Sunday, June 17, 2012
The one-legged Admiral Chan Chak left behind his wooden leg when he had to swim for his life in a barrage of gunfire to escape the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong on Christmas 1941. He and sixty British companions made their way overland across enemy lines in China’s interior to eventual freedom. Tim Luard relates this unbelievable trek in his Suzhou Bookworm talk about his book, “Escape from Hong Kong: Admiral Chan Chak’s Christmas Day Dash, 1941″.
Tim Luard graduated in Chinese at Edinburgh University in 1973 and spent the next seven years in Hong Kong, working as a freelance journalist. Highlights of his 23-year career at the BBC included covering the 1989 events in Tiananmen Square during a two-year stint as Beijing Correspondent for the World Service and making a 6-part radio series on the history of Hong Kong to mark the handover.
Tim and his wife Alison — whose father Colin McEwan was a member of Admiral Chan’s party — retraced the escapers’ 80-mile route to Huizhou on foot in 2009 and put together an exhibition on the escape which is showing till the end of 2012 at the Hong Kong Coastal Defense Museum.
At the Suzhou Bookworm: tell your taxi driver the intersection of Wu Que Qiao and Shi Quan Jie.
Or, take the subway to the Lindun Lu stop in downtown Suzhou and take a 10 minute ride by pedicab or five-minute taxi ride to the Bookworm. It’s a fifteen minute walk due south from the Lindun Lu subway station: Gongyuan Lu (across from the old Sofitel Hotel – now Marco Polo), cross Shi Zi Jie to Wu Que Qiao. The Bookworm will be on your left at the intersection of Wu Que Qiao and Shi Quan Jie.
30 rmb for students; 50 rmb for members; 90 rmb for non-members. Includes one glass of wine or beer. For more information or membership applications, contact Bill Dodson at email@example.com.