• Mon
  • Oct 20, 2014
  • Updated: 5:07pm
Spirit of Hong Kong

Spirit of Hong Kong

Spirit of Hong Kong is a series that looks behind the scenes of one of Asia's largest and most vibrant cities by focusing on those whose contributions often go unnoticed yet are vital to the everyday success of Hong Kong. 

Farooq Saeed an all-round good sport

Sitting behind his office desk, Farooq Saeed, 43, seems fairly docile. He’s courteous and proffers masala tea.

Monday, 2 December, 2013, 12:19pm

Clean Queens on a mission

“Straws,” says Nissa Marion. “Straws are one of the worst things.”

“We found a huge pile of them,” on Lo So Shing beach, says Lisa Christensen. “We do not need plastic straws!”

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Joanne Leung raises transgender awareness

By the time she was six, Joanne Leung Wing-yan, born a boy with the name Donne, felt she should be a girl. But it wasn’t until four years ago that Leung completed the sex-change surgery that would finally make her at peace with herself.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Doctor delivers practical care where it’s needed most

Dr Marie Charles is on the phone from Brussels.

She’s in her native Belgium, but it’s for work, not visiting the relatives. She’s also just come back from Vietnam.

“We are rolling out a national health care delivery platform in four countries – Vietnam, China, Philippines and Indonesia,” she says, so she’s spending a lot of time in southern Vietnam.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Ex-banker helps Aids villages build a solid foundation

It has been 15 years since former investment banker Chung To set up the Chi Heng Foundation.

Since then 16,000 children from central China whose lives have been adversely affected by HIV/Aids have had the chance of an education. The foundation currently supports 9,000 of them.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

The motley but passionate crew making a difference at the Crossroads Foundation

A quick potted history of the Crossroads Foundation. A kind and caring couple, both accountants – Malcolm and Sally Begbie - from Australia are asked to provide aid to flood victims on the mainland back in the 1990s. They put out an alert and are inundated with goods. They see potential in Hong Kong for goods and services to be used to serve the needy in our city and around the world.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Judo guru Sammy Tam kick-starts careers of thousands of students

Sammy Tam Kai-cheung has been passionate about judo since he was aged 13. Now 38, I ask him jokingly how many people he thinks he’s thrown over his shoulder in the past 25 years.

I’m a bit alarmed when he pauses thoughtfully and says: “Oh, hundreds.”

Okay, so no controversial questions then. Let’s keep Sammy smiling.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Nurturing the next generation of eco-explorers

Jan Chan Ka-chun has always enjoyed running around in the great outdoors. Even as a child, he was mischievous, he says, “but I loved nature. I would run around ponds and water drains and on the hillside, go fishing, and capturing spiders.” That love of the countryside and the world’s great places, has translated into a lifelong passion for exploring.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Sharing faith in a material world

When Saeed Uddin, the chairman of the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community, came to Hong Kong from Pakistan 37 years ago he threw himself into the textile trade.

He had the credentials, having studied commerce at the University of Sindh and spent his time between Hyderabad and Karachi, working for the family textile business.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Transplant athlete an inspiration to donors and recipients

So Tsz-ling turns and tiptoes to give her mum Penny Poon Wai-fong a kiss on the cheek. Mum blushes and giggles at the gesture.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Director brings drama back to life in North District

In a deserted school in Cha Kwo Ling, which Hardy Tsoi Sik-cheong jokingly describes as "a far cry from culture", he and his team are rehearsing All Quiet in the New Territory, a play about local resistance to the lease of Hong Kong to Britain in 1898.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Portrait of an artist as a porcelain perfectionist

When tea is served at Lee Siu-man’s flat in Kennedy Town it comes in fine porcelain cups and saucers with beautifully hand-painted peach blossom on the sides. It’s Lee’s work from half a century ago.

Around the walls are Chinese traditional portrait paintings – also painted on porcelain and fired in a furnace to bring out the colours.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

Jesuit glad to have answered the call

In the chapel at Ricci Hall, Father Alfred Diegnan is a compliant and readily smiling subject for the photographer, who moves him in front of the altar and then to a pew.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm 1 comment

Coach pushes the boat out for adaptive rowers

As he watched the athletes head up to the podium to collect their medals, rowing coach Victor Lee Chi-yung struggled to hold back the tears. Under the guidance of Lee and his team, Hong Kong took one silver in the mixed coxed four and bronze medals in the men’s, women’s and the mixed double skulls at the 2010 Asian Para Games in Guangzhou.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm

One woman’s battle to end the bear bile trade

At the sanctuary for Asiatic black bears or moon bears in Chengdu, Sichuan, province, a convoy of trucks arrives.  The vets, mostly western, and the local staff members wait to offload the bears in the cages. It’s a long and delicate process that takes most of the day. The bears are nervous, many are in great pain, and this is a very new environment for them.

2 Dec 2013 - 12:19pm