By Zhou Feifei and Vivian Ding Xiao Yu

(Taken at The Ghost City of Xinjiang)

1. When did you start working in the School of English and what kind of work were you doing?

I joined the School of English in 1979. It was called the Department of English Studies & Comparative Literature then. I worked in the General Office as an ‘all-rounder’.

2. Where was the general office of our school located back then? Do you still remember when the current 113G office was set up?

In the beginning our General Office was a tiny room on the second floor, holding 5-6 staff. Now we have a much bigger office. Also there was a Drama Lab for our school use, and I am sure that some of our alumni still remember spending time there rehearsing dramas, talking about Shakespeare, sharing a drink and sometimes even taking a nap. In the 1990s, the Drama Lab was divided into several office rooms and a multi-functional conference room. And today’s School seminar room 113G was renovated on the basis of that conference room. Who can imagine that under today’s high ceiling there was a lower fake ceiling in 113G?

3. Have you ever been invited to attend alumni gatherings?

Yes, though I never accepted any invitation. Personally I do think that keeping a certain distance from students (on certain occasions) is necessary and conducive for both parties.

4. Do you still have contact with some alumni?

Yes. I remember meeting A for a quick lunch near her working place just to catch up with her; I remember that M brought wine with her when we met for dinner; when I was at the worst moment of my life, CH sent me a Bible from the UK;V called me at midnight from Canada to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to me on my birthday morning, and so on and so on. They are great!

5. What do you think about the relocation of the School of English to the new campus?

It feels rather as if a literature department is turning into a place to study modern science. It seems that our School has to fit in with the modern outlook of the new campus. The School is going to leave a place full of history and memories, and start all over again.

6. What’s the most unforgettable experience you’ve had in the School of English?

The most unforgettable were the days when I chatted with the students about life in the Department Library. I often encouraged them to keep on doing what they found meaningful. I am very happy to see that they have now accomplished so much in their respective fields and lived up to the name of the “Department of English”. Working with these diligent and talented colleagues and students has enriched and fulfilled my life in the past years. Two lovely young ladies from the department even treated me to a “barbecue goose leg” feast on my birthday!

7. What do you think have been the most obvious changes over the years in the School of English?

The name changed from the “Department of English Studies & Comparative Literature” to the “Department of English”, and then to the current “School of English”. I think that the name “Department of English” has become a brand in Hong Kong society. If you pay attention, you will notice that the old signage, the Department of English, still remains on the door of the General Office.

8. We all know that you are a very good photographer. Have you kept any old photos of the School?

I have been into photography for only a few years, and especially like snapshots. I don’t have many pictures of the people and buildings in the university, which now seems to me a pity. Actually, I am planning to make a photo album about the School of English before we leave the Main Building. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions about this project.


You can see some of Franky’s excellent photography here. If you have any suggestions for Franky’s planned photo album, or any old photos of your time at the Main Building, please do get in touch with us at

Taken at Sichuan

Taken at Sichuan

Taken at Xinjiang

Taken at Xinjiang

Taken at Xian

Taken at Tibet

Taken at Tibet

Taken at Canton (Fire-crackers Dragon Boat Festival)

Taken at Canton

Taken at the Main Building, HKU


Published on: Feb 9, 2012 < Back >