Another Busy Weekend
Sat, Oct 29
Black Night: Sat, Oct 29, 6:15-9pm: HAC Centre & YSW
Main Street: Free of charge.
Candidates Q&A -
Fri, Oct 28
has asked the 3 candidates for answers to some critical
Thu, Oct 27
"Sharp-Shooter Snipes From the Sidelines; Father, Son
Fernie Wage Court Battle; ..."
Adversaries Unite to
Clean Beach -
Wed, Oct 26
by Green Lamma Group, Living Lamma and staff from The
Baroque on Lamma.
HK Cricket Sixes -
Get the Cup! -
Sat, Oct 22
The HK Cricket
Sixes 2011 will be held at the Kowloon Cricket Club
during the weekend of 28-30 Oct.
Hiking the Snake Trail,
Dressed in Pink -
Fri, Oct 21
Wear trainers or
light walking boots, bring a hat,.... And don't forget
to wear something PINK!
Eating My Way Through
Thu, Oct 20
grab a late lunch in a different local restaurant every
day, getting a good overview....
'Banks Are Cancers'
Sat, Oct 15
can't shut up this protester eager to speak out.
Hummus, Pakoras &
Fri, Oct 14
I used to
publish restaurant news & updates every month, but my
formerly voracious eating....
Halo-Halo, Myrna!My little
neighbourhood in Sha Po Old Village has just become a
lot more lively.
Thu, Oct 13
Encouraged & Inspired
Tue, Oct 12
Squat Leg Raises, Plank Glute Kick Backs, Rubber Bow,....
Future YSW Sewage
Treatment Plant -
Tue, Oct 11
Impression of the YSW Sewage Treatment Plant.
'I'm Scared, Lonely &
Mon, Oct 10
had a tough life and could really do with a break!
Can you help?"
Police Pursue Dog
- Sun, Oct 9Leading
police officers have promised a serious and diligent
'There Is No Antidote'
Tue, Oct 4
forum: Thu, Oct 6, 7pm, Rural Comm. Bldg. Dog Killer
meeting: 8pm: Diesel's bar.
Deadly Twist Dampens
- Mon, Oct 3For
Lamma Island-based film- maker Alba Rayton, a long labor
of love has ended in grief."
'Lamma My Island' Film
Sun, Oct 2
just arrived at Diesels' for the first of four
Wanted: Advertisers &
Sat, Oct 1If you like this
website, help it to survive and prosper!
Tree Caring by Green Lamma Green:
Sat, Oct 29, 9am-1pm:
below Pavilion on Family Trail, up the hills beyond Hung Shing Yeh beach: Assemble at YSW ferry pier. Tree survey, weeding, fertilising and
mulching in the site planted in 1995. Poster.
Hans Andersen Black Night:
Sat, Oct 29, 6:15-9pm:
HAC Centre & YSW Main Street:
Free of charge, 60 participants for
"Challenge the HAC Haunted House",
Sat, Oct 29, 8pm:
B/F, Fui Nam Bldg, 212 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan:
Local HK short zombie movie filmed at Open Space, Tai Ling (after Cable Road
underpass). Shown before Park Chan-Wook's THIRST film. Free entry,
Sun, Sep 11, 11am;
then every Sun, noon-4pm:
Basketball Court: 5 teams, with each team having 3-4
non- Pinoy imports. Free, details tba.
Lamma Hoops on Facebook,
Blazers Cleanup - Pak Kok Tsui:
Sun, Oct 30, 10am: YSW Ferry Pier, then hike
together to Pak Kok Tsui beach.
Karp Group HK Cricket Sixes:
Fri-Sun, Oct 28-31, all day:
Kowloon Cricket Club, 10 Cox's Rd, Kowloon:
Say hello if you spot me at most of these events with my
big Nikon and your Photoshop-enhanced mugshot might
grace the next Lamma-zine!
Email your event for free listing.
The District Council Elections will be held on Sunday, Nov
6 2011, next weekend.
The Lamma-zine does not endorse specific candidates, but many
of our readers will be interested in the views of the 3
candidates standing for Lamma & Po Toi Islands. Having several
candidates is a first for Lamma, as the last DC election 4 years
ago was uncontested and 8 years ago there was only one opponent
(who didn't actually live on Lamma.)
I encourage all readers to become engaged, well-informed and
personally involved. There are 3 very different choices this time
and a real election. Talk to the candidates during their
campaigning these days; they're all very friendly and
approachable and can communicate in Chinese and English.
Leaflets are being handed out throughout YSW and Sok Kwu Wan,
many banners displayed, posters on many windows (see below),
direct mailings to all (2,400+) registered voters. To share your
opinions and discuss election issues, check out our active
District Council Elections, Nov 6, 2011
Living Lamma has asked the 3 candidates for answers to
some questions about the issues that are important to their
members and Lammaites in general:
- What would be your primary focus as District Councilor
for Lamma & Po Toi?
- In what ways can consultation between Government and the
community be improved?
- Describe your policy for development and how it relates
to the Statutory Outline Zoning Plan for Lamma.
- What are your views on the proposed reclamation of Yung
Shue Wan harbour and the proposed bicycle park?
- What is your position on the proposed development of the
Baroque on Lamma?
- What is your Environmental policy, especially regarding
rubbish and dumping?
Check out their very interesting bilingual
answers on the
website of Living Lamma (who's also officially neutral).
Don't forget to read "between the lines" of the answers as well
and look at questions avoided. What's not being said tells a lot
about each candidate's views and priorities as well.
Click on the posters above to enlarge and click
on the links to check out the candidates' own blogs, websites
and Facebook pages. Don't be shy, contact them, ask them your
own critical questions and let them know your opinions, even if
you're not one of the registered voters!
Jay Scott Kanes
- Official Court
(Text, pictures & captions
by Jay, plus pics inside text by L-G)
Bickering Keeps Basketball Bouncing
Will the LIPBL
forbid 'foreigners' again?
YUNG SHUE WAN,
Lamma Island, Hong Kong
-- Despite Banny Defeo's
status as commissioner of the well-run, colorful
and competitive Lamma Island Pinoy Basketball
League (LIPBL), his fellow organizers seldom go
along quietly with his wishes. Arguments and
disputes erupt long before players hit the
"Actually we argue
a lot," Banny said. "We brainstorm on different
ideas, argue and get really hot-headed. Often we
need to disagree before we can agree, but after
debate and discussion, we normally vote and get
committee, including a leader from each team,
meets regularly to operate the league, now in
its second season at Yung Shue Wan's outdoor
basketball court. As the only committee member
not also a player, Banny has the impartiality
for the top job.
Read more ...
'Throw the ball that way,
Father, Son Fernie
Wage Court Battle
In most families,
all-out court battles have negative
repercussions, causing bitter conflicts. For
Lamma's Fernie family, it's more like healthy
pleasure and helping to entertain their fellow
at six-feet, five-inches, towers above opponents
as the tallest player in the Lamma Island Pinoy
Basketball League (LIPBL), active on Sundays at
the Yung Shue Wan basketball court. He plays
center for the green-uniformed Awesome Tigers.
15- year-old son Richard,
five- feet, 11-inches and still growing, wears
red. He's a deft forward for the rival Huggen
On October 16, the
father and son, plus their respective teams,
played against each other for the first time. As
family conflicts go, this one looked more
friendly than fierce. Ivan's wife (Richard's
mother) Ivy (who said she rooted for
Richard's team) sat at courtside. Richard's
younger brothers (Ivan and Ivy's other sons)
Rubin, age 11, and Ronan, age 10,
watched too. So did George, the family
Read more ...
Reaching high, Ivan tries
for a blocked shot.
Snipes From the Sidelines
One shining star of
the Lamma Island Pinoy Basketball League (LIPBL)
shoots more than anyone else, but never scores a
point. Each Sunday, photographer
Dina B. Knight
lurks on the sidelines at Yung Shue Wan's
basketball court, her camera ready, capturing
often-spectacular action and profile photos that
enhance the games for players and spectators.
calls herself an "inexperienced" photographer,
one still learning the capabilities and quirks
of a sophisticated camera. The results suggest
that she's a quick learner.
"I photograph the
games for fun," she said. "I enjoy photography
and want to learn more and more.
"The reason why I
concentrate on this league is because it
involves Filipinos, my own community. They're my
friends. I like the challenge too, especially
when players jump. With the right timing, I can
catch them in mid-air.
Read more ...
''Honestly, I'm not that
good," Dina insists. Photographic evidence contradicts
Shek Pai Wan
beach, Tung O Wan, South Lamma - Sun, Oct 16
(Photo by Daniel Clarke, all other photos by L-G)
Beach cleaning - under the umbrella of the HK-wide HK
International Coastal Clean Up Challenge - by Hiking Meetup Group, Green Lamma Group, Living
Lamma and staff from The Baroque on Lamma developers &
Instead of the mud/sand fights I was hoping for, it was all
"Peace, Love, Lamma!"
Jo the Honorable Chairwoman writes:
"Altogether we collected 126 bags - mostly
polystyrene, but also plastic bottles, fishing nets, rope,
plastic wrappers, plastic spoons, cans, lots of cigarette
lighters, shoes (lots of odd ones), a fridge door, a petrol
canister, 2x strip lights, broken light bulbs, a syringe,
boards, a cool box, a life jacket, a basket ball, a big gas
canister and a small one, and other miscellaneous stuff. It was
noted that some of the plastic bottles came from China as they
were not a local brand.
I counted 62 people, 4 teenagers and 4 kids,
including a visitor from Tasmania and one from the UK."
(click on pictures to enlarge)
P.S. This beach cleanup has just won the
Gold Award for the Greenest Team
Coastal Cleanup Challenge 2011! The award ceremony will
be held on Nov 2 in Central.
How about a little advertorial today, for a
sport so close to many Lammaites' hearts, CRICKET! Hong Kong
Runners-up two years ago, so they're going for the cup
this year! Being proud to live on home base of the fantastic,
Club, loads of Lammaites will surely make the little
trip to Kowloon next weekend.
KARP Group Hong Kong Cricket Sixes 2011 will be held at
the Kowloon Cricket Club during the weekend of
October 2011. Check out all the information about the Hong
Kong Cricket Sixes by clicking the links below:
(Photos by HKCA/HKSPA)
We're also looking for 1-2 cricket fans (a
reporter and a photographer) who'd like to get in on
FREE MEDIA PASSES, a $900
value, plus behind-the-scenes and
media center access! The only condition would be to get
me a short story and/or photos to publish shortly after the
games. No need to be a professional writer or photographer,
loving (and comprehending) cricket is more important.
Contact me! Deadline for registration: Monday, Oct 24.
Hong Kong team helps local South Asian youth prepare for the
Hong Kong Sixes
P.S. This advertorial is an example of my
little, full-service, short-term but high- impact Internet
marketing campaigns with animated banner ads, event listings,
email shots, promotions, advertorials and a photo shoot.
If you're considering a direct marketing campaign for your
business, or just need some Internet Marketing Consulting,
Wear trainers or light walking boots, bring a
hat, sunscreen and swimwear if you want a dip at the public Lo
So Shing beach.
For more information on Pink Revolution go to:
And don't forget to wear something
P.S. by Vicky Medcalf,
"We raised $11,498.50
for Pink Revolution, Breast Cancer Fund!!! $3,000 came from the
walkers, $2,000 from Banyan Bay Cafe and $6,498.50 from the
donation box. Fantastic result!! Thank you so much to everyone
who was involved :-)
Last minute donation takes our Breast Cancer fundraiser total to
$12,000. Thanks so much, Brad and Claudia x x"
Working in my home office most days from 8am
till mid-afternoon, I usually grab a late lunch in a
different local restaurant every day, getting a good
overview of our local culinary delights and the key people
in our gastronomic circles. Let me highlight a few
restaurants today which are NOT Lamma-zine advertisers
Milano was one of the few YSW restaurants we've very
rarely visited before. Lamma-Por doesn't like pizza and I'm not
willing to pay high prices for something so simple, cheap and
quick to make. But their pizzas are famous for good reasons and
many of my friends love sharing their huge, yummy and colourful
pies with family and friends.
I still haven't tried any of their pizzas
between $92 and $165 yet - same price as in the old location, I
think, or just a modest increase. Check out our discussion on
Lamma pizza prices.
But Pizza Milano is now becoming a
new, quick favourite of mine in the new location (formerly Deli
Lamma) for non-pizza-related reasons, namely due to their
all-new breakfast and lunch options.
But their new all-day
breakfasts and set lunches are very competitive and less pricey
than most of the other local "Western" restaurants; most of
which have moved well beyond my very limited budget. This set
lunch below, including soup, chicken, potato mash and very
well-done veggies, was a bit over $70, a pretty good deal. I'll
return for another set lunch very soon.
A glass of wine or champagne only costs $30 and
$35, way below the $50 in many other local eateries and bars. I
also like their good selection of all-day breakfast choices
(-6pm!), for example Eggs Florentine with spinach, the best ones
I've had so far in YSW. A great place for my late, light
lunches, especially in the middle of the afternoon when the
place is almost empty.
That's when the cheerful waitresses have time to
chat about what's new and going on in our village, just before
tucking into their own, home-made Philippine- style early
dinner. I've suggested to them to add some of those *real*
Philippine dishes to the menu as we still don't have a Pinoy
rest. here (not counting the very tasty and cheap daily set
lunch takeaway in "Halo-Halo Myrna's" C-5 Pinoy Store.)
VanocLamma the Guerilla Gardener is still
hard at work outside C-5, transporting big granite boulders to
build a little wall outside the cleared, dug-up plot of
(private? public?) land, an ugly dump site till a few weeks ago.
We queried him about the future of his pet project (check out
a potato or veggie patch, a native flower garden or even a large
another Halo-Halo on the way home last
night, just around the corner from the C-5 Red House,
there were at least 3 policemen interviewing a VV driver who had
just run into a young Chinese woman. They had to transport her
bleeding and with a leg and head injury to the Clinic, according
to eye-witnesses. Scanning her in hospital, she was lucky and
not seriously hurt, but still walking with a crutch.
two days later, these SLOW signs plus concave traffic mirrors appeared at that most dangerous
crossing in Sha Po Old Village. I've witnessed almost-accidents there
myself, being always careful of speeding VVs and bikes when
passing this crossing. We need more of these
Big dinner with friends in Sau Kee Rest.
(opposite Diesel's), another firm favourite of ours for its wide
selection of traditional Cantonese dishes. $315 for 4 people
sounds like an OK price per person, but I picked up the tab as
one of the friends is a regular and major Lamma-zine Content
Contributor and well deserves an occasional freebie. I try to
treat the Lamma.com.hk volunteers nicely.
After such a well-fed and costly day, it's
leftovers and cold, high-protein snacks only for me tomorrow ...
and a really long hike the day after....
Just outside a gleaming citadel of "money
"Dirty Money" can't shut up this protester eager to speak
Traveling protester with tent & children being interviewed
by several TV stations.
Guy Fawkes looks alive & well in HK, but is he preparing to
overthrow our govt.?
"... END monetary
system, END all debts,... END all banks, FREE PEOPLE"
Almost more cameras &
reporters than actual protesters?
I joined in for a little while in this most
unusual protest this afternoon in Central at Exchange
Square, happening just
half an hour from Lamma Island, a 5-minute stroll from the
Central ferry piers. This very colourful and completely
peaceful protest was inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street"
movement spreading today to many cities worldwide.
I was picking up an English leaflet at this
bilingual rally, "Fight back against capital hegemony".
It reminded me so much of anti-capitalist, anti-nuclear protests
I joined over a quarter of a century ago during my university
days. This makes me feel so ancient, but it's refreshing to see
these post-80s find their voices, find each other (usually via
Facebook) and organise peaceful gatherings to express their
feelings, desires and demands.
But anti-capitalist protests in the "Freest
Economy" (meaning the most capitalist) in the world? Amusing,
but definitely not a majority view. But having grown up in a
grassroots democratic country, it's wonderful to see that we've
still got free speech nowadays, plus some glimmers of hope for
more democracy here in my new home, an SAR of the PRC.
Our Official Court Music Reviewer,
Nick the Bookman, describes
some of the feelings fueling this worldwide protest in another
passionate passage in his concert review of Human League, playing
HK just two days earlier, in KITEC on Oct 13:
"The crowd starts
cheering as the opening chords of "Don't You Want Me" reverb
forth. At this point, it's safe to say that everyone is
time-tripping. Flitting 'twixt the lusty young New Romantics of
yore when the world was your oyster on the half shell to the
gritty cyber now when that question is greeted with murderous
rejection if applied to the fucked-up fundamental religious nutbags of all persuasions, as well as the cataclysmically
incompetent corporate whore shareholders and preening, putrid
politicians whose pissant policies helped to break the world.
"No we don't want you,
unless you're dying double dreadfully over decades of
disintegration and degradation. In fact "Being Boiled" would be
a fine start. Accompanied by side orders of castration,
dismemberment, evisceration and epic mutilation... erm, sorry
about that. Gone a little off review there."
To read the rest of
Nick's Human League concert review...
As quite a few Lammaites were present at this
rally, will an "Occupy Main Street" protest in Yung Shue Wan
follow soon, or perhaps even "Occupy Tung O Wan"?
I used to publish restaurant news & updates almost every
month, but my formerly quite voracious eating habits have
changed dramatically in the last 3.5 years. It took me a while
to adjust to my new, small stomach (reduced by surgery) and
being able to enjoy again anything I like (in small quantities
and making healthier food choices) without regaining any weight
for the last 2+ years.
With all the recent and coming-soon changes in the Yung Shue
Wan dining scene, let me restart this approx. monthly column
covering news & updates from our 20+ local restaurants of many
diverse cuisines. Let me focus on some old favourites of mine
today, before checking out these new places next time:
- The relocated, much larger Pizza Milano taking
over the renovated, former Deli Lamma less than a week ago (big
opening party with free food and booze coming soon!)
- That low-key Number One Thai place beside Best
- An (unconfirmed) rumour about another new bar opening
soon, currently under renovation, in addition to
Jing-Jing bar's debut a few months ago.
- The Living Room seaside terrace for drinks &
bakeries, located outside the just relocated "Just Green
Organic Convenience Store" (up to 4 stores HK-wide now,
including Soho and Wanchai - the budding beginnings of a
future "organic empire" chain of stores?)
Spotted in Bookworm
Café the other day, famous senior ex-Lammaite
Wendy the Yoga Teacher
returning for her yearly visit, with Iona, her daughter.
We'll hear more from each of them in the Lamma-zine soon, in
their own words!
The Bookworm is still rightfully famous for
their wide choice of brunches, see our favourite above. Who
needs meat when you can have a plate heaped full of delicious
and colourful veggie food! Even Lamma-Por, a devoted
non-vegetarian, agrees to share this with me. This is one of few
meat-free dishes I can get her to eat and actually enjoy. No way
would she touch this dish below, a favourite lunch option of
mine, probably the prettiest and tastiest hummus on Lamma:
A little quiz:
Who's serving these weekly changing lunch options, seen below?
Green Cottage, of course.
Usually served by
Mike - the very best and friendliest waiter on Lamma,
In My Humble Opinion - the three set lunch choices change every
week, created by Dan the Veggie Master
Chef, part of the Ron & Dan
team of brothers and proprietors:
Strolling home, I often grab some
Lamma Gourmet cheeses,
freshly-baked baguette, cold cuts or even half of Geng's
fantastic, succulent and well-seasoned roasted chicken for
dinner takeaway. Cheerful
Bong is serving me while giving
me an update of Thai community events, for example the Lantern
Festival (Loy Krathong) happening again next month, Nov
10, in YSW; plus a local Muay Thai fighter winning his latest
tournament fight in town. Congratulations! Bong also drew this
informative blackboard ad below.
Last but not least: A really tasty curry
set dinner in Beer Garden,
including a Pakora and Chicken Tikka, all approved
enthusiastically by Lamma-Por. We've got to taste-test more of
their very extensive menu very soon. But no Oktoberfest this
month in this Indian/International restaurant with the
Lamma-zine is still looking for a new
Official Court Glutton, a food reviewer! How about
My little neighbourhood in Sha Po Old Village has just become
a lot more lively. The C-5 Pinoy Store,
formerly located on the tourist trail in Tai Yuen Village, has
relocated into the well-known, single-storey
Red House, just
in front of the Canaan Church. It's become a new favourite place of
mine, people from different nationalities sitting outside C-5
most evenings, some even playing guitar and generally having a
good time, especially on Sundays after their basketball
This tiny, but extremely neat, clean and well-organised
place, stuffed full of comfort foods, reminds me a lot of the
(just relocated) Just Green Organic Convenience Store. But the
typical customers here can't usually afford premium- price,
organic fare. Some of the prices here seem to be the lowest
anywhere in Yung Shue Wan, with a lot of products I haven't seen
in any other shop here. Calamansi juice soda, anyone?
They even have Internet access for customers, mainly for the
large number of local Facebook-loving Filipinos. They love to
check out the latest results and photos from the multi-national,
very professionally organised Basketball League, currently in
progress every Sunday from noon in the YSW Basketball Court, posting the latest team results and schedules outside the C-5
Forum member Vanoclamma
has been doing some guerilla-gardening on a small plot just
adjacent to C-5's informal sitting-out area, cleaning it up and
beautifying it a great lot already over the last several weeks.
Kudos & congrats! Check our forum for his progress, a
wide-ranging stream of consciousness, but also an insightful and
Joshua Cannan Tree Garden sorta.
this too long story has made me hungry, almost time to pick up another
home-cooked takeaway lunch from
C-5's proprietor Halo-Halo Myrna.
It reminds me of the fantastic meals my Filipina sister-in-law
in Switzerland prepares for us every time we visit. Yes,
our family is a pretty multicultural lot: my HK-Chinese wife,
Lamma-Por, plus Hungarian, Brazilian and Zimbab- wean
sisters-in-law and many Austrian and German relatives. Being a
passionate multi-culti is just one of the many reasons I like
living on Lamma so much.
I've nicknamed Myrna after that famous Halo-Halo smoothie of
hers, prepared freshly while you wait, from at least ten
ingredients. It's a full meal in itself, full of nutritious
(non-organic) goodies, so tasty and great value at only $18. No, she's not
an advertiser of this website and I wouldn't even ask such a
small one-woman business. I love supporting and promoting, for
free, small, struggling, one-person startups like this, being one
myself. Entering the shop, you can greet her and order at the
very same time by simply announcing with a loud, happy and
cheerful voice, "Halo-Halo, Myrna!"
to get that big, broad smile above in return.
Sumo Squat Leg Raises, Plank Glute Kick Backs, Rubber Bow
Side Planks, Jumping Jacks, Hula Hoops and Burpees?
Yes, these are some of the intriguingly-named exercises I've
been up to recently, resuming Donna the BodyBooster's
Boostcamp classes in the Basketball Court on most Tue and Thu evenings. Being
chased, err, highly motivated, encouraged and inspired by Donna to rejoin
her classes, I've sent her this email on Oct 3, after reading the article about
Donna in the
Women In Charge e-newsletter, with
from several of her
poor victims, err, top-fit students:
Woman in Charge!
After reading about how your "bubbly personality and supreme
motivational skills" "lift the soul with tremendous humour, encouragement
and inspiration" and "really lifted my ability and enjoyment of exercising",
I feel truly supremely motivated, encouraged and inspired to lift my own
lazy ass and rejoin your "inspirational, high energy fitness groups." See
I'd also like to do another motivational, encouraging and inspiring
Boostcamp story and use some of that
great and motivational newsletter you
sent me the other day. With highly motivated, encouraged and inspired
Lamma-Gung - Managing Editor of Lamma-zine"
Three days later, my abdominal muscles were still
hurting.... After all the surgical remodelling done in that part of my
anatomy it's strange to hurt down there again, two months after fully
recovering from my two separate, consecutive, free operations (abdominoplasties)
to remove most of the loose tummy skin almost all around my body after my
massive weight loss, even replacing my belly button....
No damage was done by exercising again (I think, I hope),
just my unfit, out-of-practice tummy core muscles complaining about the
first serious exercises in several months, more than just hill-hiking and
-biking. I'll just have to keep at it, getting stronger and less painful
soon (I hope, choosing to lead an optimistic life.)
Well, after all this tough exercise, I've well deserved a
really nice meal to recover my energy and some of those burnt-off calories, n'est-ce pas? I got invited to a sumptuous half-price buffet in town shortly
afterwards. These items below were my amazing choices from the absolutely
huge dessert buffet. No way for my small stomach to absorb all off this - my
eyes are still bigger than my stomach, so to speak - and my weakness for
desserts hasn't really changed. So there was quite a bit of "takeaway" to
enjoy the next day.... but no weight gain at all after a day of fasting the
next day. Hurray! I should do this again soon (if it's OK with Donna??)
P.S. I hope to see you at Boostcamp soon?
Check out my last
Boostcamp photo story and
Bodyboost website for details, special offers,
Artist's Impression of the Yung Shue Wan Sewage Treatment
Plant, currently under construction behind the helipad, at
the far end of the first phase of the YSW Harbour
Reclamation, to be completed in several years.
This is how it looks these days:
Jay Scott Kanes
- Official Court Pet
Correspondent - Thu, Oct 6,
by Jay; pictures & captions by Jay & Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge)
Like Finding a 'Needle in a
MAIN STREET, Yung Shue Wan,
Lamma Island, Hong Kong – Leading police officers have
promised a serious and diligent investigation, within the
limits of available resources, to nab a "sick individual"
responsible for killing many of this island's dogs.
"We understand it's an emotive
issue," said Hong Kong Police marine-district
deputy-commander Mark Taylor. "We want to catch this
person as much as anyone does. Believe me -- we're on the
case! We take this very seriously and will do what we can to
the best of our abilities with the manpower we have."
On October 6, Taylor and
several colleagues, notably Cheung Chau division commander
Mak Pui-Yuen and community-relations officer Kwok
Shu-chi, faced a standing-room-only,
spill-into-the-street crowd of worried villagers at a public
meeting in the Lamma North Rural Committee.
The police appealed for people
to provide relevant information by promptly reporting
anything suspicious. "We believe there's a lot of
information out there that isn't reaching us," Taylor said.
A Lamma-based group,
Animal Protection (LAP), says about 20 local dogs
have died since late September after eating, licking or
otherwise contacting poison (probably on tainted meat) left
near popular footpaths by an unknown person. Veterinarians
who treated the dying dogs believe the poison is paraquat, a
powerful herbicide typically in powder or liquid forms.
Banned in some places, it's legal in Hong Kong. A single
lick can kill a dog, ultimately of lung failure and other
organ damage. The dying process, with vomiting, gasping and
seizures as the initial symptoms, may take a week or more.
Technically, Hong Kong's
animal-cruelty laws can lead to three-year prison terms and
HK$200,000 fines. When dogs die, criminal-damage charges may
prompt 10-year sentences.
Not every poisoning incident
was reported to the police. "Some people have made a
specific choice not to come forward," Taylor said. "We only
can act on the reports and evidence we receive."
At the meeting, several people
said they lack faith in the police because officers showed
little sensitivity on past dog-related issues. As for this
time, "the police don't have a clue," one person declared
after stepping outside.
Taylor warned the public not to
raise unfair suspicions. "For people to point fingers at
others, without evidence, is totally wrong and doesn't help.
It creates a split in the community when we need unity to
help us to catch this guy." Yet moments later a listener
recalled once seeing a farmer soak pigs' ears in poison and
mysteriously bury them. Another suggested that the poisoner
should need to compensate for the dead animals' veterinary
Earlier on the day of the
meeting, 30 extra police officers came to Lamma and searched
futilely for tainted meat or other evidence along designated
pathways. "We can't keep asking guys to come to search and
find nothing," Taylor said. "We can act again only on strong
information…. It's like a needle in a haystack for us unless
the operation is intelligence-led.
"For police officers, it's
horrible to say we're hamstrung to a great degree, but we
are. We could send officers along those paths every day. If
the guy knows we're out there, he won't put the stuff down.
It's when we're not there that he'll act, but that's when
you're there. Our only chance is through information from
One listener suggested placing
surveillance cameras in strategic spots. "I doubt if most
people on Lamma want police cameras everywhere," Taylor
said. "Cameras might give us some indications, but to place
them in the public domain isn't straightforward. It's not
something we'd like to do on Lamma."
Dog-poisoning erupts regularly
on Lamma, but several years sometimes pass without incident.
"For sure, you need to protect your dogs in the near term,"
said Tailor. That means using leashes and muzzles when
The police advocate
"responsible" dog-ownership. "Let's be honest," Taylor said.
"This guy probably puts down poison because he has a
perceived reason. That's a reality."
Another black spot exists along
Bowen Road on Hong Kong Island. For several decades, there
dogs sporadically have died from poisoned meat.
"On Bowen Road, people have
lost so many dogs," Taylor said. "And it's a simple, A-to-B,
straight piece of road. Over the years, hundreds of police
officers have investigated. They've had surveillance
cameras, undercover guys and sweep-searches, but gotten
nowhere. Flooding the place with police hasn't worked. With
all the paths on Lamma, it certainly won't work here."
Then again, Bowen Road "has no
real community to help. We've never caught the poisoner
there because we never really had community help. With the
much-stronger community on Lamma, I think we have a chance.
You look after each other and love dogs. You understand the
importance of this, as do we. We can succeed, but only if
the community sticks together and helps. Perhaps we can
catch this person. Perhaps! But the police can't do it
"That's why we're here tonight
– because we need you guys to help us. We need you to come
forward, maybe with details about people you know who've
said things, perhaps about dogs fouling their environment,
or people who showed noticeable anger about dogs…. We need
for the community to give us active information about your
dogs and what you see when out walking them. Information
given to us will be in confidence, and how we act on it will
be in confidence."
If people notice suspicious
behavior and believe they see the poisoner in action, they
shouldn't pick up suspected poison or assault the culprit.
Fisticuffs could lead to injuries or assault charges even
for concerned citizens. "If you lay hands on someone, you
may end up in court yourself," Taylor said.
Other tactics will work better:
the suspect's identity or appearance and report the
details to police;
the person while telephoning the police (maybe even
using the 999 emergency number) and direct them for an
photograph the suspicious individual and behavior.
Anyone finding meat near a
pathway should stay there to stop dogs or people from
touching it and call the police to collect the evidence. "As
long as there are no other urgent cases, like robbery, an
officer will go straight to the site," Mak said.
Taylor noticed glares and glum
looks in the crowd. "I know it's extremely frustrating," he
said. "I've been seeing people's faces drop when they think
‘you're not doing this, not doing that, not doing the
other'. But the information we've had is very recent. We've
started people moving, got crime-officers involved and done
a sweep. We're not dragging our feet and really want to get
on with this, but we can't act on anything except hard
evidence, which takes time for us to get together. And we'll
only get it with your help. It's very early days of the
investigation. Maybe you're going to have to bear with us
for a considerable time."
Immediately after the
police-led meeting, an even larger group of dog-owners and
concerned citizens gathered at nearby Diesels Bar. Chaotic
and emotional, the second meeting also reflected the fury of
pet-owners that many dogs have died and all others face a
dire danger. Often several people spoke simultaneously,
yelling to be heard.
Visibly worried, the villagers
debated several plans, including organizing regular foot
patrols to watch for the poisoner or tainted meat, chasing
more media attention and putting up "wanted" posters to seek
information and frighten off the culprit. Many attendees
signed a pledge to contribute money as a reward (initially
pegged at HK$30,000) to anyone supplying information that
leads to an arrest. The dog owners plan to meet again on
People dearly love their pets.
Obviously, anyone who unfairly kills dogs, no matter how
cunning the method, makes enemies very quickly.
"Everyone loves their dogs,"
Taylor said. "Firemen love their dogs. Police officers love
their dogs. We empathize."
A surprising moment happened just before the
dog-protection meeting arranged by the police. As people
arrived at the Lamma North Rural Committee Building, a
mobile phone belonging to one of the organizers burst into
music to announce an incoming call. What song did it play?
It was "Puppy Love".
Invitation to the police meeting
Glum group: Lamma dog- owners look
unimpressed by police assurances.
Worried pet-owners don't hesitate to
question the police.
Lamma Police Chief, Philip Kwok, in
Philip Kwok's boss, Mark Taylor,
admits that it'll be difficult to gather sufficient evidence to
convict any suspect.
Divisional commander Mak Pui-yuen
makes a point.
Mak & Taylor ask for community help.
Some in the audience have lost their
canine best friends.
Police warning-posters appear on the
Yung Shue Wan ferry pier and on this website:
Known poisonings locations so far.
Join the discussion on these meetings...
Get the latest updates on dog poisonings...
Next Dog Killer meeting in Diesel's:
Thu, Oct 13, 8pm!
6, 7pm: 1/F, Rural Committee Bldg,
opposite HSBC: organised by Lamma Police & authorities;
Dog Killer on Lamma! meeting:
6, 8pm: Diesel's bar:
email for details.
Dr Mike Hilditch -
Over the past week I have treated two dogs
at my clinic suffering from the symptoms of paraquat
poisoning. I have been asked to write a few notes on my
Two dogs from Lamma Island were presented at
the Wanchai Animal Clinic on the 28th and 30th of September.
They appeared to be suffering from severe gastroenteritis.
They had been vomiting, anorexic and were about 10%
dehydrated. A routine blood analysis indicted that they were
in early kidney failure and moderate shock due to the fluid
loss. Both dogs responded well to fluid and electrolyte
therapy and appeared reasonably bright for the duration of
the treatment. Only one dog had a little diarrhoea on one
day and there was no more vomiting after the initial
treatments. Both dogs remained off their food for the
On the last day their breathing became more
laboured and at no time did we observe any coughing or
notice any fluid accumulation in the lungs. Both dogs died
overnight and appeared fairly bright the day before, the
owners taking them for a walk in the local park. I have
conducted a post mortem on both dogs and it tentatively
appears that they have died from lung failure. The lungs,
liver and kidneys had severe damage. I have taken tissue
samples that have been sent overseas for histo-pathological
examination. The Hong Kong police have collected tissue
samples and will also conduct tests. It is likely, given the
symptoms and from my observations at the post mortem, that
these dogs died from paraquat toxicity.
Paraquat is a widely available commercial
non selective herbicide that is commonly used in the farming
industry. It is frequently purchased under the trade name 'Gramoxone',
to be diluted and sprayed on weeds before planting. It is
very quickly absorbed by the plant and has no residual
effect. The diluted form that is sprayed is also unlikely to
be toxic. Severe toxicity only happens when the concentrated
form is swallowed.
The ingested poison will initially cause
severe irritation to the throat, oesophagus and stomach
which accounts for the vomiting. The absorbed poison will
then cause kidney and heart damage. With a high dose the
animal will die within a day or two from kidney or heart
failure. Dogs that survive the first few days will die from
deteriorating lung function. The two dogs we treated
survived five and seven days respectively and both displayed
exactly the same symptoms. There is no antidote for this
My heartfelt sympathies go out to the owners
and friends of the dogs involved.
Gisela's animal companion, one of the two dogs Dr Mike writes above.
My sincere condolences to Gisela and everybody who's lost a beloved pet.
For much more info on this terrible outbreak:
Dogs Fall Victim to 'Poisoning'
Jay Scott Kanes -
Official Court Pet Correspondent
- Oct 3, 2011:
Director No Longer Lamma's
For Lamma Island-based film-maker Alba Rayton, a
long labor of love has ended in grief. Instead of the
excitement and triumph that she anticipated when preparing
for screenings of her new documentary, Lamma, My Island, at
European film festivals, she's left with tears instead.
On September 25, two of the 30-minute movie's biggest
stars, Alba's beloved three-year-old pet dogs Guapa
and Ginger, consumed tainted food that a mysterious
"dog poisoner" had left near popular footpaths. Guapa
quickly died, and Ginger lingers at death's door.
"Ginger won't make it," Alba said. "We took her to the
vet yesterday (Oct 2). He gave her vitamins and steroids,
but she isn't showing any improvement. Her breathing is
At least 15 Lamma dogs have died in an outbreak of
poisoning cases. Others, like Ginger, look likely to drive
the death toll higher.
The poisoning grieves Alba and dampens her enthusiasm for
the documentary. She devoted much of the film to praising
Lamma as a tropical paradise full of friendly, caring
people, a utopia that she and her husband John chose
as an ideal place to live.
"Definitely, the poisoning incident has changed our
feelings towards Lamma," Alba said. "But it's like when an
earthquake or tsunami hits a country. The authorities need
days, maybe months, to learn the full extent of the damage.
That's how I feel. We need time. The only thing we know for
sure is that we've lost the dogs that brought us joy and
that the culprit is a malicious person from the island where
we chose to live."
In one positive aspect, "I also can say that the
community spirit, the caring-for-each-other attitude seen in
the documentary, has been demonstrated to us all over again
by so many neighbors and friends."
Will the Raytons remain on Lamma? "The future for us here
is something that we need to re-examine once we know more
about the damage this has caused us," Alba said. "We'd have
difficulty to be confident that nothing similar would happen
Ironically, much of the documentary focuses on how
Lamma's people and dogs live together in idyllic harmony.
"We love dogs," yells an enthusiastic group in one scene.
Obviously, that's no unanimous opinion. Someone on Lamma
Alba, who directed the film but also appears onscreen as
a narrator and tour guide, tells viewers, "Now this is
looking more like a ‘dogumentary'. I'm very happy."
Lamma, My Island will play at the Marbella International
Film Festival in Spain (October 14-16). Then it goes to
Switzerland's Lucerne International Film Festival (October
Colorful, lively and pleasing, the film gives a
delightful introduction (complete with zooming-in on maps)
to anyone unfamiliar with Lamma. Residents and regular
visitors will smile at the constant reminders of what they
like about the place....
Showing soon at European film
A documentary in the making sees dogs Guapa and Ginger as part of
Director of photography Yuk Hoi Tat, editor Ice Javier and director
Alba work on a then-happy project.
Film director Alba Rayton points a camera at her 'chosen' isle.
Part of Lamma's largest village: not quite paradise after all.
Nick the Bookman: -
Official Court Senior Reviewer:
Lamma-Gung, the MC of the film screening as Alba was out of HK)
Alba's Lamma Movie -
Diesel's Bar - Sep 17, 2011
for film trailer. The film's available now on DVD.
Ask in Diesel's.)
Well, I'm back...Did you miss me much?
Anyway, time to jump through spacetime hoops again while
trying to mash up Alba's movie review, The RWC 2011 World
Cup and life in general. Here goes...
about 1920 (HKT) and I've just arrived at Diesels' for the
first of four screenings of Alba's long gestating/ finally
finished tribute to life on Lamma. I'm in a good mood.
Ireland have just beaten Australia 15-6 in their pool match
[rugby] to become front-runners to top Pool C. People in the know
say it's a major upset.
There's a reasonable crowd inside Diesel's
for the film premiere. Dave Spicer and Bob Davies chatting
by the bar. Hermann and Lucy have arrived. They're sitting
next to Ivan and Ivy. Peta, Caroline, Annie and Maria (with
the jewellery shop) are across the room. Leigh's in and out.
Other people are drinking outside. A DVD is passed forward
and inserted into the player. I've been assured by Alba that
"you're in the film", Sounds groovy. The film begins...
tells us that there are about 7 million people in HK. And
about 6,500 or so resident on Lamma. There are overall maps,
Film of the HKFF ferry disgorging passengers. Shots up and
down Main Street. Familiar faces, hustling and bustling.
Animals on the prowl. And Alan at one point with his dogs.
Looking healthier than he does now. A bit more erect and
less of The Shambling, Shuffling Living Dead. The film is
broken into chapters. Including The Arena, Living In Harmony
and Our Natural Beauty. There's coverage of The Melting Pot
Festival on the football pitch. The Curs are playing.
Earlier shots of the Opera House being constructed and The
Curs doing a sort of "corporate gig" for the elderly local
a section of Lamma's most photogenic dogs. Both stills and
motion film. About 20 or so dogs are shown. No Jack and
Double though. Or Xena. Which diminishes my interest a
little. Someone cries out "Is this a Dogumentary?" Dr. John
Wedderburn talks about LAWC. No mention of the schism with
LAP. Both organisations do good work in rescuing strays and
abused animals. There's film of various
activities/parties/The Lamma 500 on Power Station Beach.
Lamma-Gung is interviewed.
does a spacey slow shuffle dance on the beach and reminisces
about her earlier career as a ballerina. She met Dame Margot
Fonteyn, you know. Bob Davis has loaned some of his classic
photos of Lamma dating back to 1976. The Before and After
views are striking. Kelly is interviewed at home and distils
the Lamma philosophy. "You take care of each other, love
each other." Not too many groans and jeers at that. Marian
and Peter are interviewed about the joys of taking the
Aberdeen sampan home after a late night on the tiles. Amber
and Udo talk about their amber and jewellery shop. There's
brief footage of Marcel and Nuch's wedding last year. I was
there, but don't make the brief footage.
Canadian Dave (the
hobo/beach bum - this isn't meant as a diss) crops up. He's
about the closest Lamma has got to Hunter. Dave isn't here
now. His visa ran out. There are shots of Cath at her bar.
Alba and her family and her dogs make several appearances.
There are nice meandering walks and pathways that I don't
recognise after 24 years on Lamma. Steve Cray has appeared
on screen. Longer hair, his beret and a big cheroot. The
picture freezes and pixilates. For about the fourth time.
Very stop start film, leading to some audience irritation.
And now there's a clean shaven shot of Alan. He's made about
3 appearances so far.
know the single biggest problem facing mankind these days.
Of course you do. You're not stupid people. It's the Big
Bang of problems and there are no easy answers. Runaway
population growth and pressure is mankind's biggest disaster
in waiting. All other problems stem from that. The
Population Explosion - caused by a countless number of small
... I'm getting depressed thinking about all
this. So back to Alba's movie. A nice little distraction
from everything else in this paragraph. And, Alba, thanks. I
was in the film. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it, semi-obscured
cameo of me taking a mattress off the ferry. If only I had
signed the copyright release....
P.S. For Nick's full review, including passionate & comprehensive diversions
about rugby and doomsday,
(Re-published almost verbatim from
Nov 19, 2007)
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