I commented a few days ago that I had to keep reminding myself that Hong Kong is now China. The 150 years of annexation to be a part of the British empire were just a blip in the area’s history.
In my wanderings I felt I should find a book about Hong Kong. This is the one I came up with. Hong Kong by the traveler author Jan Morris. Jan has written many books about different parts of the world, but I think she is known particularly for her books about the British Empire. This book, Hong Kong, was written in 1988, almost 10 years before the handover in 1997.
The book was fascinating. I found it hard to believe that what I was reading was written in 1988, rather than 2008. I want to read further though to find out if Hong Kong post 1997 is as similar to the earlier Hong Kong. I visited Hong Kong myself many years ago in 1965 but my visit was brief and my memory is dim. I was with my cousin and her parents. I vaguely remember crowded streets and shopping and bright lights and eating opportunities. We would have landed and taken off from the old airport Kai Tak. There is one image which remains with me and that was a visit to an American Baptist missionary family living and working in the hills above the central area.
In 1985-87 we were living and working in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The Foreign Minister was our landlord, boss, and friend. It was probably during the summer of 1986 that we met 2 teenagers who were staying as guests of the Foreign Minister, Lyonpo Dawa Tsering. These 2 boys were the sons of David Wilson who was soon to be the Penultimate Governor of Hong Kong. David Wilson, now Sir David Wilson, became the 27th Governor, serving from 1987-1992. He was Governor during the crisis of the Tiananmen Square riots and also the later influx of refugees to the territory.
Sir David, Lyonpo Dawa, and I were each born in the mid-1930’s. Sadly Lyonpo Dawa passed away in 2007. Sir David is now, among other things, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. One of his other roles was President of the Bhutan Society of the U.K. The 2 teenage boys are now grown up; one is a diplomat, the other a Church of England clergyman.