in your backyard
Sai Kung’s Tin Man passes away
Known affectionately as the Tin Man, Mak Singyin passed away last month at the grand old age of 100. Resident in Sai Kung since 1952, Mr Mak handcrafted tin items in his old-town shop until he retired last year. In September, he told Sai Kung Magazine of his great pride at meeting
many famous people at his shop and his love of Sai Kung’s fresh air. He is survived by two sons, three daughters and a whole bunch of grandchildren. Sai Kungers left flowers on the pavement outside his store after hearing the news, a sign of how much he will be missed.
Six-year-olds join anti-ivory campaign Twenty children from Clearwater Bay School presented an elephant collage and an antiivory petition to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department last month. The elephant was made up of 120 handwritten messages contributed by the school’s six-year-old Year 2 student. Chanting “Say no to ivory!” the children called on the government to completely ban commercial sales of elephant ivory in Hong Kong. It is currently illegal to import or export ivory from Hong Kong without a license. Also in attendance was WildAid’s Alex Hofford, who recently visited the school to talk about elephant conservation. WildAid is the only organisation that focuses solely on reducing the demand for wildlife products. “Hong Kong has long been a hub for the illegal ivory trade, and suffers from weak ivory
licensing controls. The only way to sort out the problem is to ban the trade outright,” he said. WildAid contends the Hong Kong Government’s inaction on this issue is perpetuating a poaching crisis that could see African elephants becoming extinct in the wild within our lifetimes. Polly McGovern
101M driver sacked after abusive rant A 101M minibus driver has been sacked after verbally abusing local girl Mui Thomas about her appearance. Mui suffers from Harlequin Ichthyosis (see Sai Kung Magazine, April 2015) and has long experience of such discrimination. The incident occurred during her morning commute, with the driver pulling over and demanding she leave the minibus. Other passengers protested to the driver about his behaviour and one swapped seats with Mui. Following the incident, Mui’s parents complained to the bus company, who took immediate action and fired the driver that day. “Discrimination is something I unfortunately face on a daily basis,” Mui told Sai Kung Magazine. “But to have it thrown at me on my morning commute really threw me off, especially since it came from someone who was supposed to be performing a public service. It has transpired that other passengers complained previously about the driver’s behaviour. This, along with his display of discrimination, is what ultimately got him laid off. “The reason my parents agreed to tell our family story in our book [The Girl Behind the Face] is to help raise awareness of moments of discrimination like this, but also mainly to focus on the positives: that so many people showed their support, because that didn’t happen so much when my mum and dad were raising me.” To complain about public transport, please visit www.info.gov.hk/tcu/complaint. For details about The Girl Behind the Face, please visit www.thegirlbehindtheface.weebly.com.
Retro amusements in Central Hong Kong’s historic Lai Yuen Amusement Park, which closed in Lai Chi Kok in 1997, is being resurrected on the Central waterfront this summer. Anyone with memories of visiting the park can expect to see some familiar faces. Tino, the park’s Asian elephant, has been reincarnated as a banana-eating, water-spraying robotic pachyderm that guests can “feed” until it poos.
There will also be bumper cars, a Spooky School (remember the haunted house?), a summer ice rink, bouncy castle and the weird but iconic dinosaur returns as a slide. There will also be plenty of rides and game stalls with a hefty dose of retro Hong Kong kitsch. Free entry. Open daily, 11am-11pm until September. Central Harbourfront, 9 Lung Wo Road, www.laiyuen1949.com.
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