Loads of Fun & Funds!
Fun Day again! The 4th year in a row now, it's gone from strength to
strength. This year looks like becoming the biggest and best so far!
According to the organisers, it'll be
"the usual blend of booze, market, games,
live bands and general silliness - fun for all the family. And again
all the proceeds are going to the Child Welfare Scheme in Nepal (www.childwelfarescheme.org)."
Music: For the up-to-date music schedule, go to
far, the following bands and DJs will be performing live:
Mike Barry, Sarah, Odyssey, Garoupa, DJ Steve Bruce, Bricker,
Papa Jack, Chris B & friends, Yung Shue Wankers.
Doggy's short history of the Lamma Fun Day &
the Child Welfare Scheme
Charity of the Month - Holistic HK
Newsletter of the Child Welfare Scheme (PDF file,
For details of some of the myriad of activities going on, click
on the posters below to enlarge:
Lamma Fun Day
2003 is aimed at raising the funds to sponsor a group of
students through their third and final year at the JYOTI
Vocational Training Centre. This group of ex-traffic girls and
street children have been successfully sponsored through their
first two years by our past events.
Volunteers wanted - get involved in any way you fancy!
We can always
use more helping hands during the Fun Day. From herding kids
through hoops on the beach and face-painting, to helping shift
speakers for the stage, or simply encouraging people to head on
down to the beach. One minute, one hour, one whole day of help
- any amount would be useful, and you will have the
satisfaction of knowing that you are not only taking part, but
contributing to this great day of fun and fundraising."
Webdog & La Mig
We are still
looking for volunteers, either for helping on our drinks
booth directly, or maybe one person for helping us stock up
on things we run out, as we can't plan the consumption so well
we thought it is best to have some of everything around and
then buy more if necessary, otherwise a lot of money is wasted
at the moment, it's as follows:
Daytime: Caipirinha, Mojito, Sangria and Brandy Alessandria
(that's Brandy Alexander with ice cream)
Evening/chilly weather: Mulled Wine, Irish Coffee.
(Tel. 6256 4200,
"I am in charge of organising
kids' activities on the day for the huge numbers of
schoolchildren we are expecting, who will be coming to Lamma
from all over the SAR.
The question is, do you know
anyone (including yourself, of course) who would be willing and
able to spare a bit of time on the day entertaining a bunch
of kids? I am open to all ideas - it could be face
painting, acrobatics, magicians, beach games, involve musical
instruments (as long as it's not too loud as we will be having
bands playing on the day)."
"If you know of any companies
that do this kind of stuff on a pro bono basis too - that would
be great if you would be kind enough to give me their details.
If we had a bouncy castle or something like that it would go
down a storm. Also it wouldn't be a bad branding and PR
excercise for the company either as a fair amount of people are
expected during the day and evening. And if necessary, we do
have a very tiny budget, but the less we have to spend,
obviously the better.
If you have any ideas, then let
me know. Look forward to seeing you on the day."
Lammadonna vs. Big Guy - Alex Chan Interview
heat is on! Just a few days left to Election Day, 11/23, only two
candidates left standing for District Councillor of Lamma & Po Toi.
On one side, 5' 11" tall Alex Chan, nicknamed "Big Guy" by his many
friends, on the other side Ms Yu Lai Fan, the incumbent District
Councillor - nicknamed "Lammadonna" by Samson in Tai Peng.
Madonna in the entertainment industry, Ms Yu seems to be
powerful, wealthy and in charge on our island, ruling
together with the Fongs. She's already in control of most publicly
electable or appointed positions. But I've only met two people
who've ever met her. An incomplete list of her positions:
Appointed District Councillor
Member of the
Executive Rural Committee
Representative, YSW (elected in July 2003
with 229 votes)
Vice-Chairman of HK
Outlying Islands Women's Association
Vice-Chairman of Islands
District Tourism Promotion Organising Committee
Vice-Chairman of Lamma
Director of Northern
Vice Chairman of
Tourism, Agricultural, Fisheries, Industry and Commerce Committee of
Islands District Council
Member of Islands
District Fight Crime Committee
Here's what I found on the govt.'s website:
Miss YU Lai-fan
Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong
2/F, 35A Main
Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island
Click to learn more about "1123
District Council Election 23 Nov":
It mentions 5,500 people living on Lamma and 2,200 registered
Click for details of the elections:
Your vote can make HK a better place
Have a good look at Alex Chan's comprehensive election
platform & info on his
No web page for Ms Yu available...
above the sign of the District Council office (Mr Fong & Ms Yu) on
35A Main Street, 2/F, back side, above the laundry opposite
the Deli Lamma. The sign says "Care about the community - Meet
with citizens - Complaints welcomed", inviting you to stop by
for questions & suggestions. Try it!
election forum (over 100 messages and 1,150 views) I've
collected questions for BOTH candidates. Only Alex Chan answered,
while the Lamma-zine got NO REPLY WHATSOEVER, not even a refusal,
from the camp of Ms Yu, despite repeated emails & faxes and leaving
my phone number, for over a week. The same with my very friendly
request for an interview, no reply of any kind.
She has also turned
down an RTHK election debate recently and even ignored SaveLamma's
local Chinese members who have tried to meet with her for over 1
year already. Publicly accountable govt.?
out the DAB website, listing their general policies and
bragging about having "105 DAB Distirct Councillors"
(out of 400). There's a $45,000 campaign budget from the govt. for
each DC candidate and a $18,000 salary.
The answers from
Alex Chan on relevant issues below speak for themselves, no further
promotion from the Lamma-zine necessary. He's been using the Q&A on
his campaign website as well and sent them out to friends &
supporters. Ask your friends, many of whom have met Alex Chan in
person recently. He can always be called directly at 9336-6908 or
VOTE! You CAN make a difference
Alex Chan, Chair of Citizens Party,
Candidate for District Council Elections, Lamma & Po Toi:
you standing for the District Council election?
I really enjoy working with people, understanding their needs,
resolving issues and building consensus. This is how a society
can excel and move forward. I find it very rewarding to myself,
being able to make some difference in social, environmental &
economic development. From working on the Save Lamma Campaign,
which pushes for community participation in public planning, I
learned that many residents on Lamma find their views not
represented in the District Council, and there was a general
lack of communication with the government. It prompted me
to run for this election – I think my experience in
facilitating public, government and private sector engagement,
together with a fresh and unbiased background will help make me
become a good district council member.
How would you improve emergency services in Lamma?
really need better access to emergency healthcare. The clinic
should be open on weekends & public holidays and there should
be night professional attendants to accept emergency patients.
Lamma residents need a helipad close by the clinic. The one at
the Power Station is simply too far away.
We all remember
David Slough's unfortunate accident. He could have lived if
there were a helipad close by the clinic and the pilot could
land there free of hindrance. The Civil Engineering Department
(CED) has long agreed to provide for a temporary helipad on the
site reserved for the sewage treatment plant, pending a
permanent helipad to be built beginning 2004/05 as a small
extension into the harbour. Unfortunately, to-date, there is
still no sign when the temporary helipad would be available &
it is terribly overdue. I emailed CED on Nov 5, 2003 to check
on the status. Mr. Jimmy Chan of the CED promised to reply me
shortly. I'll follow up with him and get back to the community.
are your plans for developing Lamma?
great potential. It can become increasingly recognized as a
place rich in diversity, in enterprise and history, a place
with a human scale and touch, a unique seaside village which
people are proud to call home. We see Lamma a thriving village
community with lots of creative people, delicious food, scenic
views & cultural richness. It is the best to enhance these
qualities of Lamma to make it a preferred place to live and a
favoured destination for leisure and rural tourism.
It is most
important that we'd be sensitive and refrain from
over-engineered projects so as to maintain a quality living
environment. A good example is the proposed Phase II
reclamation which was planned for an estimated future
population of 16,000 people. But in reality, the population has
been only about 5,500 and is even in slight decline. Houses are
now built very closely together, and in a pace so fast that we
couldn’t even catch up to make proper maps and an effective
drainage system. Haphazard construction work should therefore
not be permitted.
focus our efforts and our valuable public resources on
addressing real needs, such as:
- Upgrading essential emergency services and healthcare.
- Clearing rubbish sites in the villages and at potential
sites of focus, such as large banyan trees along the main
streets; Preventing further illegal dumping of unwanted objects
and construction waste.
- Re-planning the uses of much of the land on the Phase I
reclamation, which has been sitting there vacant for years.
- Provision of a community centre: I have received lots of
comments, during the last two months while I went around Lamma
meeting residents, about the need for a good indoor public
space where people can gather for different events
- Better elderly care, as many old people live by
themselves on Lamma Island
changes can make lives a lot better:
Lockers for YSW Hung Shing Yeh Beach users; appropriate signage
to help guide visitors; bike parking friendly railing… this can
be a long list.
4) Do you
support providing an English-language primary school curriculum
on Lamma? If yes, what will you do to advance this?
November 8, 2002, I had a meeting with Ms Jennie Yuen, Northern
Lamma Primary School Principal to discuss the issue of language
education at her school. Subsequently, I wrote Ms Yuen a
letter; stating Citizens Party's support for a multicultural
curriculum in language education. We saw that with a good
integration of local and expatriate students, it should be an
excellent opportunity to foster quality bi-lingual speaking
environment in school. Children can most readily learn two
languages at the early age. I offered to help make this happen
because a successful bilingual curriculum could well become a
role model for other primary schools in Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, I was not given more opportunity to get more
involved beyond just a meeting. It is unfortunate that recently
more and more parents send their children to attend primary
schools outside Lamma. I believe that it needs a higher passion
from both school faculty and parents to foster such a bilingual
school environment in Lamma. I will continue to engage
with parents and educators on this.
are your views on the planned Lamma ring road (Yung Shue Long
Valley-fire station-Tai Wan)?
see any logic for building such a ring-road. The Citizens Party
opposed to the plan right from the start. You can view our
response submitted on June 16, 2003 to Dr Sarah Liao, Secretary
for Environment, Transport and Works on the CP website:
justification for this project is “emergency vehicular access”,
however from the plan provided, this proposed road does not
seem to connect to neither the police station nor the fire
station. Putting it simply, we don't see any connection of this
proposed ring-road with any needs regarding emergency vehicular
access. My stand that is that these infrastructure projects
need a higher degree of transparency and public involvement. To
cite one excerpt from my letter to Dr Liao: " we also need to
point out that the need for emergency vehicular access has
frequently been used as a justification for various
construction projects in the Yung Shue Wan Community and other
outlying islands, such as Peng Chau. While everybody should be
concerned about saving lives, decisions on massive construction
projects should be based on hard analysis of needs and an
overall development and conservation strategy consistent with
sustainable development. Sizable but non-integrated projects do
not necessarily fulfill the intended purposes but often end up
causing unnecessary spending of public money and damages to the
environment and existing aesthetics."
identify that infrastructure improvements are needed. Please
can you advise what you consider the priority projects are?
drainage systems and less haphazard construction to clear dead
water that form mosquito sites; more public toilets in YSW for
the convenience of local residents as well as tourists;
provision of a community centre that serves the real needs of
community residents. Please note that none of these requires
further reclamation of the Yung Shue Wan Harbour.
YSW waterfront and potential focus points, I support Save Lamma
Campaign's proposal to build a light-weight walkway across YSW
harbour, which would provide people with enjoyable access to
the waterfront and free-sitting space and not damage the
semi-natural harbour or affect outdoor dining.
It is a
constant debate how to improve the current narrow paths that
are shared by pedestrians and vehicles. The experience of
narrow lanes and small shops is part of what makes Lamma so
unique. However I agree that during the weekends, these paths
become congested with people, inconvenient and potential
dangerous to people, bikers and drivers. Therefore these paths
need careful and detailed improvement, decisions contingent
upon environmental integration and comfort.
opinion about using the newly painted white “poster wall” at
the ferry pier as a local community message board?
plays a critical community role by allowing people to buy and
sell second hand goods and to let people know about community
events. Other topical uses are also welcome, as freedom of
expression should be respected. But of course, I urge people to
observe good etiquette as well.
to deal with controlling dogs fouling the paths on Lamma; and
how to find the dog/cat poisoner.
I doubt if
anyone has the perfect quick-fixes to these problems. I fully
support the work of Lamma Animal Protection (LAP), and I would
hope to discuss with them and other dog owners for solutions. I
hope to hold public meetings to gather ideas and volunteers to
help find root causes and solve, or at least improve the
conditions. In the meantime, I'll help promote dog owners'
responsibilities and campaign against animal poisoning.
Besides, deliberate dog poisoning should be illegal and I'll
push for law enforcement.
you or any member of your family have an interest in any
company that receives government contracts on Lamma?
Absolutely NOT. I only have one job. I work for a company that
sources Mainland Chinese products for international retailers.
It has no business interest in Lamma whatsoever.
10) How about
introducing a regular time and place so your constituents can
have an office in Central where I meet visitors by appointment.
Once I set up my office in Yung Shue Wan, I'll have regular
office hours. Besides, I'm always just a phone call & email
away. Even if I am not available at the time of call, I usually
promptly return phone calls and answer emails on the same day.
to submit suggestions & ideas to you? By fax, email, phone or
directly at 9336-6908. If I am in a meeting or otherwise not
available, just leave me a voice message. I'll call back very
soon. Or email me at
12) Do you
have any election message or statement for our readers?
Yes, I do: Dear Lamma & Po Toi residents. This is Alex Chan,
candidate for the 2003 District Council Election. I genuinely
believe active engagement of residents and stakeholders in the
public decision-making process will produce the most credible
solutions to community issues. With objective viewpoint,
proactive & creative approach, genuine concern & fresh energy,
I will strive to raise the openness of Islands District Council
to a new level and bring real improvements to Lamma and Po Toi
Islands. EACH VOTE COUNTS。PLEASE VOTE for Alex Chan, # 1 on the
critical questions for Alex Chan only:
1) You don't
live on Lamma. And do you think this will be a hindrance to
getting things done here?
that where I live is a non-issue in the DC election campaign.
In other parts of Hong Kong, it is common that a candidate
lives in one district and seeks election in another. Outlying
Islands should be of no difference. Hong Kong is a tiny place
afterall. The important and relevant considerations are whether
I have the ability to serve the community and push for their
good cause; whether I can handle issues objectively,
impartially and offer credible solutions; whether I have the
leadership skills to resolve complicated issues so that the
community can stay cohesive and move forward in the common
accepted direction and whether I am a person of trust and
political experience in rural politics and getting things
changed out here?
I am a
result-oriented person. Very against “little work, big
propaganda” line of act.
involvement in the Save Lamma Campaign had led me to work
through various complicated government processes. When we first
started, it was almost an impossible task as the Planning
Department told us that all consultations were completed. With
our passion, strategy, skills & actions, we have successfully
turned things around- we pushed for communication, public
consultation non-stop, consulted private engineers and
planners, generate overall concerns of harbour conservation via
the media. We are further pushing for a better planning process
to improve the Yung Shue Wan Harbour.
regard to rural politics, I definitely respect the local
village leaders and pay serious attention to their opinions.
But the local political institutions should be more open up and
transparent so that residents can better monitor the political
leaders' performance, recognize achievements as well as enforce
3) Why does
the Chairman of a political party care to run in such a small
constituency like Lamma?
Party is the Party in Hong Kong with a distinct concern for the
environment. We are a small party and quite a number of our
members are Lamma residents. The Citizens Party feels very much
at home in Lamma and we'd like to make Lamma our home base.
4) Do you
have larger political ambitions? Some may think DC is only
stepping stone to a more significant political role in HK?
Oh yes, I
do. I am never shy away about it. My ambition is to build a
political party, popular and commonly accepted by the people of
Hong Kong. I believe that political participation can empower
people to advance their good causes. I really like to recruit
more members who would stand in future elections in Lamma,
other constituencies in the Outlying Islands District and
elsewhere in Hong Kong. I myself want to run for LegCo someday,
although it is way too early to speculate whether I would get
to that stage.
platform states that you will seek ‘Universal Suffrage’,
assumingly you mean in HK. As DC how will balance dealing with
district needs to your wider political agenda?
Universal suffrage is very much relevant to the District
Councils. Of the 18 members in the Islands District Council,
only 8 are returned by direct election. The majority of the
seats are either appointed by the Government or automatically
taken by the heads of the Rural Committee. That is the root
cause why residents don't get to know and participate in public
decisions that could seriously affect their communities. That
is fundamentally why you have had no voice in all of these
weird community projects which sprang up out of no where.
Therefore, universal suffrage is of crucial important at the
district council level! You can only see real improvements in
public governance if and only if you can directly elect all
District Council members who have no ties with the local
undemocratic political institutions. I happen to be such a
Rock the Tipi, Rockit!
Lamma bands playing at the recent Rockit festival in Victoria Park:
Garoupa, Nude and Polyrhythm. And the famous native-Indian Tipi from
Lamma made an appearance as a chill-out place for Lammaites and
backdrop for another great Drumjam by Kumi & friends.
made it into the SCM Post as the "Pick of the Day", described as
"Lamma-based band Garoupa open the Rockit
Festival, with a mix of original acoustic-based blues/rock/funk and
Moroccan songs.". They even used a photo I shot of them
gig in the Bookworm Café on July 15.
For the Lamma-zine's very first Multimedia Gallery
with photos, short video clips & sound bites, click on
Lamma @ Rockit - MM Gallery.
Restaurants & Bars -
of stuff happening again in the local dining & drinking scene in the
last few weeks!
Two restaurants have unfortunately
closed their doors (My Café on Back Street, and Table for Two,
behind the public toilet).
Diesel's has started to offer Indian & Western
Fish Night & Tex-Mex Nights in Aroy Thai every
$16 Dim Sum set menu in New Holiday Mood.
Celtic Fest @ Island Bar Photo
A great new Indonesian take-out place (West of
Java) has opened behind Scorpio's biz centre (see right photo).
Thai Thai (most popular Satay place on Back
Street) is moving to a newly-redecorated restaurant opposite.
Yes, and we're still waiting with bated breath for
The Retired Beast's The Full Monty to open in January!
For more details & info & photos & menus:
Restaurant & Bar
News (Nov) - Photo Gallery
R U Feeling Secure
was a "Domestic Security Seminar for Overseas Residents" in our town
hall recently, only the 2nd public event I've EVER seen held in
there. The local police force and the Crime Prevention Bureau did a
PowerPoint presentation, giving some facts on the recent massive
surge in burglaries all over North Lamma, educating us on how to
burglar-proof our flats and trying to answer the many critical
questions from often very upset residents.
was definitely a most lively event, people shouting at the police
officials and at each other, community feedback in action. We were
flooded with colourful leaflets on burglary prevention. Help
yourself by clicking here:
Home Security Assessment 1,
Protect Your Home,
Protecting Your Property & Vehicle,
The police claims only 3 (!) burglaries w/breaking
have taken place on North Lamma from Jan-Sep this year, almost 90%
less than last year, but doubling the number of burglaries without
any break-in (22), meaning going in through open windows and balcony
doors. Read all about the latest cases and the many questions raised
by the obvious failure by the police to catch even a single suspect
all of this year:
Burglaries forum on Lamma.com.hk (80 messages, 1655 views!).
got an email from "Chris in Wales" a few weeks ago:
"Congrats on your e-zine which
astonishingly combines completely off-the-wall barminess with
valuable information. Keep up the good work. I say this because
although I live in the UK I am coming to HK to visit my son (I am an
old geezer of 61; he's an old geezer of 31). He lives on Cheung Chau
(silly man - even I know Lamma is the centre of the universe, not
Cheung Chau). I want to spend some time on Lamma between 5th and
19th of November and am interested in what's on in the evenings,
plus doing two or three day's walking on the island..."
emailed back and forth and I helped him to book a place to stay on
Lamma (see left). I managed to "persuade" him to write a piece for
this Lamma-zine, about his impressions BEFORE and AFTER his visit
here. Despite the sad fact that his hilarious story contains
several outrageously slanderous & libelous remarks about the
Lamma-zine - and about people posting messages on Lamma.com.hk -
I'm publishing it here anyway, unedited. After meeting this funny &
cheerful guy several times during his 2-day visit on Lamma recently
(see photo taken in the Deli Lamma), let's see what he'll come up
with in the next issue, reflecting on his changed perceptions (or
not) AFTER his first-hand experiences.
the UK, it was with great unease that I heard that the faraway
island of Lamma had been rocked by as many as 25 e-zines in the
last year alone. Despite a complete ignorance on my part as to
whatever an e-zine might be, my concern was undiminished.
this e-zine contagion? Was it like a typhoon – you could
shelter and it would pass, leaving damage and crap in its wake,
but it might be good for a day off, if you got the timing
Or was it
like SARS – hide behind a mask and pretend that it’s not
happening, again with a bonus – this time the rather perverse
one of being able to put the shits up someone you didn’t like
by cunningly arranging for your mask to slip just before you
cough all over them?
reminded me of how little I knew of Lamma. Half-forgotten
memories of an island community of dyslexic dog-fearing people,
where there was no alcohol and people drove around in cars all
day (or was it the other way round?) before they invariably
retired to bed at about 8pm to listen to the BBC World Service
whilst sewing together blankets for the Third World, a routine
to be broken only on special occasions by travelling across to
the other side of the island to witness a skein of flying pigs
silhouetted against the magnificent sunset at Suk Mai To Bay.
I knew that in reality, the sewing of blankets for the Third
World had suffered a serious decline from which it had never
recovered, after that embarrassing day in 1996 when the morning
ferry had delivered a huge crate marked “Blankets for Lamma
Island – kindly donated by the British Red Cross”. As ye sew,
so shall ye weep, or something like that.
of the inhabitants today? Could it be that there might, even
now, still be some hardy survivor able to recall, with wizened
face and misty eyes, a time when people smoked pot and drank to
excess? Was it really ever true that one sturdy Lammalian was
so overcome by hallucinations that he even had a vision that he
had caught the ferry to Central, disappeared into one of those
shiny towers and actually – I hope you’ll pardon the expression
– gone into gainful employment? Just about believable, you may
think, but the story grows too big for its own boots with the
preposterous assertion that he was invited to return for a
questions – but where to find the answers? And then it came in
a flash. But, putting my personal problems at one side for a
moment, I recalled the wonder of the Internet. By the simple
expedient of logging on to www.lamma.com.hk, and then returning
to my computer a couple of days later when it had downloaded, I
entered the wonderful weird world of Lamma as it is today.
immediately exhorted to “laugh at it”. Well, yes, I suppose
some of the web design was a bit elementary and garish, but
would the grown-ups be able to do any better, I mused. The
style and theme was certainly eclectic. Of course I have no
idea what the word eclectic means, but I do know that no-one
has ever successfully sued for being called eclectic, and I’m a
cowardly sort of bloke by nature. Scrolling down, I found that
disturbingly practical nuggets of information appeared without
warning, shining out from the surrounding thickets of
wall-to-wall drivel that only an Editor desperate for copy
And then there was something
called a forum. Well, in my day this was some form of
special-interest magazine but it would appear that its modern
electronic namesake is so much more. As far as I can make out
from its content, the forum is some kind of enlightened social
experiment designed to act as a social outlet to all sorts of
people that no-one has bothered to speak to for years. There is
not even a discreet hint that the whole thing might be
sponsored by the Hong Kong Council of Social Services as one of
its more thoughtful outreaches into what has to pass for the
minds of the intellectually dispossessed.
The venture clearly fulfils a
great social need and it is pleasing to think that its many
contributors no longer have to seek the social contact that
they clearly crave through the medium of hissing and spitting
at passers-by in the crowded recesses of Yung Shue Wan Main
Street. How much the lot of the modern Yung Shue Wanker has
improved. A far cry from the days when that faintly edible
smell that occasionally emanates from those who live on their
own was the dominant fragrance that greeted the nostrils of the
first-time visitor to Lamma’s many sophisticated night-clubs.
And yet even as I scrolled, I
became ever more conscious that something was missing. Lamma
seemed to have everything that mattered to a person of
creativity, intelligence and discernment – or that mattered to
me, for that matter. Perhaps what was missing was me. A growing
conviction that - well, it’s only 8,000 miles away - rapidly
morphed into something more tangible – an air ticket to Hong
Kong and a ferry to Lamma. Time to see for myself.
The Production of
Locality in a Transnational Community
"I would like to know if I can
do an informal interview with you this week. I'm doing some initial
research on Lamma before I do my PhD in anthropology - which I am
doing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Anyhow, I can tell you
all about the project when I see you if that's possible. Naturally I
am contacting you as I am told that you are a mine of information on
all things Lamma."
Obviously, flattery got her everywhere... In return
for picking my brain for most of an afternoon (it still hurts a bit)
and evoking bitter-sweet memories of my own university days, I got
her to write up her thesis in a light & non-academic way below, plus
a link to a most impressive
academic intro, "so people can get
mind boggled, try and do it tomorrow for ya with a little photo of
moi attached (see right), so I can get publically approached!!".
You're all very welcome to "publically approach" Lisa
and get your brain picked by her as well, all in the name of
science! It was actually a very pleasant experience, I have to
I case you wonder about the title of Lisa's thesis, she explains
that "at the origins of my own pomposity is
the homage to a great thinker, the Indian anthropologist Arjun
Appadurai, whom in my opinion is the
most profound thinker in 21st
century anthropology - particularly his work on global-scapes; and
his query of 'the production of locality' ;)"
I especially like the conclusion of her
most impressive academic intro:
"Thus Lamma as a
sense of physical space that is home to a diverse overlapping
community of communities is both a traditional yet alternative
starting point to try and unravel and make some sense out of the new
ways that cultural diversity is organised in this age of
beautiful little dot in the South China Sea has suddenly become
more than just a place that I have called home for the past two
years. I am delighted to find myself back in the world of
Cultural Anthropology where I am currently doing postgraduate
research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and plan to
make this unusual enigma of a place the subject of my research
(read the introduction!!!).
amazing how the people I have spoken to so far about Lamma ways
of life talk about this place. To some, "it’s like living in
China, without actually being in China", "it’s like a little
Manila"; for others, "it's an alternative reality to living
place of memories, "Sunday night Monty Python-style sketches in
the Corner Bar aka 'The Hippy & Dog'". A place where you
"actually ‘met’ people on the ferry" at a time when they had
"carpet and sold food".
where people may leave, but are remembered, their names etched
on to the landscape...Hunter's Beach, Johnny Coleman’s Beach,
memories of people dispersed all over the world, but
increasingly finding their ways back both physically and
metaphysically via cyberspace. The 11th Dec Corner Bar closure
anniversary is a great example of this. Just a couple of days
ago I got an email off Rupert, an ex-Lammarite, who is
organising the event in London - he was joking about getting a
satellite link-up, so all involved could look on as the events
place of rites of passage… births and deaths, a place of
stories "people tell themselves about themselves", a place with
an identity that’s recognised as something unique to all
inhabitants, no matter what their background or ethnicity. In
many respects Lamma Island is a village square, a place in this
vast urban metropolis that you can still have face-to-face
relationships with people of value, share a sense of community
- have the best of both worlds.
the time, us anthropologists turn up at places and stay for the
obligatory year before we disappear back to the relative
normality of home wherever that may be. For some, that’s not
enough, reflecting the mood of anthropology today, I no longer
want to or feel it necessary to just study cultural phenomenon
of cultures as different as possible from that of my own,
postmodernism turned all that type of stuff on its head, as we
now acknowledge the fact that we are inseparable parts of the
same coin, not some higher authority on matters, looking in
from above with an objective gaze...
about to be ‘exposed’ to a small part of the introduction to my
research. ...BEWARE for those with an aversion to all things
academic, the following pages are likely to cause nausea or
other afflictions of the mind, body and soul.
thing...for those of you that don’t know me already, feel free
to stop me and chat about Lamma life - especially if you see me
in my 'outdoor office' at the back of the Deli ;-)
photographers living on Lamma have been exhibiting in town and/or
published books in the last few weeks! They're a most interesting
and very creative mix of individuals:
Bob Davis -
Years of Photography in HK"
Fringe Club, Oct 23 - Nov 12; permanent exhibition
in Island bar.
Click for our new
Bob Davis Online Photo Gallery.
Peggy Yuen - "Lamma Cat Island" book:
Get one from the
Selling Point shop
in Tai Yuen for $68!
Sheila from LAP:
"The series of
photographs is a testament to the success of the
Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Release project. LAP has desexed 400 cats
and many of these beautiful animals feature in the book. They can
be recognized by their ear tips. While under anesthetic the tip is
very simply removed which means the cat can be identified as
sterilized and not be trapped and operated on again!
female, her mate and all of their offspring, producing 2 litters
per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can total in 1
year: 12 extra cats; in 5 years: 11,801 extra cats! So a huge
number of kittens have been saved a short, hard life and the
adults have lived healthy lives with much less stress and danger.
Desexing 400 cats obviously makes an enormous impact.
This is a
wonderful and successful project and we would like to thank Peggy
for highlighting it in her lovely book. We still have some way to
go and would love to have more volunteers willing to help, with
trapping, muscle power or caring for a cat colony."
André Eichman: - "Dry Fish Alley Cats" exhibition:
until Nov 30, 5 opt studio/gallery, G/F, 5 Prince's Terrace, Mid
Magazine's Pete Spurrier describes the exhibition:
"Acclaimed photographer André Eichman
makes his Hong Kong debut this month with a photographic
exhibition entitled "Dry Fish Alley Cats". The pictures were shot
in a little side street in the unplumbed depths of Kennedy Town,
lined by pungent fish hung out to dry. An endless supply of
camera-ready stray moggies gravitates to this slice of old Hong
Sounds almost like Main Street in the mornings when preserved
and "fresh" fish is being sold, no?
Marcus Oleniuk - "Living with it" - SARS exhibit & book:
from his website
(Website of the
it is an evocative body of photographic portraits by Marcus
Oleniuk that captures ordinary people attempting to come to terms
with life in a city gripped by SARS. Today it acts as a compelling
collective record of, and by, people living in Hong Kong in the
Spring of 2003.
On April 1st,
2003, photographer Marcus Oleniuk returned to Hong Kong after a
one-week working assignment. His home had changed beyond
recognition. In that first week of April, Hong Kong transformed
into a city paralysed with fear - of a disease and of the unknown.
For the next 50
days, Oleniuk approached people throughout Hong Kong - on the
street, in coffee shops and stores, anywhere - and invited them to
his studio where he photographed them using rare, large format
black-and-white Polaroids. The subjects were also invited
write on their portraits. There was no standard question, just a
chance for them to write about SARS, their fears, their hopes,
their lives. Marking the period of the unprecedented WHO advisory
that warned against travel to Hong Kong, Living With It is a
unique and compelling picture of a city's attempt to come to terms
with isolation and a deadly disease.
photographer Marcus Oleniuk has lived in Hong Kong since 1993. He
is a commercial photographer and photojournalist whose work has
appeared in Time, Newsweek, Le Monde, and other international
5. Chow Chung Ling (Chow Yun-fat's
sister) - "A Date With Nature": photographic exhibition
in Shatin City Hall, Exhibition Room, Nov 8 - 13:
This poster on the right has been spotted only on a single house
in Wang Long by our Alert Reader e, a real rarity! She had
to draw me a map, so I could get there to shoot it. Thanks,
Dr Yip Lai Lam - Artist of the
might have noticed the paintings of Lamma exhibited in the Central
to Yung Shue Wan ferry pier waiting area, left side along the iron
grids separating the area from the Sok Kwu Wan ferry pier? Via the
HK & Kowloon Ferry co., I managed to get in touch with the artist,
a retired professor, Qigong master, a man of many talents, with more
letters after his name than most people I know: BSc. PhD. MIEnv Sc.
Cert. Ed. Ad. Dip. Qigong, Cert. Psychoneuroimmunology.
His paintings, just a hobby he claims, are a mix of Western
watercolours with Chinese brushstroke technique. They've been given
to the ferry co. for free for an open-ended exhibition and he's not
eager to sell them. But if you're really eager to own one,
David Yip Lai Lam was born in 1937 in Hong Kong. In his early years,
before going abroad to further his study in England and in North
America, he apprenticed under artist Wong Hai and had attended
various famous artists' demonstrations such as Mr. Wong P-yeh. Dr.
Yip took advantage of the unique opportunity by his study abroad to
visit many museums and galleries. For years, Dr. Yip worked as a
senior Lecturer in a local higher institution while privately
engaged in a non-professional artist pursuits. In 1996, he held his
first one-man show entitled "The Anti-Japanese War" in Vancouver.
Another more recent show "Illusory War-Ridden Life" was held in the
Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence in 2001. He is a former
part-time Lecturer in Zen & Qigong Therapy at the Open University of
Hong Kong and a member of the Vancouver Chinese Artist Society in
Click here for Dr. Yip's
online Art Gallery.
And while we're talking about art, there's a
big Artwork Contest going on
Asia-wide till Dec 31, where you can win up to US$10,000 for your
painting! More details at
The Sovereign Art Foundation.
Terrifying But Cute on Halloween
but Cute on Halloween" seems to have been this year's motto of
Halloween on Lamma.
Positioning myself strategically
outside Emily's - a must-stop for all trick-or-treaters - I managed
to shoot rambunctious crowds of children of many nationalities
swarming up and down Main Street, stopping in most restaurants &
shops along the way, repeatedly!
Later in the night, the bars were
doing pretty good business to a different crowd of revelers. I've
been out exploring and getting a few good but maybe embarrassing
Click for the Halloween on
Lamma Photo Gallery
Lamma Dumping Site
"Hongkong Electric launches inquiry
on dumping site
The utility orders a cleanup after
hikers find its industrial rubbish on Lamma."
This was the story in the SCM Post a few weeks
has been condemned as a “shocking” example of environmental
vandalism, outraged Lamma residents have uncovered a hidden
dumping ground with industrial waste bearing the Hongkong
is disguised in bushland and half-covered by dirt and debris.
It contains more than 50 electric fuse boxes as well as various
other metal containers, wires, cables, poles and old brackets.
bushwalkers who discovered the site, in a gully near Lamma’s
water reservoir, said the dumped material looked to have been
discarded “very recently”.
not necessarily say it was a major act of vandalism, but it is
a shocking way of treating Lamma,” said resident Oliver
Armistead, who stumbled across the site on Wednesday.
question is what else has been dumped on the island and where.
Are we just looking at the tip of the iceberg? It looks to me
like a blatant act of dumping by HK Electric or one of its
utility firm ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident
yesterday after it was contacted by the South China Morning
assured that our company would not tolerate any improper
handling of used materials,” a company spokeswoman said last
company is looking seriously into details of how this could
have happened. Meanwhile, we have also given stern warnings to
all our contractors concerned that they should abide by the
contractual terms and conditions in regard to the proper
handling of used materials after their works.”
spokeswoman said some of the equipment at the site had been
used for the installation of the island’s overhead power
network, which has since been replaced by underground cables.
site inspectors had been ordered in to clean up the site and
remove the material.
Armistead, an engineer, said his own company insisted
subcontractors on industrial and engineering sites provide
certificates of waste disposal when dumping materials.
them to show us a receipt from the site of landfill. I would
have thought this was standard practice for an organisation as
big as Hongkong Electric.”
is under pressure to alleviate shrinking landfill space. The
city’s ever-growing load of rubbish results partly from a
scaling down of reclamation projects which use such materials.
been predicted Hong Kong will run out of space to accommodate
the estimated 14 million tonnes of excess construction and
demolition waste expected to be accumulated by 2005.
© 2003 SCM
I contacted Oliver and asking him about the clean-up and "Subcontractor
fined? Lessons learned? How to avoid this in the future?". He
replied that "after the SCMP reported the dump
site to HK Electric on Friday afternoon the site was already cleared
up by Saturday afternoon (the day the story broke). Looks like a few
other VVs were coming from other areas of the island with old cables
and so on, so there must have been more than one site. I doubt that
HKE would be prosecuted as they responded so quickly."
my inquiry, HK Electric's Public Affairs Dept. commented on the
phone that the subcontractor had to pay for clean-up
next day by HK Electric. No fine for the subcontractor, but they
have a demerit point system for subcontractors (similar to car
drivers) which can lead to them being taken off their list for new
contracts. HK Electric has a tightly controlled and logged scrap
yard in Ap Lei Chau. 250 cubicles have been removed on Lamma, only 7
were dumped. 7 too many...
sent me the following press statement right away, followed by
the results of their internal investigation a few weeks later:
to the press report concerning the old cubicles found near the
reservoir area on North Lamma.
engineers have immediately carried out a preliminary
investigation last Friday.
found that some old cubicles were being dumped at the location
near the reservoir. At our instruction, our contractor has
already cleared the site.
assured that Hongkong Electric would not tolerate any
improper handling of used materials by our contractors. The
company is looking seriously into details of how this could
we have also given stern warnings to all our contractors
concerned that they should abide by the contractual terms
and conditions in regard to the proper handling of used
materials after their works.
Nov 29: With regard to your
enquiry about the materials disposed by our contractor's
foreman, we return the following results of our investigation:
completed our investigation and have identified that the
materials located by our engineers were seven old cubicles and
one overhead line pole dismantled by one of our contractor’s
site foremen. After receipt of the complaint, we have carried
out an extensive search and joint inspection with the
contractor and the site foreman concerned to ensure that
all remaining scrap materials have been returned to our
designated scrap yard, and that no unused construction
materials are left over.
We have also
taken disciplinary action against the contractor and the site
foreman, who have failed to ensure that all scrap materials be
returned to our scrap yard. Meanwhile, we have tightened
our control on the handling of site materials to ensure that
all disposed materials are returned to our scrap yard in full
after the work.
contractors were also seriously warned that they should
abide by the contractual terms and requirements regarding the
handling of site materials.
wishes to apologize for this incident and please be
assured that we will do our utmost to preserve the environment
on Lamma Island.
ending this time and well handled by HK Electric, I think. Let's
hope that the subcontractors will be more careful in the future.
Otherwise, I'm sure somebody will quickly report any future
transgressions. We've also just added a brand-new
Blackspots on Lamma forum on Lamma.com.hk, for you to
"report illegal garbage dumps and hygiene
hazards. Let us all witness and monitor the progress."
by the "Thai Thai" restaurant on Sat night, Nov 8, I noticed
colourful contraptions, constructed from paper, styrofoam, flowers,
candles and incense sticks. They were made for the Loy Krathong
Festival, to be set afloat into the harbour that night at 11:30pm at
the ferry pier. I was getting ready for one more
Lamma festival photo shoot!
Thai Festival of
This ancient Thai custom of placing handmade floats
on waterways goes back over 700 years to the Sukhothai period. This
elegantly beautiful annual Festival of Light is observed by Lamma's
Thai community, held on the full moon in November.
Instead of setting the floats free on the traditional
river, Lamma's Thais use the harbour - due to a lack of rivers on
Lamma - the receding tide carrying the floats (krathong) out into
the harbour looking like a silent procession of lights. Click on the
picture for a quite beautiful & unusual