Iron Lady sheds metal fatigue to steel students' resolve
By OWEN HUGHES
FIVE months after Lady Thatcher visited Hong Kong showing signs of metal fatigue, the 'Iron Lady' seems to have repaired the rust.
The former prime minister was robust and full of vigour when she paid a visit to the Anglo-Hong Kong Trust's Community English Language Lab (CELL) in Kennedy Town yesterday to hear students recite poetry and quotations and pose questions.
Her appearance was in sharp contrast to her last visit to the territory in October, when anxiety generated by allegations surrounding her son left her looking tired and frail.
Lady Thatcher's visit was organised by businessman David Tang Wing-cheung who said it would encourage the students of CELL, which had grown from nothing to 4,000 students since 1992.
He said what CELL needed now was a business to offer it premises somewhere more accessible than Kennedy Town, such as Wan Chai.
'We get people coming all the way from the New Territories,' he said. 'Ideally I would like to have five to 10 CELLs scattered all over Hong Kong. English is the most important heritage Britain can leave behind after 1997.' Lady Thatcher took command of the 40-minute visit when she moved to a central seat to answer questions from the floor. She advised students who wanted to be successful to 'make your job the most important thing in your life other than your family'. The former prime minister said she had no more political ambitions, liked Chinese food, and intended to be '70 years young' next birthday.
Lady Thatcher is on a private visit to Hong Kong after a three-day trip to Beijing last week.