Mess just fine for visiting PLA team

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 July, 1996, 12:00am

The PLA delegation last night had a taste of the good life as enjoyed by officers of Her Majesty's forces.

Major-General Liu Zhenwu's 'familiarisation' with the British Garrison included an initiation into the venerable extravagances and etiquette of the Officers' Mess.

The Chinese officers had agreed to a Western menu which included medallions of pork with horseradish and spring onion sauce, poached fillet of plaice and summer pudding with blackcurrant sauce.

A bugler from the First Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles sounded the dinner call for the 30 distinguished guests, who also included acting Secretary for Security Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Nicholas Ng Wing-fui and Police Commissioner Eddie Hui Ki-on.

Commander of the British Forces Major-General Bryan Dutton sat beside his soon-to-be successor General Liu at one of the three tables overlooking Victoria Harbour from the Officers' Mess of the refurbished Prince of Wales building.

Royal Navy Petty Officer (Cook) Ben Kwok Yun-hung prepared the meal and Petty Officer (Steward) Raymond Cheng Ka-wah was the maitre d', assisted by Petty Officer (Steward) Mo-Mo Yuen Yau-tong.

Following the dessert, the assembled guests were entertained by a Gurkha piper.

'The evening will give them a flavour of the Officers' Mess and life in the Garrison,' a spokesman said.

She said it was unlikely some mess traditions of the three military services would be stressed to the PLA officers.