300 celebrate the life of Kevin Sinclair

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2008, 12:00am

Friends of the late Kevin Sinclair streamed into the Police Officers Club in Causeway Bay last night for a gathering to pay tribute to the journalist, author and columnist, who died last month.

The memorial event was attended by more than 300 friends, politicians, businessmen and officials whose lives, in their words, Sinclair had touched during his years in the city.

The three-hour event was more like a gathering of old friends than a memorial, with guests taking turns to go to the platform and tell stories about Sinclair. Praise for his professionalism, sincerity and pursuit of excellence echoed in the packed hall and rarely was there a sad note.

Sinclair's widow, Kit, thanked the guests and said: 'This is an opportunity to share happiness, to share fun and share experiences with Kevin.'

Among those in the crowd were Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, Commissioner of Police Tang King-shing and his deputy Peter Yam Tat-wing, former home affairs director Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, South China Morning Post Publishers chairman Kuok Khoon Ean, and 'old hacks' that Sinclair got to know during his 40-year career in the city such as Henry Parwani, Geoffrey Somers, Robert Chow and Michael Chugani.

Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok, who knew Sinclair for a quarter of a century through his long battle with cancer, praised him for his 'extraordinary willpower in tackling difficulties in times of adversity'.

The tribute, at the TSK Hall of the club in Causeway Bay, was held in place of a funeral service as Sinclair donated his body to medical science.

The New Zealander came to Hong Kong in the late 1960s, making his mark as a prolific journalist and columnist. He had worked for the South China Morning Post on and off since the 1970s.

The pinnacle of recognition came in 1983 when he was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth for his contribution to the community through journalism.

Sinclair died of cancer on December 23, days after launching his autobiography, Tell Me A Story: Forty Years of Newspapering in Hongkong and China.

Last week he was named 2007 'Person of the Year' in a poll run by Radio Television Hongkong.

He is survived by his wife, Kit, and children David and Kiri.