Hong Kong Metamorphosis by Denis Bray

By Denis Bray

The tale is informed as an autobiography, from starting to be up in China to the occasional short career of the Governor's seat. within the early days, 'administration' was once particularly a grand note to explain the day-by-day grappling with novel difficulties by no means sooner than encountered.

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I had been convinced that scientific research was not for me. More important, I came to realize that any of the jobs on offer would mean living in a big city. I much preferred the country. We drew a blank so I was referred to the man who dealt with arts students. This man was more realistic. ' Indeed I did. His suggestion was Asiatic Petroleum Company, a part of Shell, who were looking for new graduates. This sounded much better. ' This was better still. I duly applied to the Colonial Office for a job in Hong Kong.

When I was at the school, a new building was completed for the Prep School and a new classroom block was built where the boys from the Boys' School and the girls from the Girls' School could take coeducational lessons. Reading Jean Moore's account of her days at Chefoo, I learnt that boys and girls were not only kept apart in their sleeping accommodation but also for lessons. This had been dropped by the time I went, so it was strange to find myself in a school for boys only when I went to England later on.

I particularly remember his keeping us enthralled in his reading of The Cloister and the Hearth though I cannot remember the story itself. The four seasons School life was regulated to fit the climate. The winters were bitter and so cold that one year we came back from holidays to find the sea frozen over. We walked from the docks to school over the sea. The summers were glorious. I suppose they were hot as I remember hearing of temperatures of 100°F (38°C) or more but the air was dry and on the whole not so hot as Hong Kong.

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