Spirit of Hong Kong | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 30, 2015
  • Updated: 10:22pm
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. 

One woman aims to free Hong Kong's seas of plastic

Tracey Read, founder and CEO of Plastic Free Seas shows a bunch of medical wastes collected from a beach in Discovery Bay. Photo: SCMP

Tracey Read, an Australian who has been in Hong Kong for eight years, was inspired to act by experiences on Discovery Bay’s beaches, playing with her young son.

Saturday, 28 September, 2013, 8:53pm

Adventure inspires others to paddle their own canoe

Outdoor sports instructor Ken Lee Wai-kam, left, is a keen canoeist

Paddling a canoe around Hong Kong’s shorelines – about 275 kilometres – outdoor sports instructor Ken Lee Wai-kam was able to see a whole different side to the city.

28 Sep 2013 - 7:03pm

Stroke leaves athlete damaged but defiant

Becoming a marathon runner was one of the farthest things from Martha Ng's mind after she suffered a stroke. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Martha Ng Hoi-kei bounces out of the exercise room with such energy that it takes me a moment to realise she's the subject of the interview. She looks like an athlete - and is one - having come back from a stroke that left her in a coma for several days and permanently damaged her brain.

27 Sep 2013 - 5:00am 1 comment

Pastor embraces the chance to help others

John Snelgrove, Senior Pastor of The Vine Church, in the grand hall of The Vine Church in Wan Chai. Photo: SCMP

Briton John Snelgrove lopes across the coffee shop floor of Pacific Coffee in the ground-floor lobby of The Vine in Wan Chai loudly calling my name. “Ah, there you are,” he says, before enveloping me in a hug.

26 Sep 2013 - 5:30pm

Hairdresser gives confidence-boosting haircuts to elderly, poor and disabled

Mingo Tang Kui-ming. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Mingo Tang Kui-ming draws his inspiration from a six-month stint in the west of China in the 1980s.

25 Sep 2013 - 5:50pm 1 comment

Trio who inspire local music

Clockenflap festival at West Kowloon. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Back in the 1990s, what was there to hear in Hong Kong? Céline Deon, definitely, and Cantopop. Nothing wrong with that, well, the Cantopop bit, but Hongkongers deserved more diversity. It took a while, but five years ago, three men with a dream to bring more live music and festival atmosphere to the Hong Kong masses thought up Clockenflap.

25 Sep 2013 - 4:23pm

Intrepid psychotherapist helps quake children look forward

Monica Wong Hiu-hung. Photo: SCMP Pictures

In addition to her work as a psychotherapist, Monica Wong Hiu-hung teaches counselling at The Chinese University. She is also studying for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Alliant International University.

30 Sep 2013 - 12:37pm 1 comment

Singing the joys of Cantonese opera

Stella Ma Man-har. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Cantonese opera is still alive and well.

At Sok Ku Wan on Lamma, a huge bamboo theatre is erected every year and a Cantonese theatre troupe arrives with its tragic tales of star-crossed lovers, generals, mandarins and concubines, some parts delivered in high falsetto, accompanied by percussion and erhu.

25 Sep 2013 - 3:00pm

Carmen Yau: an amazing work in progress

Carmen Yau Ka-man. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Carmen Yau Ka-man has a kidney infection, for which she is taking antibiotics. The doctor wanted her to go to hospital, but she quietly refused, preferring to go to her office, where the work is absorbing and takes her mind off her aching back.

7 Oct 2013 - 7:54pm

Committed volunteer and mum helps disabled find a place in the sun

Sonja Shih Chan Seung-yan with some of the young adults with mental disabilities she volunteers to help at the Tung Wah Building in Wan Chai. Photo: Edward Wong

Sonja Shih Chan Seung-yan was in Canada when she gave birth to her daughter, Evelyn, 26 years ago.

24 Sep 2013 - 12:06pm 3 comments

Dedicated paediatrician keeps Hong Kong’s infant mortality rate low

Dr Vincent Leung gives a free medical consultation to a child and mother in Kampong Thom, Cambodia. He and fellow doctors go there every year. Photo: Vincent Leung

Vincent Leung has his own adaptation of Lao Zi’s famous quote from the Dao De Jing, “a life of 100 years begins with a single breath”. He has dedicated his life to improving the odds for babies, “they are the most helpless, the most needy,” he says. His efforts have contributed to the fact that Hong Kong has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

4 Oct 2013 - 1:29pm

Caring for the environment is in his nature

Common tiger butterflies at Pui O, Lantau. Photo: Martin Williams

Martin Williams talks at a lick, so it’s hard to keep up. It’s because the British science writer, Cheung Chau resident, photographer, nature website creator and environmentalist has a lot of topics he’d like to cover.

29 Sep 2013 - 2:02pm

An independent thinker unfazed by his disability

An independent thinker unfazed by his disability

Willy Law Wai-cheung, 50, spent the first 11 years of his life on the floor of his family's cramped public housing flat in Shek Kip Mei. His father was dead by the time he was six, and his mother supported the family by going out to clean every day, leaving her disabled child at home. Every morning, she would put his food on the floor and cover the rice with a heavy iron bowl - to stop the rats from eating it.

2 Oct 2013 - 5:19pm 2 comments

Offering the hand of friendship to seafarers

Stephen Miller in the chapel at Hong Kong Mariner's Club in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Reverend Stephen Miller places phone cards, newspapers, and DVDs into a backpack marked with The Mission to Seafarers’ logo. It is deep-sea blue, an oval-shaped picture of an angel flying over water. Below the picture, the motto reads Caring for Seafarers Around the World.

3 Oct 2013 - 7:08pm

Entrepreneur passionate in promoting benefits of green lifestyle

Ophelia Chan Ka-lai. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Ophelia Chan Ka-lai readily admits she’s happiest when she is knee-deep in compost and talking to plants. Chan, who in 2007 moved near to Sok Ku Wan on Lamma to allow her to be closer to a patch of farmland to cultivate, has for a number of years inspired students, readers and the public to choose healthier, locally grown organic vegetables and fruit and to live a greener lifestyle.

20 Sep 2013 - 3:14pm