Watching the Flag Come Down - An Englishwoman in Hong Kong 1987-97
by Susanna Hoe
Holo Books, HK$198
A timely title for the 10th anniversary of the handover, Britain's return of its Hong Kong colony to the sovereignty of China is the subject of Watching the Flag Come Down. Susanna Hoe's account of her experiences, initially written as a 'Letter from Hong Kong' series she sent to a provincial newspaper back home, is a curious chronicle of its time. Hoe and her husband, Derek Roebuck, who taught at City University, were active in the area of women's rights, particularly among those trapped at the bottom of Hong Kong's patriarchal society. They were also concerned about the miserable lot of the city's Filipinos. Watching the Flag Come Down, available at Bookazine shops, hints at what might have been. The index is a veritable who's who of women in Hong Kong political life, such as Christine Loh, Cyd Ho, Selina Chow, Emily Lau, Rita Fan, Miriam Lau, Chan Yuen-han, Margaret Ng and Anna Wu. In the decade covered by Hoe, a framework to promote equality and curb discrimination was put in place by the women's movement. The shame is that there's so little to show for it 10 years on.