唯一流存的中國文字.

    繞旋在文化衝突的十字路口, 我仍是要作出選擇, 我修了應用語言學的博士課程, 並在不同的大學教英語, 生活在新移民學生及國際學生的多元化經驗圈子, 我是在美國文化得到不少的薰陶. 最偉大的變化是我肯定了人權的種種價值. 記得往日在港會見移民局, 那高高在上超然的氣派, 頓然感到自己纖微無力. 居住在美的日子, 感到甚麼事情都可以和不同的機關部門, 不同的人平等的交談. 其次, 我極之欣賞西方的研究精神; 那種的創意, 問題上剝繭抽絲的態度和對學問的真誠和不恥下問的精神, 令我這個歷盡考試滄桑的戰客深受動感. 猶記我的一個語言系教授 Lois Bloom 蹲下來記錄女兒學前五年的語言發展, 開創了第一語言的發展理論. 我認識多種研究方法, 最深受 ethnographic research的影響, 將自己處於旁觀者的位置, 仔細記錄身邊如流水的資料, 然後將資料攤開,用各種的分析層層深入找新的據點領域. 這是一種深入民間深入民心深入民性的研究方法, 我發現身邊盡是數不清的無名英雄.

    九十年代以後的美國, 不得不進入多元文化的現實, 四週的空氣清新迷人起來. 我感覺自己的血緣和中國根的價值被肯定, 一掃自己飄泊於異地成為異鄉人之苦. 儘管不是堂堂的大門, 這裡有不可勝數的窗軒, 可以一窺中國的文化. 我讀高中的女兒會走來查問阿Q正傳的阿Q精神是甚麼, 及我對蔣介石的評論如何. 偶爾, 我們會到華盛頓的 Freer Gallery 和 Sackler Museum看豸j的中華文物展. 在我教書的社區大學, 儘管是英文系仍可以人民科學的名義研究中國歷代的文學. 生活在美, 沒有香港的繁華及剌激, 沒有走出港大扶搖直上的青雲路, 我默默的奔走自己的路, 卻是一片自由舒閒的天空, 讓我在心靈的草原上奔馳, 呼喚, 探奇, 享受. 我寫詩並結交了一群詩友, 又在帆布架上應用中國畫的技巧繪畫山水花叢.

    我多年來感到自己是一個邊緣人. 最近重讀沈從文的邊城, 處處細緻的描繪苗人的正直, 誠實, 平凡而又極優美 , 在民國的時代已正面地肯定少數民族的豐富社會文化. 中國人在美亦有一系列動人的故事及獨特的貢獻. 我又想起劉再復和劉劍梅在共悟人間談到故鄉的定義是 "我走到那裡, 那裡就是故鄉" 這個想法, 再一次反醒自己的境況, 不經意的已由一個邊緣人輾轉變了一個雙緣人. 我覺得在標榜二十一世紀國際化的紀元, "邊緣" 的意義並不怎樣重要了, 我較喜歡 "雙緣", 這個名詞的意思是對中西的文化有雙重的緣份. 這樣說來, 無論在美在香港, 只要對中美文化保持興趣, 都可以遇上雙緣人或多緣人, 道道鄉情. 說著, 說著, 我的扁舟又在動了.

    我泛著一葉蘭舟
    靜處的停泊水岸
    看遠方咫尺天際的雲瀑
    雕畫木舟的圖紋
    揚起風帆, 一串清寧的芝蘭
    花瓣的通明 , 飄向沒有邊赤獄漡
    載動我的彩虹, 信念, 驚訝
    一路上聽水波的鏗鏘舞步


    Patrick Li 李頌基 (Medicine)
    Year Reunion in 1988 Class Photo in 1974
    Group travel to Philipines after final examination in 1978 Silver Jubilee Reunion in December 2003
    Senior clerkship group photo during Year 4 Physiology tutorial group during Year 1


    How the Practice of Medicine has Changed over the Past 25 Years


    Medicine is one of the most rapidly evolving professional fields. Many of the technological advances over the past 25 years have made profound impact on how medical services are delivered. These advances have become such an integral part of the practice of medicine that we tend to take them for granted. It is only on looking back that we realise that medical care was so different back in 1978. Ten key areas of changes are highlighted below:

    1. The average life expectancy for men in Hong Kong was 70.6 years and for women 78.6 years back in 1978. The longevity had increased to 78.6 years and 84.5 years for men and women respectively by 2002. This has resulted in significant ageing of the population, with the proportion over the age of 65 years doubling from 6% in 1978 to 11.9% in 2003. In the meantime, the population has grown from 4.77 million (1978) to 6.81 million (2003). A considerable proportion of medical practice nowadays is related to care of a growing number of elderly patients who have multiple chronic medical problems.

    2. With the availability of potent antibiotics and improvement in environmental hygiene, infectious disease was considered to be a declining problem in Hong Kong in the 1970s. However, the medical profession increasingly has to tackle unusual or serious infections among a growing number of patients whose immune system is weakened by drugs for treatment of cancers, prevention of rejection after organ transplantation, and immunosuppressive therapy for autoimmune disorders. A number of important new infectious diseases have also emerged over the past 25 years, including AIDS, variant CJD (linked to mad cow disease), H5N1 influenza, and most recently SARS. Antibiotics resistance from excessive and indiscriminate use also threatens to result in resurgence in infections especially in the hospital setting.

    3. Diagnostic imaging has made significant technological advances over the past 25 years. Back in 1978, the medical profession was beginning to master the clinical applications of non-invasive investigations such as ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT). With the availability of faster and more powerful CT machines and development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, the image resolution has been greatly enhanced and it is now possible to reconstruct two- and three-dimensional images of different parts of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, blood vessels, joints and various internal organs. This has improved diagnostic accuracy and provided better visualization of the pathology to guide surgical treatment. More recently, advances in functional MRI and the positron emission tomography (PET) have opened up the opportunity for assessment of the functional integrity of different organ systems.

    4. Pathological diagnosis has been greatly enhanced by the development of molecular biology. Minute quantity of DNA can be amplified and easily detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), thereby increasing the diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy. This has reduced the need for operation to obtain specimen for diagnosis, allowed earlier identification and treatment of various viral infections, and facilitated prenatal detection of hereditary diseases.
    5. The practice of surgery has been revolutionalised by the development of minimally invasive surgical procedures. Examination and operation on intra-abdominal organs, joint structures and the lungs can be performed via small key-holes using specially designed instruments such as laparoscopes. The "gamma knife" can focus beams of radiation on small intracranial tumours or abnormal blood vessels for ablation. Enhancement of fibroptic technology has also allowed diagnosis and treatment of many diseases of the gastrointestinal and respiratory using flexible endoscopes. These treatments entail much smaller or even no surgical wounds, thereby facilitating faster recovery and shortened length of hospital stay for the patients.

    6. There have been considerable advances in catheter-based therapeutic procedures over the past 25 years. This has resulted in the development of interventional radiology and cardiology for treatment of patients with cardiac and arterial disorders. Narrowed blood vessels and other structures can be dilated by balloon angioplasty and secured by metallic stents while abnormally dilated and weakened blood vessels can be obliterated by metallic coils or "glue" delivered by catheters.

    7. Pharmaceutical research and new understanding of the causes of diseases have led to development of drugs for conditions which previously had no effective treatment or required surgery. These include new medications for treatment of peptic ulcers, high cholesterol level, osteoporosis, depression, prostate enlargement, viral infections and male sexual dysfunction.

    8. Advances in genetic engineering and biotechnology have allowed the use of microorganisms such as bacteria to produce new and effective drugs such as human insulin and interferon. The Human Genome Project from 1990 to 2003 has identified and sequenced the more than 30,000 genes in the human DNA. This holds promise for diagnosis, therapy and even prediction of various inherited diseases. The ability to clone cells and even whole animal has opened up immense potential for organ transplantation but also created considerable debate among the public and the medical profession about the ethical controversies.

    9. Medical practice has benefited from the significant advances in information technology over the past 25 years. The development of electronic patient records allows sharing of clinical information across clinics and hospitals. Updated information on medical advances can be easily accessible via the internet, and intelligent decision support system are being developed to assist the clinicians in handling the information explosion and delivering the best medical care to their patients. The availability of high-speed broadband telecommunication technology has also fostered the development of telemedicine, allowing specialist consultation for patients located far away from specialised referral centres.

    10. The medical profession in Hong Kong has also witnessed a number of important developments over the past 25 years. Due to rapid technological advances and accumulation of new knowledge, medical practice has become increasingly sophisticated and complex and there is a trend towards subspecialisation in medicine. The establishment of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in 1993 has fostered post-graduate specialist training and the Medical Council has introduced requirements for continuous medical education to maintain the standard of medical practice. The Hospital Authority was set up in 1991 and improvement in the public medical services has led to significant shift of patients from the private to public sector. A new medical school was established in the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the early 1980s and the proportion of female medical graduates has steadily increased at both universities.

    A quarter of a century is a short time but there have been numerous significant advances in the practice of medicine. Just as the medical care in 2003 was very different from that in 1978, and for that matter 1978 very different from 1953, we can anticipate that the practice of medicine in 25 years will be very different from what we experience today. While medical advances such as gene therapy and cloning of human stem cells are holding promise in tackling many of the medical problems for which we still do not have a solution today, it is likely that new challenges will continue to emerge. Yet despite all the technological advances, the practice of medicine will remain an art and the human and caring aspect will always be fundamental to patient care.

     
     
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