An endless social whirl as Pattens say their farewells

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 June, 1997, 12:00am

If you have ever spotted Governor Chris Patten or his wife, Lavender, at a banquet, charity ball, hospital visit, dinner, business opening or art exhibition, chances are Louise Law made it happen.

She arrived in Hong Kong in 1990 as Louise St John Cox to work as Government House social secretary, juggling times, dates, people and places. Two years ago she married Commercial Crime Bureau Chief Inspector Steve Law Shek-kong.

What does the handover mean to you? It's a time to say goodbye. I'm going to be leaving Hong Kong at the beginning of July, so this is a month of farewells.

June 30 will be a sad day because it's the day when I have to say goodbye to all the colleagues I've worked with at Government House. They're a great group of people. We've had a lot of fun together and we've shared many experiences, but the time has come for us to go our separate ways.

Is your job becoming harder as June 30 approaches? It's obviously a busy time. The Governor and Mrs Patten are very popular and we've been inundated with requests from people wanting to host farewell lunches and dinners for them.

Sadly, it's not possible to say yes to everybody, so I'm busy organising all their functions.

What will you do after the change-over? My husband and I are going to travel for a few weeks - we're going to Australia - and then we're going back to the UK.

For my family, it's very exciting. They're looking forward to having me home. But for Steve's family, it's not easy - the fact we're leaving and won't see quite so much of them. But we will make a lot of visits to Hong Kong.

I'm looking forward to the challenge of going back to England and looking for a new job.

Will it be hard to leave Government House? It has a lovely homely feeling to it, with the Pattens having dogs here and a daughter who lives here. It's relaxing when you walk through the front door.

One of the pleasures of living here is that there are the tennis courts and swimming pool and lovely gardens. And it's been great that the public have been able to come in and see all that.