#24  (Aug 24, 2003)

Our new motto, 4L:  Lamma - Live it, Love it, Laugh at it!

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All photos (except where credited otherwise),

writing, editing, design, publishing & distribution by:










Emails to the Editor

Best of the Month

Events Calendar

About Lamma.com.HK

Next Issue

  1. 1 Year of Fun, Laughter & Turmoil!

  2. Harry Harrison's Poster Gallery

  3. Lamma's Furry Poetess: Hello Haiku Kitty

  4. Real Fight Club: Beast, Panther & Angela!

  5. Struggle for Democracy

  6. Hungry Ghosts at the Public Ferry Pier

  7. Fire Dancers, Beach Parties, T8 & "da Bomb"

  8. "I am forced to write this"

  9. Catching a Garoupa with a Bookworm

  10. Remembering "The Fisherman's Friend"


Lamma restaurant ads:

Lamma Business ads:



A warm welcome to this issue celebrating the first anniversary of Lamma.com.hk! This bumper edition is the biggest (and best, I hope) Lamma-zine so far: 10 features, some of them multi-topic, some linked to 5 separate, additional pages with stories & photo/poster galleries. Read, view & enjoy!


Lamma.com.hk, the online community website and message board, was started up on Tue, July 23, 2002, by our founder webdog, a witty, smart, friendly & handsome Chinese guy living in Tai Peng back then (I am forced to write this)! I can honestly say that it was 1 Year of Fun, Laughter and Turmoil! It often felt like a true Struggle for Democracy and a Real "Fight Club"!


In this issue I'm presenting some really fishy stories: I photographed Hungry Ghosts at the Public Ferry Pier, succeeded in Catching a Garoupa with a Bookworm, collected Power Station beach stories (Fire Dancers, Beach Parties, T8 & "da Bomb"), and his friends are Remembering "The Fisherman's Friend". Plus some of my favourite "artsy-fartsy" features: showing off Harry Harrison's Poster Gallery and introducing Lamma's Furry Poetess: Hello Haiku Kitty.


Some of my recent night photos are sprinkled all over this Editorial. They didn't fit into any other topic, but I liked to use them anyway...


You might have noticed the few tiny, little, low-key, hardly noticeable ad banners above and inside this Editorial? These have been placed by some of the best, brightest, most wonderful and successful companies on Lamma, supporting this anniversary issue with their advertising! This is the first time ever that I've accepted ad banners, after creating the Lamma-zine for free for almost 1 year now, zero income generated from the first 23 issues. It couldn't continue like this forever...


ONLY the Lamma-zine will be accepting ads, not the Lamma.com.hk website and message board which will remain an ad-free, independent, free-spirited, open-minded, uncensored public platform for the Lamma community! Also, the Lamma-zine and related pages will be published on a HK-based server (my own) from now on. This will greatly improve the downloading speed of this huge magazine (24 pages), at least for the vast majority of HK-based readers.


I have to admit that my mood has been soaring to near-euphoric heights over the last few days, while trying to find advertisers for this issue. It can be a lonely job to create the Lamma-zine; it's so difficult to get any help and submissions; so much time, work, effort and expenses, but little recognition and feedback so far. Sometimes I had serious doubts that anybody except myself really cared about my public hobby at all. Frankly, I was getting very close to calling it a day, more than once. But I was all wrong, fortunately...


Leaving the solitary seclusion of my cool'n'comfy home office to talk to potential advertisers, there has been so much goodwill & appreciation expressed. Several people placed ads right away to support this anniversary issue. I never created the Lamma-zines to make any money, assuming that Internet advertising has become unviable since the dotcom crash.

It's very rewarding to see the public recognition & validation that advertisers might potentially bring to this Internet magazine. "Respectable businesses are willing to support it financially, so maybe it's not total crap!" But then, I've been known to delude myself before...


Anyway, it's not a lot of money and some of the ads have been paid for in restaurant vouchers. Yes, I DO work for food! This HUGE, HUMONGOUS HK Electric ad above (Thank you for planting 66,000 trees & shrubs on Lamma!) is one of the few ad banners I didn't design myself. It pays for a portion of my HUGE, HUMONGOUS home office electricity bill, all the ad income going straight back to HKE. Yes, it's another fine example of the "Cycle of Life...and Commerce".


To keep the editorial content and the advertising separate, and give me enough time to focus on the content, the multi-talented & ever-popular long-time resident Marilyn has agreed to help out with the ad sales from now on. She's dealing with advertisers in a much more charming, professional & convincing manner than I could ever muster. If you own a local business and encounter her on Main Street, either run & hide, or give in and buy an ad banner from her; these are your ONLY two choices!


To find out why and how to advertise - supporting the future survival of the Lamma-zine - please have a look at the Rate Card, then phone (left) or email Marilyn!


The production & incidental costs (Broadband, hosting, inkjet ink & paper, backups, etc.) are secured for now and I can continue on a monthly basis. I'm still thinking about a printed version, starting out small with a flyer very soon. If you have magazine publishing/production experience and like to help, please contact me!

The former motto of the Lamma-zine was "Peace, Love, Laughter, Lamma", inspired by the DickStock motto. I've just replaced it with a new 4L motto: Lamma: Live it, Love it, Laugh at it! I've ripped it off from, sorry, "was inspired" by the new & awkward HKTB slogan "Hong Kong: Live it, Love it!". Which slogan do you like better?


Last but not least, but most important: my usual call for contributors, sounding more and more desperate:

As always, I'd love your feedback, opinions and suggestions for improvements! If you fancy yourself a party animal, story-teller, illustrator, multimedia artiste, photographer, campaigner or just a person full of good (& bad) ideas, contact me. I can help to promote your personal causes, ideas and passions!


3 bottles of finest Australian Semillon Chardonnay, (worth over $100 per bottle, received as barter) will be awarded as prizes for the 3 best submissions to the next Lamma-zine. Runner-ups will get free drinks in their favourite local watering holes!
Please send me your submission right now!


Cheers from Gung-Gung  (as my Chinese step-grandson likes to call me)

Editor of Lamma-zine, Site Admin & Artsy Cybergeek, Lamma.com.HK

Managing Consultant, www.Compunicate.com


P.S. ANY TEXT in this this dark-blue or this purple colour in the Lamma-zine is a clickable link to more stuff & info; most pictures are clickable as well!


Emails to the Editor

ipkeemay (ex-Lammaite, commenting on Hunter's story in the last Lamma-zine):

Thank you very much for cc-ing the message to me.
Looked at the pictures. They almost brought tears to my eyes. I miss living on Lamma very much. :(

Chris Ubu:

This is great! Being an old Lamma resident, I really miss it!
I have been living in Australia since 1996, but Lamma is still the best place I've lived, so it's good to see what's happening.

John Hutton (planning a book about Lamma):

We will do some kind of interview with you later in the year.
All the best and keep up the good work. The site is brilliant.

Jane Mermaid (great nickname!):

Hi guys, please subscribe me, cheers.
I'll pass this on to all I think would like to know too!

Doggy (honorary Lamma-zine proofreader):

A very good job again mate - well done and again I'm sure you must have put loads of effort into it... keep up the good work, it is really appreciated.

BBChris (Music forum moderator & occasional target in the Fight Club):

Thanks for a very enjoyable ezine. The Fright Club is yawn yawn but the rest of it is top notch.

The Hunter section is OUTSTANDING! You've outdone yourself - as my bro says - it almost makes him want to come to Lamma - hahahahahahahaha

Clare (Articles shop & "massage CENTRE"):

Clare called me to ask about the exact wording of my "massage parlour" remark in the last Lamma-zine, being teased by several friends in person & online... Sorry, Clare!

Ian Perrins (Lamma Oldster):

I would have to say that I don't really have an opinion about the e-zine, although I will reiterate that your efforts are appreciated and the work you're doing doesn't go unnoticed.


great ezine by the way and i have had some good feedback from the community.

The Stick Insect Hunter (Official Court Artist):

It was about time, :-)
Like this issue.
I think it has an almost appropriate amount of representation of the official court artist.

What I noticed is a whole bunch of really good photographs.
You are getting into that. I didn't have a chance yet to whip up some all encompassing, slightly ridiculing classifier of my last visit to Lamma. Good work.

clivus nondog (www.nondog.com):

It's opening now. I'll just carry on with this while I download 2Mb with dial-up!!! Why don't you divide into separate pages? We don't all have broadband, you know!

Very nice article. You got some great responses and even a contribution from the man himself! It says something about Hunter's humble nature that he is the only one who refers to the place by its proper Chinese name.

In spite of my comments about page size, I do think you are doing a great job. Thank you.

Aaron (ex-Lammaite):

How is it going? It is hard to believe that more than a year has lapsed since my departure from Hong Kong. I have enjoyed reading your e-zine about Lamma.

Best of the Month


Picture #1: Dave Parker

 Mr DickStock: (World traveler & occasional freelance videographer):

Last Thursday, strolling down Kaliyaan Avenue in the 'tony' Makati district of Manila, was none other than Dave Parker, looking fit as a fiddle, and hairy as ever (though it looks like he's adopted Edowan's "killer bee" look!)

The Stick Insect Hunter's family and I were all heading to the bowling alley, but we screeched to a halt and I leaped out of the car screaming "Dave Parker!!!" Scared the living shit out of him!

A quick jabber, couple of photos and one DickStock2003 t-shirt later (had to give him the only one I had - worn & slightly ripe) we were off down the road with Dave receding in the rearview...


My first reaction, probably the same as from many of you: WHO?


After some serious & laborious research (arresting & interrogating Mr DickStock in the pub), it all became clear:

Dave seems to be an ex-Lammaite who left Lamma for the Philippines around 1997. Most famous for his awesome book of illustrations A Brush with Hong Kong 1997 (1st edition 1990), he's lived on Lamma since 1988. Quoting from this book which was gathering dust in my very own library since the Handover:

Dave Parker: (below a painting "A Bird's Eye View of Lamma Doh"):

Home to artists, musicians, writers, poets, ancient mariners, journalists, lushes, English teachers, recluses, Triads, cats, dogs, farmers, fishermen. (see below)

What has really changed since he wrote these words in 1990?


There's a quote on the back cover:

"Dave Parker's work is so vivid you can almost smell it!" - Nick Lovatt. Nick the Bookman...and book reviewer!


Picture #2: Busker Jam Session


A historic photo which took me several MONTHS to get:

The busker on Main Street jamming with an anonymous musician. He might have inspired the busker to play an actual melody for once, instead of his usual Plonk-plonk-pling! East & West in musical harmony, so sweet! No facts available on how this double act increased the busking income. But the jammin' musician is smiling broadly...

Oh, by the way, this photo is courtesy of Bob Davis. Thanks!


• Picture #3: Yung Shue Wan in 1973

From Richard, this very detailed aerial view shows clearly all the major changes in the last 30 years. Click to enlarge!


• Quote: Laid-back Pastoral Atmosphere

Mr DanKwaiFong (from his updated website, a poetic carnivore waxing lyrically about Friday's MeatFest in Aroy Thai. Yummy!):

...By eight o'clock the coals are glowing a deep furnace-like red. The early arrivals are enjoying a drink at the bar, while outside their ribs and steaks start to sizzle on the grill, and the smoky sweet aroma of barbecue wafts across the waters of Yung Shue Wan harbour.
Down at the pier, the ferry has just arrived. Weary homecoming commuters disembark, ready for a weekend of relaxation in the laid-back pastoral atmosphere of Lamma Island...


• Message: Bifurcated Caledonian Bandersnatch

  JockMACock  (Braveheart
  (Lamma.com.hk's Official Wildlife Expert, responding):

Hey Zep pal wunderin if yae can help mae oot. I found a strange lookin creature crawlin oot ma hair.

It is different fae any lice a huv seen before. It’s got twa heids un 20 legs it maks a clickin noise, click click click, sound lik it is sayin tae mae go tae lamma, go tae lamma.

This is a most fascinating record - it is undoubtedly the Bifurcated Caledonian Bandersnatch (Dicephalus pubis). This is a rare arthropod but greatly feared because of its nasty bite. This not only produces an irritating itch but also causes the victim's face to turn blue and hebephrenic fits of incomprehensible raving.

The animal is an ectoparasite on the human pubic area, and has previously only been recorded from ladies of ill-repute operating in the Leith docklands area. So the question of how it arrived in the region of JMC's head is a question not only of scientific interest but considerable epidemiological significance.

News of your intention to come to Lamma has been forwarded to the Immigration and Quarantine departments.


• Username: Nurse Zimmermann


The assistant nurse of Dr Freud's clinic has taken over while the good doctor is enjoying his summer holiday, um, err, attending a conference on Asperger's Syndrome in Venezuela. We've learned a good deal about Nurse Zimmermann and her infamous electrodes so far, for example her ex-husband was a Slavic pig farmer named Borris...

Free Dream Analysis

• Topic #1: Anti-Mosquito Rally


Taking the ferry from YSW to Aberdeen, I came across a government anti-mosquito/dengue fever rally. They even distributed free OFF! mosquito repellent sprays, but only if you'd listen to their sales pitch. But the posters were so gruesome: poor, cute, little mosquitoes, massacred by a face-masked brat!

Pensioners taking a rest and nap while the anti-mosquito rally drones on.

Poison gas attack!

Such a horrible boy chasing this cute, big-eyed, terrified mosquito w/glasses!

Anti-mosquito soap, offered on Lamma.com.hk...


• Topic #2: Burglary Prevention (click to read advice)


• Bird: Chinese Francolin  (photo courtesy of a Thai website)

 Zep (moderator of Flora & Fauna forum):

...The "come to the peak ha ha" I think originated with Professor Herklots, one of the early professors at HKU who was also a keen birdwatcher. I prefer to think of the sound as "cock a doodle do" as attempted by a goose. It is certainly one of the most evocative sounds of the early summer mornings on Lamma hillsides:

Pak Kok Saan, sunrise.
In the stillness, a harsh cry.
The francolin calls...

Oops, I've started doing it now. Those haiku are very infectious.



International Tree Blog


Our roaming Flora & Fauna moderator & international "natural world" correspondent Zep has started a tree blog (web log) during his current travels around the world. Check out his majestic & beautiful tree images from Scotland and Hawaii so far (see right).



Bookworm Café Story in TVB Weekly


Amazing PR coup for this place: a full 3 pages of very complimentary reviews with dozens of photos in the official, weekly magazine of TVB.

It was a feature on a TVB starlet. When they asked where she'd like to pose for the photos, she said "I want to go to Lamma!" She likes the Bookworm Café, being a friend of Bobsy's wife. Good contacts pay unexpected dividends...


The photo shoot was amazingly extensive & comprehensive. Besides most major dishes, they also published pictures of the salad oil container, inspirational quotes, even the plants on the window sills!

If you read Chinese, or just want to see more pictures: Pages 1  2  3


Bobsy seemed so happy about this free PR. I caught him in the act of repainting the window frames and the battered sign above the entrance, using his trademark Rastafarian colour scheme. It was in preparation for longer opening hours, Sep 1, every day till 9pm, Sat till 10pm.


You can look forward to loads more exciting Lamma restaurant news in the next issue, new places opening, old ones re-launching...


Contributor: Haiku Kitty

(Here's Haiku Kitty's attempt at advertisement. My apologies)


The second best thing
you can do with your fingers
when you are alone...


Website: Rainbow Restaurant


The best & most comprehensive Lamma restaurant website, very professional and clearly targeted at local & overseas tourists only. This is by far the biggest restaurant on Lamma - claiming a staff of 60 - catering almost exclusively to tourists which they ship over from town to Sok Kwu Wan with their own "cruises".

In English, Traditional & Simplified Chinese, it covers a little bit of what potential guests might be interested in: menu w/pictures, specials, "news", free cruises to get there, celebrity guest photos and even online bookings! There's even a "Lamma Intro" with basic info about Lamma Island itself (trails, festivals, culture, Flash map: click right for large static map or navigate their interactive map).


Events Calendar


Check out the frequently updated Lamma Events Calendar.

For all past events, check out the new Events Calendar Archive.

Submit all Lamma-related events for listing to Lamma-Gung@Compunicate.com












Carvery Buffet



SPCA Spaybus



Quiz Night

Jam Night





Carvery Buffet
1 2 3 4 5
Carvery Buffet
8 9 10 11 12

Carvery Buffet
15 16 17 18 19



Thinking Out Loud


Aug 24, every Sun, 4pm-finished,

Lamma Bistro: Carvery Buffet


Aug 26, Central ferry pier: SPCA Spaybus:  Click for more details.

"If your pet needs to be fixed, call Lamma Animal Protection at 2982-4018,

or email elizabeth@lap.org.hk for bookings."


Aug 28 (1st & 3rd Thu of month), 8:30-12, Aroy Thai: Acoustic Jam Night

Aug 28, 8:30pm, Island Bar:

Quiz Night w/Frazer: (see right)

Click for last Quiz Night results


Aug 29, every Fri, 8pm, Aroy Thai: MEATFEST - Vegetarians beware!


Sep 12: Mid-Autumn Festival


Sep 20, 27, Oct 4: Thinking Out Loud Live!


One more BIG event! Did you attend Dickstock 2003 on July 19/20?


Did you miss it? OH NO!!!  See below:

From: richard GLINDON

Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 1:14 AM

To: info@lamma.com.hk

Subject: dickstock

Hi, my name is Richard Glindon and I organise a music festival in the South of England called DICKSTOCK!! Started 9 years ago in my back garden it seems a lot like yours perhaps we could be twin festivals!! We have just had this year's and I will email you some photos ASAP. If you go to www.bignum.net you can see the photos. cheers

P.S. Here is a photo of me playing with my band SNIDE on the Sunday afternoon. I am on the right playing lead guitar.


Richard obviously found out about Lamma's DickStock on the net via Lamma.com.hk! I've immediately informed our own Laudable Lamma Luminary Mr DickStock, asking him for an official reaction about this Dickstock rival, adversary or potential partner? Teaming up, as suggested, for a twin festival? First step of a global chain of DickStocks? Copyright, franchise, subsidiary and other legal issues? Any charity benefits, like the UK one? See the idyllic, pastoral location of Dickstock UK 2003 (above left) and could it be that Dan the Bastard has been guest-starring there (see below right)? Explains his recent, frequent travels...


Mr DickStock's reply was just a single sentence:

"Great stuff about DickStock in England! I'm gonna have to get in touch with Dick and write something up about it...."


That was more than two weeks ago and I still haven't heard anything back yet, despite reminders...

Could it be that he's peeved & sulking about this successful competition, because they trumped him in organising DickStock 2003? Or is he secretly preparing for an even bigger & better DickStock Lamma 2003, putting the UK twin festival to shame and showing them that Big Dick is the real Big Boss in the home concert organiser business! Let's hope so! How are the preparations coming along, Mr DickStock?


About Lamma.com.HK


We have already a BIG feature about Lamma.com.hk, so let's keep this section very short:

Three new daily traffic records, happening on the day the last Lamma-zine was published:


Most Hits ever: 27,670 (Jul 17, 2003); Most Bytes ever downloaded: 435.21 MB (Jul 17, 2003)

Most users online at the very same time was 14 on Aug 01, Fri 16:41.

This seems to indicate that many of you are logging on from work. Don't get caught, we'd miss you!


Plus, one "chee-seen", addicted member has just posted his 1,000th message! Guess who? Lamma-Gung!

No idea on how I find the time in-between putting the Lamma-zine together? But it averages out to only 2.6 messages per day for the first year.

 Lamma-Gung (message #1,000):

Site Admin, Cybergeek, Lamma-zine Editor

Joined: 02 Aug 2002
Posts: 1000
Location: Yung Shue Wan
PostPosted: Aug 04, Mon 13:01    Post subject: Re: Pic in today's Post Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

Joey Mosaic wrote:
In today's SCMP, there is a full page picture of a bloke from Lamma. Is it Lamma Gung? I think we should be told...

Me, in the SCMP? AGAIN?
Now I have to go out and get the paper, but I don't recall anybody shooting my photo recently. I'm sooooo shy and like anonymity, always running & hiding in the bushes whenever I see a camera from afar...

But I have to admit that I got my mugshot into the SCMP and other papers quite a lot a few years ago:
clutching another
website award I had won, a dotcom or e-zine started up, or being frequently interviewed about multimedia/Internet marketing...
Halcyon days, but life is easier in semi-retirement these days...

By the way, this is my 1,000th message on Lamma.com.hk. icon_rolleyes.gif
I must be crazy, lazy and have nothing better to do... icon_redface.gif

Lamma-zine #23: Exploring the Lost Valley of the Hippies

Next Issue


Next Lamma-zine (#25), to be published Sep 25:


* Silver Anniversary of Lamma-zine: retrospective, best photos, etc.

* Mid-autumn festival: photo gallery.

* Restaurants: news, updates, photos & promotions, incl. Sok Kwu Wan.

* Enterprise: charter catamaran sailboat (exclusive story).

* Silly Signs on Lamma: photo gallery in progress for a full year.


For any ideas, news, gossip, stories, photos: email Editor.

Deadline: Sep 21.


readers since July 1, 2003

Last update: July 03, 2010 11:04 AM

All pictures and text may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes only.

© 2003 Lamma-Gung, Compunicate! e-Marketing & Website Development



  1. 1 Year of Fun, Laughter and Turmoil!



    Lamma.com.hk is one full year old now, would you believe it? It was started on Jul 23, a Tue, at 10:07am, by our founder webdog as just a little hobby. Here are a few quotes collected from some of our moderators and active members:


    webdog (Site Administrator):

    All I can say is you have my best wishes to your e-zine success.

    mr 3 + e (moderator of Pets forum):

    Mr 3 sends his congratulations for the 1st Anniversary of Lamma-dot-com.

    firstly we have to mention that throughout the past year, Lamma-dot-com has given LAP a great deal of support, announcing and reporting our work and activities. Mr 3 says thank you to the kind souls.

    in the past year, Mr 3 and I have tried many things new at Lamma-dot-com. we have written a chapter of the wandering kittens and introduced our Taro-san. we have befriended a dog called webdog and a real gentle "ah-gung".

    we have, throughout the period of SARS, with the kind assistance of our gentle-gung, given a mask to Mr 3. we have, spay-buses and meet LAP days to tell you about. we have a "name this utensil" competition won.

    meeeeeeooooowwwww! its been so nice to have Lamma-dot-com with us.

    Alan (moderator of Environmental forum):

    I joined the site in expectation that it would be an extension of the real community, which I've been out of here since I don't habituate bars. But soon found that others considered they were in a fantasy land where they could let their Mr Hyde loose.

    Unfortunately, these world views soon collided and left the site a no man's land for several months. The creation of the Fight Club allowed both to exist without destroying each other, so now real issues can be discussed without interludes of drunken obscenities; meanwhile there's a flowering of role playing in the FC, like the back room in a gay bar. There are probably no more than 20 regulars on the site, so it has a long way to go.

    The Divine Ms D
    (she requested a special blonde wig (Agnetha Faltskög) for the following ABBA song. I happily obliged, making a special Avatar):

    Lamma gung sweetie,

    Here's my special version of Abba's Mamma Mia for your 1st anniversary. If you can mix my avatar with the picture below so it looks like I have an Abba wig on, that would be even better. Enjoy!


    I first logged-in to you for a bit of a joke

    I guess now everyone knows, I'm not like other folk

    Look at me now, in my Abba wig

    I don't know how but this site really feels like home

    I'm a freak - but I'm not alone

    Just one look, I want to join in and tease

    One more look, I start a-tappin' the keys



    Lamma mia, here I go again

    My my, writing in the Fight Club

    Lamma mia, missed my show again

    My my, I got fired from the nite club

    Oh, through the tears of laughter

    leave me with smudged mascara

    Why? Why? Would I ever let you go?


    Lamma mia

    Now I really know

    My my, you're better than a drag show

    Haiku Kitty
    (Lamma's Furry Poetess):

    To observe most honourable occasion of one year of lamma.com.hk, unworthy and humble bowing Haiku Kitty offers traditional nagauta waka in 5-7-5-7-5 pattern.

    Noble L-G's site

    grows faster than young bamboo.

    Kitty bows deeply:


    Happy 1st birthday


    bbchris (moderator of Music forum):

    A year? Is it really that long? I remember joining up and telling webdog - this can become a lot of work, you have to question what you want out of it - who knew Lamma-Gung would join and create those fabulous ezines!! The board has been a great place to meet up with friends old and new. There was so much excitement initially and it was the talk of Lamma Island.

    Unfortunately, there are always people who hate seeing others have fun. These few anons (assholes) have been relegated to Fight Club (which is cool) however I don't think lamma.com.hk will ever regain its free spirit of posting as it did initially because of the anons. Trashing Neil's daughter was extremely below the belt. Still, we all have a great life offline too so no huge worries.

    Congratulations to webdog for starting My Lamma. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to moderate the Music Forum - come on Lamma Musicians - post away! wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Bobsy (Bookworm Café):

    firstly a big congratulations to lamma gung for surviving one year as a selfless community servant and for doing such an excellent and professional job.

    secondly well done to lamma.com.hk for becoming such an informative and colourful first class web site.

    thirdly i would like to express my deep appreciation to lamma gung, for providing such a service that enriches our little community here on lamma island...

    last but not least i urge everyone to try to help the web site survive its current financial crisis in whatever way they can as it would be a big loss to our community if it were to close down.

    Dr Freud (by phone from the pool-side in Venezuela):

    I was first called to the Lamma community website to investigate the postings of an unusual number of extreme faecal enthusiasts.

    They were easily identified as a 'flange' of nappy fetishists attempting to recruit new members and I am glad to say that many of the aforementioned scatophiles are now leading almost normal lives.

    Lamma.com.hk offers a psychoanalyst the unique opportunity to observe the intrapsychodynamics of a wide range of untethered personality disorders. In the past 3 months alone we have witnessed:

    bed-wetting, sexual anxiety induced insomnia, birth trauma, homophobia, the desire to have traditional English food shoved up one's bottom, onanism, misanthropy, castration fear, exhibitionism, neuroticism based on anal retention, oedipal conflict and horse cock fantasies.

    I would like to thank the web site contributors for making an old psychotherapist very happy.

    Dan Peterson (Island Bar):

    Congratulations on successfully reaching a Year One milestone - from Dan, Sharon, Andrew & Sascha (Spot's family). And on behalf of the Island Bar, keep up the good work for the Lamma community!




    k@ (moderator of Oldsters forum):

    Old Lammaites will know that I used to help Derek Blair publish the Lamma Gazette newspaper way back in in 1988. After his death, I and others, tried to keep it going but his shoes were far too big to fill. Several formats were attempted including the infamous FAX OFF which was very popular mostly due to Frank Paul's extremely amusing contributions.

    In 1996, with financial help from Hongkong Electric, some friends and I managed to put a version of the Gazette on-line and by 1997 had included clunky Perl driven messageboards, classified ads and all the usual interactive stuff.

    There were many people who helped out in those early days, providing news articles and stories free of charge, donating sponsorship money altruistically, and generally trying to give Lamma a head start on the (so called at that time) Information Super Highway.

    I am not sure whether it was because I spent my final 5 years on Lamma drunk and smelling of cheese, or because I was a tall and unpleasant git with a quasi mullet haircut, or because nobody could actually run the thing, but whatever the reason, I was unable to find anyone willing to take over the Lamma website when I left, despite the $2,000 in beer money it generated every month.. Duh!

    Imagine my joy then, when Chris Bowers told me to check out the NEW site created by webdog and Lamma-Gung. I did. It was great! It was being used. It was uncensored, It was a breath of fresh air, and at last Lammaites were using it on a daily basis to swap news, exchange views, and vent their spleen.

    (continued in right column)

    I immediately sent congratulations to the administrators for achieving that which I had been unable to achieve and started posting inane messages straight away to annoy them as much as possible. Lol. I think I first logged in within the first few weeks of launch and since then I pop in to see what's going on twice a week at least.

    I cannot thank Gung and Webdog enough for the time and effort they put in to running this excellent site, I know it takes far more commitment than you might think. It has helped me contact many old friends that I had lost contact with. Not just Lamma residents but people I have not seen for 25 years. Old school friends all grown up and with kids, buddies that left HK for pastures new, all of whom I can now chat to or visit.

    You can drop in during the day time, keep up with news and expect a reasonable exchange of views, or you can stumble home at 4am drunk as a Lord and slag off some loony in the Fight Club without fear of offending anyone.

    Not only that, but over the past 12 months, Lamma Gung has managed to create a top class Lamma-zine containing pointers to the most interesting threads just in case you missed them, and plenty of interesting and fun stuff on the island in general.

    Anyone who has seen the last few issues will know what I mean. Anyone who hasn't seen them should go take a look and maybe even send in an article or two themselves.

    I love it! What more do you want from a community web site?

    This website seems to have something for everyone, support it, continue to use it! Freedom of speech is rare in the world and Lamma.com.hk has it in abundance.

    Happy anniversary, many many thanks, and keep up the good work.



    I was an active poster on the "will bike riders please slow down!" topic that ran for pages and pages - but then I got fed up with saying the same things over and over, and with the trolls picking fights, so I lapsed. Now I'm a lurker. There I've said it. I hang around and read the some of posts, and I happily absorb the monthly e-zine but rarely take the time to add to the forums.

    I blame it on TV! Its turned me into a mc-voyeur! I demand my entertainment spoonfed to me in predigested bitesized chunks, preferably with a canned laughter sound track, so I dont have to make even that effort!

    Actually part of the problem is that I only have dialup at home and downloading a 2MB page just takes too long. so I skim it at work, but I dont have the time to reply there, and by the time I've got home there are other things on my mind...

    And I should say congratulations too. I have seen various Lamma forums and magazines etc over the past decade and none of them that I remember have been active this long.

    For the "you've been on Lamma too long" list: I was told this when I arrived. When you've been on Lamma for a year make a copy of your list of Lamma friends and phone numbers. Each time someone leaves cross them off the list. when half the people on the list have left - it's time for you to go. By that reckoning I should have left in about '97...

    (Site Administrator/Editor/Techie):

    Webdog is neither an Internet nor a computer nor a telecom guru. But he had the idea that it might be good fun to have a message board for Lamma Island, a place he loves and just moved to back then. He had the vision, but he also took action! Setup was quick & easy and the site's been running pretty reliable ever since.

    A few days after startup, he placed little stickers on walls and telephone poles, simply saying: "Lamma.com.hk - the community goes online". That's where I saw this domain name first, during one of my photo safaris to Tai Peng and beyond. I joined as member #13, my lucky number, becoming an active message poster right away.

    But a few days later, webdog left for one of his long business trips, right when Lamma.com.hk was taking off and requiring daily site administration & moderation. After exchanging a few emails, but never meeting face-to-face, webdog made me the only other site admin. He's left me in charge whenever he's away or busy (most of the time) and I hope to have justified this amazing trust so far. We usually agree on the direction & policies for the site, and if not, we always reach a compromise.

    Despite over 20 years of full-time IT, Telecom & Internet experience I had never administrated a message board before. This first year has been a real roller-coaster ride, some great fun, new friends, but also some naughty personal attacks & disappointments. But it's been a great & fun ride overall, a fantastic learning experience!


    Next big anniversary: 1 year of Lamma-zine: Sep 4, 2003

  2. Harry Harrison's Poster Gallery



    This month's Artist of the Month doesn't need any introduction!

    Just have a look at the SCM Post several days per week for his poignant, satirical look at current events! He's also a Yung Shue Wanker and the Lamma Illustrator Extraordinaire, promoting dragonboating, concerts, Island Bar, DickStock 2002, etc. Concentrating only on his Lamma posters, I've put together an extensive Art Gallery: Harry Harrison, like a little illustrated history of the last decade of our island.


    I've also commissioned a special caricature of the caricaturist and The Stick Insect Hunter took up the fun challenge (above left, click to enlarge). The artfully shadowy & mysterious photo of the artist in pensive mood (above right) comes from a recent full-page SCMP house ad. It carried a "clever" caption of:

    "My job as a cartoonist is not to tell people what to think - it is to provoke people to think, so that they can mindfully reconstruct the news, not after my own view, but from a view they can call their own."

    For more artwork, have a close look at his new, very impressive website: www.HarryHarrison.biz

  3. Lamma's Furry Poetess: Hello Haiku Kitty



    Haiku fever has recently swept over many forums on Lamma.com.hk. Who started it all? It was our new member #385, Haiku Kitty, posting the first poem in Lamma Haiku topic.

    For the few of you who might dare to ask: What are Haikus?


    A new local grand-masterette of poetry emerges... best_bow.gif best_bow.gif best_bow.gif
    Her localised haikus are really top-notch and capture this Japanese art form amazingly well, but they also integrate the local natural beauty and the irreverent, laid-back Lamma spirit. Here's a small selection of her best work so far, plus the Best of the Rest, a few poems by The Divine Ms D.

    By the way, can you guess the meaning of the different smileys in Haiku Kitty's signatures?


    Haiku Kitty:

    Cicadas sing love
    in the ginger orchid grove
    near the bean curd stand.

    In the egret's gaze-
    the pier sign illuminates
    a succulent shrimp.

    I have Hong Kong foot.
    Blisters on my sole weep pus
    like hibiscus dew.


    The Lamcombe lobsters
    taste sea air with their feelers
    and dream of freedom.

    Rusting by the path.
    In the old cement mixer
    gardenia blooms.

    The rash on my crotch-
    as red as yoke-wood blossom.
    Damn cheap nylon pants.


    wits and fools commune
    to vent anonymously
    stuff they should repress

    unconstrained by shame
    some slander the same people
    they'd greet on the street

    with foibles laid bare
    their banter makes for good sport
    passing time idly


    Plucked from the sea bed
    the typhoon tossed mine sways, dead
    on a couch of spume

    In sleep's sweet embrace,
    Kev smiles and scratches his balls.
    Beware! Centipede!

    Young day-tripper squeals,
    hides scared behind new boyfriend.
    Why? Small dog on path.


    Frangipani sweet,
    the breeze caresses Tai Ping
    and perfumes the night.

    Hearing the busker,
    the fleas on the blind dog sing.
    They know all the words.

    Tumescently green,
    the beach plants watch the party
    and hum mystically.


    Crowded Sunday street.
    Impatience rises in me,
    "Fai di! Fai di, la!"

    The noble Banyan
    gracefully stretches her roots
    beneath passing feet.

    At the Seats of Shame
    a lonely drinker ponders
    the nature of life.


    chomped leaves, bitten stems
    decimated flower beds
    damn caterpillars!

    waves of legs propel
    articulated chiton
    noxious centipede

    exploding blood sac
    mosquito reduced to mush
    sweet revenge is mine.


    In the moon-lit bay,
    the weary dragon-boaters
    yearn for cold lager

    Football pitch flood lights
    reflect on the fat cockroach,
    that falls in my drink

    After the cloud burst-
    an ambitious mosquito
    waits in the bathroom


    The crested bulbuls
    complete vociferously
    for the pizza crust

    Fresh white council paint
    covers the paper scrap ghosts
    of bargains and gigs

    Late for the ferry
    an insect flies in my mouth.
    Ack! Spit or swallow?


    Circling Yung Shue Long,
    three kites ride on the thermals
    with nonchalant ease

    On the cable road
    in a discarded rucksack-
    rat snake sheds his skin

    On the ferry home
    after a Spay Bus visit;
    Patch rethinks his goals


    Spotting a rival
    at his territory's border:
    the gekko cackles

    His hunt successful,
    the kitten presents us with
    a flailing cockroach

    The pleasing sizzle
    and then pop of mosquito
    on electric bat

    best_bow.gif best_wave2.gif

    One little toilet,
    Door so small, fits only one
    Doesn’t even close

    Uni-sex toilet
    Beware the piss on the floor
    Remember your shoes

    Get a little shock
    Man peeing, door wide open
    Happens every time


    The Divine Ms D:

    My Chinese silk dress
    adheres to my skin with sweat.
    I should shave my back.

    I sometimes wonder
    what Lamma-Gung would look like
    in twin set and pearls. icon_wink.gif

    As I sip my Pimms,
    a rivulet of warm sweat
    trickles down my thigh

    A hot date tonight.
    Oh - which wig? Cher boho chic?
    Or Grace Kelly cool?

  4. Real Fight Club: Beast, Panther & Angela!



    Want to join a real-life "Fight Club"? Lessons are being offered now in the new Island Gym on Main Street, just opposite the Deli Lamma, behind the future fish 'n' chips shop "The Full Monty" (also owned by the "Beast", left). A most impressive name card, but there's room for a few more titles to be added...


    This great picture of "Panther" and 2 students below comes from a recent SCM Post story, written & photographed by Steve Cray:

    Lessons in life pack a hefty punch away from the screen


    GETTING TO GRIPS: Alain N'Galani, 28, with pupils Christopher Foreman, 10, (left) and Saheeb Ambekar, 13, at Island Gym.
    Photo: Steve Cray © 2003 SCM Post

    The gym opening party was a few weeks ago and I've shot a few photos (see below). The Island Gym is accepting people interested in martial arts fitness from the age of 2. The Beast has been heavily promoting his Island Gym and his other gym in Central, Fightin' Fit, via interviews in newspapers and on the radio (RTHK Radio 3, Sun, Aug 17).


    He described himself as having a "German passport, French-Italian name, Nepali-British wife (Angela, see left, a Karate world champion, like the Beast), Japanese heart & Thai legs...", "Multi-cultural is what I'm all about!". When I met him for the first time with his baby daughter Montana, I dared to tease him as a "house-husband"...and survived to tell the tale!


    He has a most fascinating, international life story and a fun-loving, extremely outgoing personality with an unashamedly big ego, overwhelming self-confidence and a passion for self-promotion, besides all his medals & trophies. It's all most useful for starting and promoting his international businesses. He might make a most colourful interview subject for a future Lamma-zine feature, I think!


    Check out the Island Gym's poster, name cards, time table of classes, website and their latest Newsletter Aug/Sep '03, including details of their gold & silver medal wins at the recent Japan Cup.



    Island Gym Opening & Japan Cup '03


    Opening Party poster

    Colourful advertising

    Classes offered

    Free drinks draw a crowd!

    Students & parents & onlookers

    Angela, the fighter and...lawyer!

    The Beast being shut up by Angela

    Two future students ready to sign up

    Flower bouquets & sponsored buffet

    Shrine for the teachers' teachers

    Press clippings & protective gear

    Arm protectors

    HK tournament, Panther in action!

    The winners

    Japan cup, Aug '03

    So many blackbelts...

  5. Struggle for Democracy



    They renovated and repainted the Democracy Wall, the poster wall at the ferry pier! Do I need to change the wallpaper behind this Lamma-zine now, as it's based on the Democracy Wall, a kind of online version? Nah!

    This large job occupied at least six workers of the Urban-Council subcontractor for more than a week! Afterwards, they watched the new white painted poster wall vigilantly, ripping down every new poster within hours, trying to keep the wall clean & empty! Pioneers like LAP papered the wall with up to 13 posters overnight, trying to wear the anti-democracy forces out, but to no avail! The Struggle for the Democracy Wall is still ongoing, the Wall hasn't been restored yet, as a public, free-for-all, non-digital message board! Watch this space!


    The ABLE painting remains untouched.

    Six guys working for more than a week.

    New and old. I kind of liked the old texture & colours.

    The deed is done, (almost) smooth and boringly white.

    LAP's trying to restore the wall to its community messageboard function.

    The shotcreted slope close to the Democracy Wall is getting crowded.

    Inkjet-printed posters in a typhoon: exhibit #1

    Inkjet-printed posters in a typhoon: exhibit #2

  6. Hungry Ghosts at the Public Ferry Pier



    Click for cover photo story: Yu Lan Festival Photo Gallery

  7. Fire Dancers, Beach Parties, T8 & "da Bomb"



    So many things happening on Power Station Beach these days & weeks. Recent T8 typhoon Imbudo washed up an old mine and medical waste...again! Also, emotions over the beach parties there are gusting to typhoon level again... plus power blackouts... plus fire dancing...

    The long-running discussion topic When is the next beach parties? has been heating up dramatically recently, between party-goers and the ones who despise the parties continuing on during the day on weekends and holidays. See the following two aggressive quotes:


    Geno  (post subject: Too bloody noisy):

    Myself, my family and the vast majority of normal non drug taking members of the community do not want to spend our lazy Sunday afternoons listening to the dull bass thud of music played at ridiculous levels for the entertainment of a few idiots who are too selfish to know when to call it a day.

    Sure have a beach party, sure enjoy the music, sure put whatever recreational drugs of choice you need to get you off into your head, but for FUCKS SAKE leave the beach free for other people on Sundays and go home to bed.

    The police have received many complaints about the beach parties and to the best of my knowledge will be taking action in the near future.

    You have been given many opportunities to cut back the noise levels and show some consideration for other people so you only have yourselves to blame for what happens next.

    100-7Spliffany  (post subject:
    Maybe u should chill!):

    Actually is no point to explain to you cus you think everyone taking drug at the party, u think you the only one know how to enjoy the beach?

    I can see that you're not a happy person icon_cry.gif ( from your words) cus it's so mean! Party over or not is not up to u , and they never worry about the police cus they just having fun on the beach which is I doubt you to know what is (fun ) mean!

    why don't you just seat back and relax cus I worry you will have a heart attack!

    And don't worry cus I don't wanna know u either cus I don't think you're the person I want to know, and I believe this is the last post I reply to you ! peace out!!!



    On-going commentary about typhoon Imbudo and its aftermath on Lamma:  T8 a comin'...


    Wartime bomb found on Lamma
    (SCMP Jul 25, by Tommy Lewis):

    The shell of a second world war bomb washed upon Power Station Beach on Lamma Island early yesterday.

    Brett Elliott, one of a group of island residents who had gone down to the beach to watch the pounding waves, said the shell appeared to have been on the seabed before being dislodged. An officer from the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau later examined the shell before taking it away for further analysis.

    Police, called to the scene by one of the residents, said that the shell belonged to a second world war bomb, adding it was 1.2 metres in length and 1 metre in diameter.

    Intact, the bomb would have weighed more than 545kg, officers said.

    I contacted some reliable sources and managed to get a hold of several more pictures, including the one used by the SCMP above. All photos by Paul from Fatdezign, Tel 2982 2607. Click to enlarge.

    Is it a bomb?

    Is it Sputnik?

    Is it the missing nose cone?

    The Lamma Bomb disposal squad in action.

    Go away, bad bomb! ("This picture is staged for a laugh, so don't use it out of context!")

    How about a good caption for a future photo contest?


    Hongkong Electric  (Aug 15, 2003):

    Hongkong Electric (HEC) is very concerned about the massive power outage in the east coast of the United States and Canada. We will follow up the incident.

    HEC always strives to provide adequate and reliable electricity supply to our customers. As a responsible electricity company, HEC recognises the vital role reliable power supply plays in supporting the daily lives of our citizens, business activities as well as society as a whole. The Company has worked hard to ensure that the power supply is safe, sufficient and reliable. In fact, the Company has achieved a supply reliability level of 99.999% for seven consecutive years.

    HEC’s network operates independently and so will not be affected by incidents occurring in nearby networks. Customers can rest assured that massive power outage similar to that in the United States will not happen here.

    With HEC’s sufficient reserve capacity, we will be able to provide sufficient and reliable power supply in any circumstances.

    The Company has a comprehensive contingency plan. An emergency centre will be operated in case of major incidents.

    The recent Blackout 2003, the biggest power outage in USA/Canadian history made me think:

    Could it happen on Lamma?


    "No way, we're so close to the Power Station!" Really? Lamma Oldsters and long-time residents might remember the overnight power outage affecting parts of Yung Shue Wan, in the middle of a long & hot weekend in June 1999.

    It wasn't a Lamma Power Station problem at all, but a fault in the old electrical cable still bringing power from HK Island to parts of YSW back then. Everybody affected got half a month off their bill!


    I've asked the very helpful Public Affairs Dept. of HK Electric for a statement about the reliability of Lamma Island's power supply nowadays. See right:


    Sounds very reassuring and 99.999% reliability is definitely good enough, even for a cybergeek like me, who could never survive on Lamma without PC & reliable air-conditioning. But I wouldn't mind trading in half of my current HUGE, HUMUNGOUS electricity bill for a single night without power...


    Let's end this multi-topic feature on a positive and upbeat note:

    beautiful shots of Fire Dancing on PSB Beach, submitted by Gary Hill! Click to enlarge.

  8. "I am forced to write this"



    After his recent visit to Lamma, his former home, I've "forced" The Stick Insect Hunter to write a little account of how Lamma had changed since his last visit, seeing it with the eyes of an ex-Lammaite & infrequent visitor.


    Fame has its obligations, so all his protests fell on deaf ears. In the end he capitulated - meaning he agreed to co-operate willingly - especially after I reminded him that he's the one who DEMANDS a certain minimum coverage per issue for himself, Mr "I'm naturally shy!" See his most indignant complaint email in the last issue about being "under-represented". Hah! Let me OVER-REPRESENT him in this issue! I'll also continue to publish his recent exploits, even when he's making a complete ass of himself (literally):


    "Ok, come on, let me have it.

    I know I am such a whore. I went back to do advertising.

    What can I do, the temptation was simply too big.

    A friend of mine who runs a bar asked me if I could do something to promote the availability of advertising poster space in his toilets.

    Click on the picture to see with what I came up with.

    I did it for free that's why I pimp my website on them as well."


    To see his five other, much more embarrassing, shocking & blush-inducing advertising posters - definitely not suitable for this Lamma-families-oriented magazine - click on the poster above left.

    (Disclaimer: This publication refuses any responsibility for the content of web pages it links to. Click at your own discretion, if you are, or pretend to be, over 18 years old. TSIH's top search engine keywords of why people find his website: masterbation, kacke, cut penis, stick insect, maturbation, scary drawings,...)

    Back to his recent Lamma visit, see TSIH's The Dick Jones Diary, plus some more Hong Kong photos in his zany & inimitable style.


    The Stick Insect Hunter (Official Court Artist):

    I am forced to write this.

    It's not that somebody stands with a gun behind me but I agreed to do it and I have to keep my promise.

    I see it as some kind of experiment if I ever have to join the real world again and I would have to deal with deadlines and all that crap.

    Or, it could be an exercise of travel journalism.

    Anyway I should have done it when I was on Lamma Island. But I had some serious partying to do and during the day it was sooo frigg'n hot that I was afraid my computer would melt if I only tried to use it.

    My buddy Dickstock, with whom I am staying whenever I visit Lamma Island, has this obsession of not turning on the aircon even when the windows are about to melt. He lives almost isolated in a small bay which is usually cool an breezy, except a few days in a year when it is decidedly not. He lives at the beach and therefore in his apartment you don't need aircon, end of discussion. (just kidd'n, Dick)

    Well, these are all excuses why I didn't write this any earlier and I digress.

    This supposed to be a story about Lamma. A story from the point of view of someone who has lived there before but hasn't been back for a long time.

    I guess stories like that primarily focus on the things that have changed.

    Things don't change rapidly on Lamma Island.

    I've been coming to Lamma since the late 1980s and nothing much has changed since then.

    (continued in right column)

    With the exception of "Dickstock" it has been now a year since I visited my second home.

    So what has actually changed in a year?

    Dan Kwai Fong is getting more and more sophisticated (selling cocktails), Kumar sold "Island Spice", Rob and Alex have a kid and everybody got a good bit older.

    There are still the same people in the Island bar, sitting or standing at exactly the same spots they occupy since many years.

    There are still exactly the same greetings whenever I enter: "Hey, how have you been? How long will you be here for?"

    Ever since I come here, there are at least 5 guys with whom I have never had much more of a conversation except of those two sentences above.

    This is Lamma. It will always stay the same until the Chinese bureaucrats destroy it with their stupid ideas of beautification and progress.

    Some people come, some go. Apparently a number of old timers have left recently.

    As long as I can still get my dim sum in the morning,

    have a great Indian lunch with Dick at Island Spice,

    there is enough forest to go stick insect hunting,

    Pizza Milano sells pizza and there are still the same people in the Island Bar I am happy.

    And I will be back.

    Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. I can't remember when it was the last time I've got a beer for less than 20 bucks in the Island Bar. Now there is a beer for 18 bucks. Not all changes are bad.

  9. Catching a Garoupa with a Bookworm



    Garoupa is a new Lamma-based band that have been together a few months. They play a mixture of original bluesy/rock/funk and Moroccan songs.


    The international line-up includes Alex (England, see left) on guitar & vocals, Hamada (Morocco, 4 caps, 2 goals) on lead guitar, Gary (New Zealand, U21 Inter-national) on bass & Magnus (Sweden, no caps, no hats, no clothes) on percussion.

    They followed up a successful first gig at Pizza Milano with a stormin' debut at Wanchai Live. They performed at the Bookworm on July 19. I did an extensive photo shoot on their request on July 15, while they were practicing for their gig. I couldn't resist playing with a few of the photos, so they might have already regretted having invited me: Photo Gallery: Garoupa@Bookworm

  10. Remembering "The Fisherman's Friend"



    By now, almost all of you must have heard about the recent death of the very first Gwailo who ever lived on Lamma, the "Unofficial Mayor" nicknamed "The Fisherman's Friend".


    I didn't know this legend personally, unfortunately, but I've been soliciting memories from some people who knew him. A big part of Frank Murdoch's memories, written for this Lamma-zine feature originally, even made it into a full-page article in the SCM Post. You can still read this informative & entertaining article by Steve Cray here:

    "The Fisherman's Friend".


    The historic photo on the left was borrowed from above the Spicy Island bar, shot by Steve Cray, like the right one. For more memories of Jonathan by "Toad in the Hole", GM, V J and others: The longest serving foreigner on Lamma


    Some of the following memories of Jonathan might seem contradictory - even the spelling of his name varies - but I left them the way they were written. "Don't sweat the small stuff!" The historical details are much less important than the warm feelings that show up in most of these accounts, plus all the funny small anecdotes, of course!

    Please refer to the SCMP article for the biographical facts.



    Jonathan grey the man with the iron handshake. every time we shook hands i had to brace myself for a painful squeeze.

    Jonathan grey the man with the loud voice and big heart, the 'gweilo' that was more chinese than the locals.

    i was introduced to Jonathan not long after arriving on lamma about ten years ago. he was sitting in his usual spot outside 'ah hai's' having his afternoon cold beers along with a handful of locals both chinese and western. i was told he is the man to help you out should you need any help with the locals or government and so on. "he is very well connected both to the chinese community and the (back then) colonial government". yes, he was the first non-chinese to live on lamma and he spoke Cantonese and mandarin fluently. he was married to a local woman. he was also the head of the local fisherman's association for many many years and was a defender of the indigenous people's rights. he was well respected locally and used to command a lot of power.

    Jonathan belonged to another generation. he was born and raised in shanghai and went to school with some of today's prominent politicians. in the last three or four years he kept a much lower profile, mainly due to his illness, but would never fail to shout out his hellos and give me his trademark handshake whenever he saw me on the main street.

    i last saw Jonathan about six weeks ago sitting outside the Carlsberg shop having a laugh and drinking a few beers with the locals. he looked and seemed the same as he always had, strong, confident and full of honour.

    he told me once "bobsy, you know i have lived a good life and i am very proud of all the people i have helped over the years...and i have always strived to do what is right and for that i feel at peace".

    lamma has lost quite a character and he will be missed by many, especially the locals to whom he had given so much.

    may he rest in peace.

    Steve Cray (outtakes from the SCMP story, Aug 14):

    In a league of his own

    JONATHAN really was in a league of his own . . . the League of China Patriots. He wrote hundreds of letters to the South China Morning Post defending the mainland - particularly against what he considered to be a shortsighted US policy - signing them as representing “the league”.

    It turns out that he was probably the only member of the league, certainly the only member anyone ever knew about. Lamma resident Ian Watson described it as a “commonly known secret”: “Let’s put it like this,” he said, “We never saw anyone marching down from the ferry pier waving flags behind him.”

    The second coming

    Jonathan said: “Charlie (Thirwell) and I fought for them (the fishermen). They were begging on the streets, treated like scum. It’s much better now. Most of their kids have got jobs. But when I go to Stanley, I’m treated like the second coming of Christ. It’s embarrassing. Still, I always appreciate the beer.”

    The Tung administration

    “Tung is a man with a great heart but surrounded by somnambulant sycophants on huge salaries. What the hell are they doing for the people of Hong Kong? Everyone says there is ‘no hope’- nine out of 10 people will tell you that. All this free trade bullshit - what is that going to do for Hong Kong? Everything is being manufactured in the Delta. Hong Kong’s manufacturers employ over 11 million people - I’m told - in the Pearl River. Well, trading with Hong Kong? Free trade? Some of them are paid more than George W. Bush. It’s obscene,” Jonathan said.


    So Jonathan, tell me more about Shanghai. “Hang on, you see that woman over there? She fancies me. Well, she used to. I think she still does. Sorry, what did you say?”


    Mr DickStock:

    I've only known Jonathan casually, and only since 1988, when I moved to Lamma.

    For some reason, Jonathan Grey (Gray?) has always called me "Michael". For years it was "Michael", "Hello Michael", etc etc. Once a year or so I'd gently remind him it was "Richard" and he'd correct himself. Next time I encountered him, it'd always be "Mike" or "Michael" again.

    Then a couple of years ago, he suddenly started calling me Richard. And he kept it up to the very end. Strange fellow. A real original. A wonderful man.

    Nick the Bookman (and website owner):

    Jonathan grew up as a boy in Shanghai w/my dad - something he'd tell me almost every time we met. The tale would always be different in some small detail that I'd only realise later ("Wait a minute...").

    There was the hearty handshake and the boomvox propositioning all the ladies who passed by! His requests for warm beer. His genial declarations of protection. "Anyone gives you trouble, you come and tell me, (squeeze, squeeze of the knuckles) you hear?" "Yes Sir!" (Take the thought for the deed).

    He was a good man, did some good things. I miss him.

    Marilyn Hood:

    I didn't know Jonathan very well, however, occasionally he and I would find ourselves in the same bar. He was always charming and outrageously complimentary. What I will particularly remember about Jonathan was his extremely mellifluous voice.

    k@ (moderator of Lamma Oldsters forum):

    Sorry to hear about John, he was a friend of mine. No pictures though. Sorry. He was on Lamma for at least 30 years and was probably the first Gwailo resident.

    He was born in Beijing (then Peking) and went to school with Nick Lovatt's dad there I believe.

    I think he was a card carrying communist party member and knew Lu Peng, though I am not 100% sure about that. His Chinese wife Gloria??? died around 1996 I think. I think it was cancer, again not sure. John developed a brain tumour shortly afterwards.

    His best Gwailo friend on Lamma was Frank Murdoch. He may have a picture of him if he is still around. If not try the district board archives as he was District Board member for Lamma for many years. Try also the fisherman's association. I believe he was chairman of that too.


    Mr Tough (ToughDomains.com):

    The First and Only Time I Met Jonathan Gray

    Yawn, yawn, as I emerge from the 11.30 p.m. ferry from Central. I and Jonathan are the last two off and all is quiet and still in Yung Shue Wan. I notice idly that Jonathan is reading a magazine as he walks.

    Then, I look up just as Jonathon takes a stride into the bay off the pier - magazine still in hand at eye level!! [the offending open pier edge having had a railing constructed since].

    Silence - panic - only person around - run to edge of pier - scan the area - call out - nothing - flap arms wildly at HKKF ticket office staff!!

    Needless to say that it took 3 minutes or more to explain to them that I was not a drunk, drug crazed Gweilo attempting to rob them - not this particular night anyway! Eventually, they agreed to come and help me look for him, without much enthusiasm or belief that they were not still dealing with an idiot. Not surprisingly, someone called the police at this point.

    By the time we got back to the edge we heard a moan and found Jonathon under the pier hanging onto one of the pier pilings - on the other side! The ferry guy called down with some Cantonese, from which point on Jonathon spoke completely in fluent Cantonese, resulting in much good natured joviality and acceptance that all was well and there was no reason to panic.

    Where he had been for the few minutes in the meantime will always be a mystery. My guess is that he was knocked out briefly, but not long enough to go under, or maybe he landed on part of the pier - who knows!?

    A dripping wet, but obviously unfazed Jonathan emerges from the water, seeming a little unsure as to what had actually happened a few minutes before. Jolly old bill turns up at this point and sees that it's all sorted, followed more jovial Cantonese exchanges. There's no doubt that everyone knows him and I thought that they all treated him with much respect and patience.

    Jolly old bill had already trotted off and I escorted Jonathan into the village, checking that he was actually OK and not in shock of some sort. We had a pleasant chat and he disappeared off into the police box and more jovial exchanges.

    A brief, but interesting encounter and if he had not given me his business card I would not have known who I had helped, when asking around the next day. I went to the police box the next morning to see that he was OK and got another "drunk, drug crazed Gweilo" response from the now different, not so jolly old bill team that was on duty.

    I never spoke to him again and I doubt he would have remembered the incident. Nonetheless, I was glad to have known him, if only for this short time.


    Frank Murdoch (his friend for over 20 years):

    Farewell to Jonathan Gray

    This week Hong Kong mourns the passing of Jonathan Gray, a memorable figure who will be sadly missed by his many friends of all races.

    John was man of his time. Brought up as the heir to his father’s business empire in Shanghai, in 1950 the penniless, orphaned teenager was shunted to Hong Kong, along with the masses fleeing the purges then taking place within the country.

    At that time the Hong Kong was still recovering from World War II. It was in turmoil and John found himself alone except for the Jesuits, who educated him, and the local fishing community that adopted him.

    In the late 1950s, he met and married Gloria Castro, and she became his stalwart companion until her untimely death in 1993.

    To earn his living John became a building contractor, often acting as the spokesmen for Chinese companies who employed no English speaking staff. Although at times successful, riches eluded him. It was not his destiny to recoup the Gray Empire of his youth.

    His destiny lay in another direction. Always vocal about social injustices, during the 1960s John became an advocate for fisherman’s rights. Although he still remembered the Shanghai dialect of his youth, Cantonese became his second tongue, often spoken in the patois of the Tanka fisherman.

    He was the first European to live on Lamma Island where he became the Chairman of the Lamma Island Fisherman’s Recreation and Sports Association. During much of the 1980s he served as a District Board member. He also served on various Government committees for the betterment of the territory, and became a well-read contributor to the pages of local newspapers. However, 1997 was the harbinger of change and for the first time in his life Jonathan Gray took a back seat.

    On the morning of Monday, 4 Aug 2003, he had a seizure at his Lamma home and died on the way to hospital.

    Perhaps it was John’s upbringing that made him stand out from the crowd. With a rich baritone voice, a manly handshake, and the gift of the Blarney inherited from his father, he was larger than life and an impressive character until the end. Everyone might not have agreed with his rosy view of the world as it should be, but no one could deny that his involvement made the world a better place, even if only for his charismatic presence.

    He touched many in his special way – Jonathan Gray, we’ll miss you.

    Toad in the Hole (ex-Lammaite, having the last word in this Lamma-zine, with his very worthy idea):

    Following the death and funeral of Jonathan 'The Fisherman's Friend' Gray, I wonder if anybody would consider a modest campaign to erect a plaque or memorial to Jonathan near the pier or Main Street in YSW. He was unique in that he was the first Gweilo on Lamma.

    He was probably the only person capable of coordinating a campaign to better the lives of the destitute fishermen in Lamma and beyond and for bringing harmony and understanding to both local and foreign communities. And, also by dying on Lamma as a foreigner he made a powerful statement in itself.

    Let's face it, the local Chinese have made plenty of dollars from the thousand of foreigners who followed Jonathan's mould-breaking trail in the seventies. They would probably support a campaign to remember Jonathan and it would add a lasting reminder of life on Lamma for many who only pass briefly through this remarkable island. icon_wink.gif