On a scorching day, dads are the hottest ticket in town

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 June, 2004, 12:00am

With 36-degree heat, the Observatory issues its first 'very hot weather' warning of the year

It was a day when staying indoors with a cool drink might have seemed the most sensible option.

But with the thermometer nudging 36 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest day of the year, many families got out and about to mark Father's Day.

Some children opted to enter a basketball competition with their dads at the court in Harbour City. Others took part in a contest in Tsuen Wan to act as different animals.

One of the fathers, a Mr Law, who attended the basketball game, shared his secret to maintaining a happy relationship with his three children. 'You have to talk to them all the time. You have to understand them. You have to play with them with patience,' he said.

Many families chose to treat themselves for lunch and dinner, with restaurants reporting a roaring trade. And of course, most of beaches were packed with people trying to cool down.

The Observatory issued its first 'very hot weather' warning this year between 10.45am and 4.30pm as the temperature in urban areas reached 33.2 degrees, while in parts of the New Territories and Chek Lap Kok, the temperature hit 36.

Weathermen warned people to drink plenty of water and to stay in the shade. The Observatory said the heat was brought by a southwesterly airstream and a trough of low pressure over Guangdong.

The weather will be cooler in the next few days, however, with clouds and showers, although the temperature will remain above 30 degrees during the day.

While many fathers shared a fun day with their children to the sounds of laughter, for other fathers it was a time for more sombre reflection.

A study conducted by the Caritas Community Development Services revealed that 8.3 per cent of men in Hong Kong were jobless, compared with 2.3 per cent in 1997.

After in-depth interviews with 22 unemployed fathers, social worker Mui Kwan-wai said many of them were under huge pressure because they felt their traditional role in society had been undermined. 'During economic downturns, men feel insecure as their jobs are not stable. They also find it hard to accept a new kind of role in family and in society,' Mr Mui said.

He added that none of those interviewed felt they had fulfilled society's expectations of being a father.

'They all believed that they should be the carers. But they all regarded themselves as failing in carrying out such roles. They live under tremendous pressure,' he said.

One of those interviewed, a Mr Leung, said all he wanted was a job so that he could take care of his wife and his nine-year-old after leaving his last job two years ago.

'A harmonious home can only be built on money. How many poor families are in harmony? Most of them argue all the time,' he said.