Taking fun in a bumper dose

THE usually quiet grounds of Kowloon Hospital came alive with a burst of colour and activity last Sunday when a large-scale fun fair was held on the hospital lawn.

Organised by the Hospital Authority, the fair was an opportunity for the authority's staff members to socialise and meet their peers from other hospitals.

Putting aside their stiff uniforms, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff clearly welcomed this chance to relax and enjoy themselves with their families.

The weather and atmosphere were perfect for the occasion.

The fair began with the traditional Chinese lion dance.

Items that followed included performances by the Royal Army Dog Display Team, the Wellington College marching band and the Auxiliary Medical Services Combo Band.

The fair proper consisted of 28 games stalls set up by various hospitals and medical institutions under the Hospital Authority, such as Tuen Mun Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital.

Prizes like stuffed animals, dolls and candy attracted scores of children to the games.

Cheers, screams and laughter rang above the grounds as the crowd got into the swing of things.

Children normally too frightened to approach a doctor or anyone remotely connected with a Band-Aid or a bottle of medicine, mingled happily with the medical folk.

At the opening ceremony, Mr Anthony Neoh, chairman of the Patient and Community Relations Committee, Hospital Authority, said recreational activities are held regularly to give their staff a chance to relax after work.

These events are also a way of showing appreciation for the splendid job done by the staff in the various hospitals, he added.

''And we also hope to create better understanding between staff members and foster a spirit of comradeship,'' Mr Neoh said.

Dr E. K. Yeoh, Director of Operations, Hospital Authority, said: ''Our programme for staff is evolving continuously, and more activities and initiatives are being implemented.

''Starting next year, priority will be given by each hospital to develop staff welfare activities, and this will be funded by the increased Staff Welfare Fund,'' Dr Yeoh said.

The four-hour fair came to an enthusiastic finale with a lucky draw.