1979 interviewing Vietnamese refugees | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1979 interviewing Vietnamese refugees

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1979 interviewing Vietnamese refugees

This is my late husband, Fred Moritz, headed out to interview the refugees in HK harbor or was it near Lamma island?  ......not the Skyluck but a smaller boat.  Can anyone identify the scene? So many refugee boats then. 


Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, January 1, 1979


Kirstin, this photograph was taken in Ha Mei Wan, Lamma Island. The Marine Police Chief Inspector, who is looking toward the boat, is Mr YAU Siu fan, who was the Marine commander of the southern waters of Hong Kong, that included the waters around Lamma Island. The other officer, the one looking towards the camera, was once my radio operator, whose nickname was Sai Ma (Little Horse). I am sorry but I can't recall his real name. I think this photograph was taken in May 1979, but you might know otherwise? The vessel was typical of the Vietnamese refugee boats that were coming into Hong Kong in the 1970s. We called this type 'medium size', and they would usually be carrying about 200 people - all packed in like sardines, as you can see from the photograph.

Thank you for the comment.  I am not aware of the exact date of this photo except that it was in 1979.  I also recall that the HK International School had projects to teach ESL in the camps.  My older daughter participated and I visited several times.  It was a big issue of the time.  In a strange coincidence my youngest daughter was teaching writing in a Minneapolis retirement home this year  and one of her students was a teacher at HKIS who taught in the camps and worked with another teacher in our residence of the time( Sea and Sky Court in Stanley) on projects in the camp.  I put the two teachers in touch...now in different countries and 40 years later.  Kirstin Moritz

That is my late father (Yau Siu Fan). He passed away few years after. I still remember he took all the old clothes from my home to the refugee camp. 

I worked with your father. He was a chief inspector in Marine Police when I joined in 1976. He was my commanding officer for a time. I remember him as a good man, very capable and professional.

Nice to meet you. Do you know Iain Ward? He authored 2 books regarding Hong Kong Marine Police. I still remember my father told how fragile some of those boats. It was a magical how they made it from Vietnam to Hong Kong.

I saw Iain Ward in London in March last year. We exchanged books. He gave me his and I gave him mine. He is well and still living in Wivenhoe in Essex. I still live in Hong Kong.