Hong Kong Metamorphosis


Denis Bray

ISBN : 978-962-209-550-2


November 2001

276 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$250.00

Apart from eleven years in England for school, university and National Service, and a three-year ‘overseas posting’ as Hong Kong Commissioner in London, Denis Bray has lived all his life in Hong Kong and China.

The metamorphosis is of the man himself as he grew up from childhood, through adolescence to become an administrator in Hong Kong for thirty-five years. It is also the story of Hong Kong’s emergence from near death after the Second World War to become one of the major cities in Asia.

The story is told as an autobiography, from growing up in China to the occasional brief occupation of the Governor’s seat. In the early days, ‘administration’ was rather a grand word to describe the daily grappling with novel problems never before encountered. In fact, it is difficult to detect any onset of routine. In this life, as in the life of Hong Kong itself, change and challenge were the only constants.

“This is a wonderfully evocative account of the experiences of a deeply feeling, highly effective “colonial servant” who has served the people of Hong Kong with joy, affection and humour all his life.” —Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, former governor of Hong Kong (1987-1992)

“From little boy playing in the paddy fields of Foshan to riding as Acting Governor in a Crown car; disaster avoided for the cross-harbour tunnel; saving the fish jumpers. An inside account of some momentous, some trifling, but all interesting incidents in the life of postwar Hong Kong.” —Sir Y.K. Kan, former Executive and Legislative Councillor

“Denis Bray writes about how Hong Kong changed from a postwar grub, with all the warts of wartime occupation, into a spectacular economic, social butterfly now under its own autonomous administrators for the first time in 160 years. Bray, uniquely placed at the most senior level of government, tells his part in how it all happened.” —Robin Hutcheon, former editor of the South China Morning Post