I passed my Matriculation Examination in June, 1938, scoring grade "A", which entitled me to enter any of the Three Facaulties, including courses in Mathematics and Chinese). By this time, financed by my mother's "pin money", my brother Mark had already completed one years in the Arts Faculty at HKU. Up till then, my father. on account of his other commitments, had not indicated that he would finance my further education. In my one year as an undergraduate at the Canton University, I had almost exhausted the little savings I managed to accumulate during the 15 months when I was a teacher in Rabaul, New Guinea. Thus when September came, Mr. Lim Hoy Lan was kind enough to take me on as a pupil teacher at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, on condition that I would attend the then Evening Teachers Training Course at the Government Technical Institute. In that capacity I taught at Kowloon Wah Yan for two weeks, when suddenly, the good news came. The Price of Rubber had gone up considerably, (presumably because of the increasing likelihood of Wars). The rubber trees in my father's Rubber Plantation in British North Borneo (managed by my elder brother, Philip), had ripen and matured at the right time, and were yielding good rubber juice that year. As a result, my father happily declared that he would pay for the University Education, not only for my brother Mark, but also for my self. So promptly, I resigned my teaching post, and proceeded to enrolled myself as an undergraduate at the University of Hongkong. It was pretty late, the Autumn at the University had already started.
I first called on Fr. B.C. Kelly, the then Warden of Ricci Hall, and enquired if there were any vacancy left. I was told that there was none. A close friend of my brother, James Lee, advised my Mark in the quiet that there were still a few vacancies at St. John's Hall. So I applied, and was accepted. In the two weeks while I was at St. John's Hall. I first met a medical student, Luke Lim (who subsequently was killed in action as a member of the Hongkong Volunteers Defence Corps, in the Battle of Hongkong). The late Luke Lim impressed me to be a perfect gentleman, having a very Christian family background. He showed a sincere and really caring concern over a "green horn" (new comer) like me - trying to be helpful in everything I cared to ask. He even insisted that I attended with him, the Evening Prayers Service in the Chapel that first evening I was in St.. John's. Other senior members I met at St. Johns Hall then included James Lee and John Huang. Amongst others as "green horns" with me at St. John's Hall that year, were Rayson Huang (later (1972-87) the Vice Chancellor of HKU), and Cliff Mathews (later Professor of Chemistry, University of Chicago). St John's Hall, was then located, by the side Hing Hong Road, beneath Bonham Road level, and just above the lower part of Pokfulum Road. (The very site where the St.Paul's Boys School now stands). It was rather noisy, particularly at night, when one tries to do a bit of work, or to get some sleep. I didn't like it. Soon I made further enquiries, and eventually secured a place in May Hall, the highest of the three University own Hostels.
May Hall was a building of the pre "re-inforced concrete" era. It was a 3-storey red brick long house, with tile-roofings, resting on metal supports. The top floor had no ceiling as such. When having difficulty in falling asleep, one could count the number of tiles on the roof (instead of counting sheep) while lying on ones bed. The residents were each allocated a cubicle, measuring approximately 10' x 12', partitioned off by thick boards of hard wood. Each cubicle had a French window, opening out onto a narrow verandah, shared by all the cubicles on the same side and level. The partitioning boards left a gap atop at the height of about 10 feet, for ventilation. It was never intended to be sound proof, and one could shout over the partition to communicate with one's neighbour. One could also climb over the partition wall on to the next cubicle. For privacy or security, one had to trust that his neighbours were honourable gentlemen. For that matter it certainly appeared that the house servants were all honest and reliable.
Although my Matriculation Examination results entitled me to take any of the courses offered in any of the then 4 Facaulties, I had no love in the study of anatomy, pathology or physiology, besides I was conscious of my weakness in the foundation of the science subjects. Further more I was never good in maths nor in drawing, so I did not opt for Medicine, nor for Engineering nor for Science. The choice was narrowed as to which of the 5 groups of subjects in the Arts Faculty would suit my fancy best. I rejected group V, because it was a Course for Law and Commerce, which, to my lofty youthful mind, was fit only for the mercenary minded misers. I rejected Group IV for teachers, because I considered I had had enough of teaching. I did not, at that time, know what use I could make of Chinese Studies, hence I skipped Group III. I rejected Group II also for the same reason, as it offered History or Geography. There was left then, only Group I, down as "Letters and Philosophy" - whatever that might mean, which I eventually opted for want of a better alternative. There was only one other student (a girl) in that year, registering as a student for Group I as I did. She was Miss Louise Tung Me-tsung, who eventually became Madam Yu Kwok Hua, wife the Prime Minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan). It was not until I came to my 2nd year, when I applied to change to Group III, for Chinese Studies.
Prior to 1937, School Leavers in Hongkong had a wide choice, for University Education. He could opt to go to Peking for prestige, or to Shanghai for exposure, or to Canton for economy. Employment prospects for graduates in the more prestigious Universities in China were reckoned to be greater, as China was a great country, with an unlimited capacity to absorb talents of any description. Education at the Hongkong University was relatively more costly in the first place, and apart from medicine, the employment prospects, after graduation, were seen as more restricted. The senior posts in the various disciplines of the Colonial Service were reserved for British subjects of European descent. Even graduate teachers from Hongkong University on Government Scholarship could only expect to be employed as "University Trained Teachers", but not as member of the Colonial Educational Service nor as "Sterling Paid Officers". The Administrative Service (Cadet Officers) was a "close shop" for Britishers, who were graduates from either Oxford or Cambridge. Medical Graduates of HKU could only hope to become Chinese Assistant Medical Officers (CAMO); and Engineering graduates could not proceed beyond the rank of a Surveyor or an Assistant Engineer, and only after returning from England having completing a professional training course, and passing certain Guild Examination.
The invasion of China by the Japanese Armed Forces in 1937, followed by their landing in 1938 in South China to take Canton, virtually slammed the door to many, who might otherwise thought of going to Universities in China. Thus in that year (1938), we had an unusually large number of "Freshmen" enrolling at HKU. In point of fact, the "green horns' (new comers) out numbered the "old horns" (the seniors) that year. In the English Literature Class for First Year of the Arts Faculty alone, we had over 60 students - a record number - amounting just to about half of the entire Faculty. In May Hall where the accommodation capacity was 54, the first year students numbered over 35 -(Five to Two). It was the "tradition" at HKU in those days for the "green horns" to be initiated by way of "Ragging" (tormented with practical jokes), especially in the hostels. The unexpected inundation of large number of "green horns" that year taxed the wits and ingenuity of the "seniors" for ragging. Soon the excitements were over, the students settled down for their serious work. The medical students had to cope, not only with their advanced studies in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, but also to tackle brand new subjects like Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for their Pre-Med. It was subject like Anatomy which really taxed their efforts. After dissecting the cadaver in the lab (mortuary), they had to learn, systematically from their thick text book, to comprehend, identify and memorize the names of literally hundreds (if not thousands) of parts of the human body, the terms for most of which were, I gathered, in Latin. The lights in the hostel went off at mid-night, leaving on, only the what were needed to avoid accidents, in the corridors and the bath rooms. I was most impressed by some of the medical students, who occupied the cubicles half way down the middle of the corridor, who solidly for 3 years, had to resort to sitting outside their cubicles, after mid night, in the corridor or the bath rooms, to make up for what they could not finish before the lights went out. For the Engineering students, their trade marks were the variety of rulers (slide rule, T-rule, set square, protractor, etc - big and small) they carried, and the drawing papers or pencils they some time carried; some even had their private drawing boards. For us, Arts students, all we might carry was a note book; and even that it was not strictly necessary. The odd text books or reference books which we occasionally carried, were in fact cosmetic. I for one spent more time in the Libraries or in the Tea Room of the Students Union. A few made the billiard room, virtually their second home. Indeed a lot may be said about being good at the game of billiard. It demanded a high concentration of the mind, and the simultaneous resort ing of the geometric calculation of angles and forces to ensure the ball you hit with you cue, would knock the other ball or balls at the right spot or spots, thus rendering one of both of them rolling on the targeted pockets. Events have apparently shown that those who were good at billiard, were subsequently very successful in business and in enterprises. We, of the Arts Faculty, each had our private collection of "books", which, I would go so far as to say, no two sets were alike. The most impressive was the set possessed by my friend, Ëáí Ùéîç Èåé, who was supposed to read "Chinese History". He must have well over 1,000 volumes in his cubicle, which he simply piled them all over the place. His desk was always full, and many of his books were lying on the floor, on the chairs, and on his bed. Contrasting to Kam Ying Hei, we had ×ïîç Ëáí Ïî, who only kept the minimum number of books necessary in his cubicle. I had quite a few of my own, many of which I had hardly read. To be quite honest, they were there more as cosmetic than anything else.
There were five of us in the same class enrolled in the Chinese Department that year. The most scholarly of us all was Ëáí Ùéîç Èåé, who was already widely read and positively convinced as to what was right and what was not. He and I shared the same hostel, May Hall. His cubicle was full of books. Prior to his enrollment as an undergraduate to read Chinese History for his B.A., his extensive reading already covered, not only Chinese literature and history - ancient and modern, but also mathematics and philosophies, Chinese as well as Foreign. Had it not been for the fact that he was on a Government Scholarship for a B.A. degree,(so as to qualify as a university trained teacher), it might have been more appropriate that he be registered as a postgraduate student working for his Ph.D. To me, he was a walking encyclopedia, whose brain I could pick on almost any topic or subject, saving me the trouble of having to work my problems out on my own. His intellectual level must have been yards and yards above my head. However, it was a treat if not a joy to watch him being taken to tasks, by an equally brainy Ìáõ Äéî Ãèåõë, another classmate of mine, whose sharp and critical mind holding at bay, the points made by the widely read Kam Ying Hei, who seemed to have a photographic memory for whatever he might have read. When the latter submitted massive amount of facts and figures in support of a proposition, the former could simply modify if not neutralize it with logic and dialectic. Years later, (after our graduation), Kam Ying Hei was so patriotic that he dedicated his whole life and carreer to the Noble Cause of Socialist Revolution and National Construction for China; whereas Lau Din Cheuk distinguished himself by scoring the rare First Class Honour in Logic at Glasgow University in Scotland, at which he read Moral Philosophy. Lau subsequently distinguished himself as a widely respected authority in Ancient Chinese Philosophical thinkings, and a highly honoured Professor of Chinese Studies, initially at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, later at the Chinese University of Hongkong. We met again in 1988, Fifty years after we first met as fellow "green horns" at the University of Hongkong. We remained as good friends as ever, agreeing to disagree on many things for half a century, but fully respecting the views, values and convictions, held by the another. Others in the same class reading the same subjects included Ìáé Ôéí Ãèåïîç, who very soon distinguished himself as the Top candidate, scoring Æéòóô in the All China Senior Civil Service Exam in China's War Time Capital of Chungking as early as in 1942. His unique achievement qualified him for appointment to the Chinese Foreign Service, as the First Secretary at the Chinese Embassy accredited to the Court of St James in 1945-49. When Lau Din Cheuk and myself were struggling for existence on our meagre students allowance in post-war Britain, Lai Tim Cheong was enjoying all the diplomatic privileges attributable to his personal status of a senior Diplomat in London. However, subsequent political change forced Lai to return to Hongkong, where he, once again, had to work all his way up from scratch, to earn the Professorial Directorship of Extra Mural Studies for the Chinese University of Hongkong. Mr. Lai's father, Ìáé Ãèáé Èåé, was a "Han Lin" (a successful candidate having passed the highest grade in the Imperial Civil Examination System of the late Ching Dynasty) in his own right. He held the post of an equivalent to that of a Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Hongkong, prior to the appointment, (in l937) of Prof Hsu Ti Shan. Lai Tim Cheong, who writes a beautiful hand of Chinese Penmanship, is himself an artist in his own right. He loved lyrics and poetry, English as well as Chinese. He has written and published score of Books on various subjects of Chinese Cultural interests. Also in the same class in the Chinese Department, was Îç Ôõîç Ëéîç, who spoke Mandarin as if it were her mother tongue, and who took up Librarianship as life long career, subsequently distinguished herself as the Head of The Centre of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, in Canada. Of the five, I was the least worthy in the class. I recall envying the inborn talent of both Kam Ying Hei and Lau Din Cheuk, who needed only a glance to be able not only to recite, but also to discuss the words in the context of certain a passage, both in Shakespeare's Halmet and in Milton's Paradise Lost, when I could hardly remember a single sentence in either of these great work after making literary score of attempts.
For us, Arts students, the main venue of meeting our co eds was in Room "K" in the Main Building. It was in Room "K" where we had our Lectures in "English Literature". It was also in Room "K" also, where we had our lectures in Logic. In both these lectures, there were Roll Calls, through which, we soon came to know our class mates. This spared us for having to be "introduced". It also helped us to become familiar with the seating prefernce of the individuals. We were almost instantly impressed by the outstanding personalities, of Îáîåôôå Èï, Ë÷áî Ùåõë Ìáî and Áîîá Ìåå. It did not take long for us to take note of the presence of others, like the Ìéí óéóôåòó; Êåóóå¬ Áíù¬ ánä Ìåîá; or Úáúá, the younger sister of two more elderly Suffiad girls in the 2nd year; and Éòåîå Ãèáî, who also had elderly sisters in the higher class. The charming personalities of others, like Æìïòá Ìåå, Ìéììéáî Ìï, Îç Ôõîç Ëéîç quickily asserted themselves. Other classical beauties, such as Ìïõéóå Ôõîç and Åìóéå Ãèéîç left an indelible impression. Soon, others, though more reserved, also made their presence felt, notably, Ìéìù Ôóï, Ìé ×áé Ëõåî, Ìáí Ùõîç Ôáé, Íáù Ãèáî¬ Éäá Ùïõîç, ? Ë÷áî and the Ëï sisters. Collectivelym they were, really, a most attractive and charming lot - most impressive, whom we took great pride to have been identified as members of the same class. Indeed, I for one, am not ashamed to admit that we, the boys of the class, have "secretly" identified our respective personal favourites, and privately cherished the hope (but in vain), that one fine day, we might win her heart and take her hand before the Altar. I was certainly not alone in having such a state of mind. They were our happy days of our youthful romance, memorable indeed for years to come.
First and foremost, I should mention Íò® Óáìôåò and Mr. È® ÍáãËåîúéå¬ both were successive Wardens of May Hall. The former was relatively quiet, who presented a Paper on "Humanism" and read it on a special occasion to the students assembles in the hostel. He also took a personal in the activities of our Music Society for music lovers, who had . programmes of music appreciation, by way of socialized listening to recorded classical music from the gramophones. Mr. MacKenzie was lively even when he gave his lectures on serious subjects. He was very sociable, actively making friends with all of us, whether in the Tea Room at the Students Union or at Tea elsewhere, in popular resorts like the Gloucester or Hongkong Hotel. It was he who first took me on a Sunday afternoon walk along the Cecil's Ride, a trail, up the Eastern Ridge on Hongkong Island, leading from Wong Nai Chung Gap to Tai Tam Reservoir, which I didn't even know it existed prior to that outing. He loved demonstrating the beautiful steps of his Scottish Dancing every now and again. He was lively when lecturing on Bernard Shaw's Play: "You Never can Tell". The 3rd I should mention was the charming Íò®Îïòíáî Æòáîãå, Reader in History, who lived in one of the Bungalows on top of Brick Hill, near what was subsequently the Ocean Park at Dep Water Bay. He was very friendly with his pupils. It was Mr.France annual informal "At Home" for his pupils in his house, which was most memorable. He kept a donkey to carry water up the steep hill to his spacious house, a very pleasant place to lounge over the week end. Poor Mr.France, he was killed in action in the defence of Hongkong in December 1941. The 4th was the one- eye Íò®Âéòãè, the Senior Lecturer in English, who didn't teach us until we got up to our 3rd year. The 5th was Ò®Ë® Óéíðóïî, Professor of English, whom we would not have much to do until we got up to the dizzy height in the 4th year, excepting that he did deliver two lectures on English Phonetics, to us when we were freshmen in the First year. The 6th was Íò® Òååöåó, who lectured on Logic twice a week in our First Year. The 7th was a Îïòíáî ÍáãËåîúéå, who replaced Salter, after the latter completed his contract in 1940. For us who were students in the Chinese Department, we had three teachers; namely, Íò® Ãèáî Ë÷áî Ðï, Lecturer in Translation and Librarian for the Fung Ping Shan Library; Íò® Íá Ëéáí¬ Reader in Chinese Literature; and Ðòïæ® Èóõ Ôé Óèáî¬ Professor of Chinese Studies. Closest to us amongst the three was Mr. Ma Kiam, whose lectures we attended as frequently as three times a week. Mr.Ma loved verse speaking, and often shared the joy of reading loud, master pieces selected from the Books of Ancient Chinese Poetry and Lyrics. Mr. Ma was additionally, an excellent host in his house, at which we, who were his pupils, had a few very good meals, beside many tea parties. We used to hold our Committee meetings of the Chinese Society in his house. Further more, daily in the morning Tea-breaks at 11.00-11.15 am in the Tang Chi Ngon School of Chinese Studies, Mr. Ma's office was always an "Open House", to which all would seemed to be welcomed. Not only those of us who were members (junior or senior) of the Chinese Department, might feel free to drop in to have a cup of freshly brewed Jasemin Tea and a bite of his specially toasted pea-nuts; more often than not, visiting intellectuals from all parts of China, many of whom were ranking celebrities, who were passing through Hongkong, on their ways to and from Peking/Shanghai vs Chungking/Kun Ming, would drop in to share a cup of tea and a bite of Mr. Ma pea nuts, when they pay their Courtesy Calls on Prof. Hsu and/or Mr. Ma, both of whom were extremely popular amongst the ranking Intellectuals of the Day in China. Although we who were very junior members of the Faculty, we were encouraged to join in and participate in the listening of what was going on. It was indeed, a unique privilege for us, young students, to have such opportunities, meeting face to face with many celebraties, who were men of letters, (some of world level) of the day and age. Ðòïæ® Èóõ Ôéóèáî ( ) Following after the conferment, by the University of Hongkong, of an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Law) to Dr. Hu Shih Chi ( ) of Peking University, who was one of the leading figures in the historic Íáù ´ôè Íïöåíåîô, a new breed of Teachers for the Chinese School were to be recruited for HKU. Heading the team was Prof. Hsu Ti-shan, a returned student from Oxford University, who was formerly of Yen Ching University in Peking. Prof. Hsu was already an established authority in Sanskrit and in Buddhism, and a well known and well respected scholar of wide interest. He was appointed to the Chair of Chinese Studies, a year before I was enrolled as an undergraduate. He soon impressed me as a man with a tremendous capacity for organizing. In the year when I was a first year undergraduate, Prof. Hsu indicated an interest in the artistic presentation of Chinese Penmanship and Chinese Paintings on ðáðåò æáîó. He then took upon himself to dig up, borrow, and gathered together, over a thousand specimens of such work of art, to organize an Åøèéâéôéïî ïæ ¢Áòô ×ïòë ïî Ðáðåò Æáîó¢ at the University's Fung Ping Shan Library. The faculty clerk and the librarian assistant, were detailed to do the painstaking documentation work, identifying the individual Exhibits, which Prof. Hsu took upon himself to identify, classify and categorize for the Exhibition. We, the students in the Chinese Department, were enlisted to place correctly, the prepared documents closest to the right Exhibits, so as to identify for the viewers. In the process of so doing, we became aware of what the Exhibits looked like, and what were stated in the identifying documents, thereby assimilating what Prof. Hsu had intended for his viewers. As a part of the Exhibition, Prof.Hsu presented, in a Symposium, a Special Paper on the subject of the Exhibition; namely," Art Work on Chinese Paper Fans". The Exhibition was well attended and Prof. Hsu Paper was well received. It presented to the Hongkong public, a new dimension to what was hitherto regarded only as a form of unsophisticated popular Chinese Art available plentifully, in the market place.
The Exhibition of Art Work on Paper Fans was so successful that in the year following thereafter, Prof. Hsu took an even bolder step in organizing yet another similar Exhibition. This time the Exhibits were pieces of "Ïìä Ãèéîåóå Êáäåó", which included not only Jade ornaments of a good variety of sizes and shapes, but also some priceless rare pieces, including a Seal, purported to be the Imperial Seal of an Ancient Emperor, from the collections of local curios dealers as well as private collectors in Hongkong. The "Collection" thus gathered was estimated to be so precious, that the local Insurance Agents demanded a very high premium; so high that the University found it could not afford to insure them. As a result, the University, with the personal support of the then Governor, (Northcote) had to arrange with the Police for "special armed guards" to be mounted, to protect the Exhibits, against theft or damage, before, during and after the Exhibition. In the 3rd year, with the support and collaboration of other local cultural organizations, a even more elaborate Exhibition of "Cultural Graphics and Articles of Kwantung Province" ( ) was staged. Our involvement in all these Exhibitions of Cultural objects, were indeed a new dimension in our education.
Through the guiding hands of Prof. Hsu, our exposure to the Chinese culture did not stop at the several Exhibitions. Once a year, Prof. Hsu would select a different play for "dramatic presentation" by the Chinese Society. The first was presented in Mandarin, the 2nd in the Cantonese dialect, and the third a presentation of Chinese Opera in the spoken English language. Prof. Hsu also led us in outings, visiting Temples on Lantau Island and in Kam Tin Valley, and exploring old villages and speaking to the villagers in the N T. Wherever we went, Prof.Hsu could be seen asking many penetrating questions. He also took us out to visit historic excavation sites on Lamma Island, as well as taking us out to taste the different types of Chinese food, offered by restaurants claiming to represent the different parts of China. He organized a unique Funeral Service, which included a symbolic "procession" on the grounds of The South China Athletic Association at Caroline Hill, for Ãèáé Ùõáî Ðåé ( ), the former widely respected President of the Peking University, who died while a visitor in Hongkong. He even led a Grand Walkathorn Picnic, for the entire Arts Faculty, climbing Taimoshan in the New Territories, assaulting the highest Peak in the Colony from the northern slope, then returning home, by coming down hill via the southern slope. Unfortunately, a few weeks after that "Grand" Excursion, Prof. Hsu died of heart failure in his home, while the University was on its summer vacation. Yes, Prof. Hsu's teaching method was indeed, unique.
It had been well said in a Chinese saying that of the ten fingers in your pair of hands, some are longer and some are shorter, implying that each had its own usefulness.. In our days at the University, the able-bodied athletes soon made their names in sports, and won the admirations of the co-eds by their impressive performances in the Fields or Tracks or in the Swimming Pools. Others with brilliant brains soon distinguished themselves in Exams or in Debates. In my class, a few who could speak clearly and could grasp the meanings of the scripts, were quickly picked to play the leading roles in the Dramatic Presentation. Those equally bright but relatively less outstanding, would be casted to play the less important or minor roles. For chaps like me, who had difficulty even to follow what I read from the text, had to be content to play "other" roles. I took an interest in what my predecessor, Èõîç Ëïî Ãèéõ had been doing. He had been the Stage Manager for several years in succession, in the series of "Dramatic Presentations" by the Arts Association. His job it was, to enlist the help of a team of workers in the Great Hall of the University, to erect the Stage, set up the back ground scenes according to the whims of the "Director", hung up the curtains, fix up the lights, laying out the rows and rows of chairs for the audience, etc. I volunteered to be one of the enlisted assistants in the first year. Before I realized, I was already left high and dry, the sole "Stage Manager" in my 2nd year. When Hung graduated, he did not leave behind, any working manual or notes as to how one might get things done. On taking over, I had to rely heavily on the goodwill of the two janitors, whose job it was to keep the Great Hall clean and tidy. They knew how the Hall platform could be raised to the desired height, where to hook the ends of the curtains, where to buy the necessary piece of strings, or additional nails, who was the electrician, who knew where to connect your cords to the lights for your stage, where to hire the service of Scaffoldings, etc. I had the job as the Stage Manager for 3 years, for no one would compete for it; and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I had my name printed on the Programmes as the Stage Manager for many in that 3 years. Stage Management was not the only interest I had. I was elected the Class Representative for the Chinese Society in the first year, and proceeded to be the Hon Secretary in the next. This also prompted my interest to seek and won election to be the "Common Room" Committee Member in the Hostel in the 2nd year. In the latter capacity, I could exercise my personal discretion in buying for the hostel community, a few records of Classical Music for a minority of members, who hated Jazz. With such tastes of democratic processes, soon I found myself seeking election and succeeded to become, Chairman, firstly of the Chinese Society, then as Chairman of the Hostel's Student Body, and then Chairman of the Arts Association. By the beginning of my 4th year, I contested in the election, but was defeated by a narrow margin, for the Presidency of the Students Union. When the War came, on 8th December, 1941, I was the incumbent Chairman of May Hall (my hostel), Chairman of the Arts Association, and an influential Council Member of the Students Union. The war came, half a year too early for my Final Examination, necessary for my Bachelor Degree. On Dec 25th, 1941, the Japanese Armed Forces captured Hongkong. I was spared the ordeal of having to sweat through my Final Exam. I was awarded my War Time Degree on 23rd January, 1942.