Beating heart hallmark of good old days

City talk | Terence Chang 17 Oct 2019

I talked with Eric Cho Yu-keung, Moses Lau Wing-cheuk and Desmond Siu Kin-fai about the good old days when they were on the Old Halls lion dance team.

They are trained in the martial arts - Cho in Hung Kuen, Lau in Choy Lee Fut and Siu in Yau Kung Moon.

But their varied backgrounds do not affect their cooperative spirit in delivering a good show.

Cho and Lau are responsible for the lion head, while Siu is the drummer and occasionally operates the lion's tail.

Siu developed an interest in the dance as he grew up in a walled village where there were lion dances during Chinese New Year and other festive celebrations.

So when he became a student at the University of Hong Kong, he naturally joined the Old Halls lion dance team.

He said: "Lions nowadays have shorter tails, which make them easier to operate, but the dance moves are just as charming."

As the three are trained in the martial arts, lion dances are not really a challenge.

Old Halls, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has went defunct in 1992 and was succeeded by the Lee Hysan Hall, to which the lion dancing torch has been passed. In keeping with the "Ever-lasting spirit of Old Halls," its lion dance team will perform at the Loke Yew Hall gala dinner on October 26.

It was in the mid-80s that the three of them became members of Old Halls.

Lau pointed himself and the two others out to me in an old picture of the lion dance team. He was team leader in 1984-85, while Siu led the following year.

In those days, it was not easy to get admitted to HKU. Dorm life with activities like lion dances was part of the excitement of HKU life.

Cho said: "Old Halls had the first ever lion dancing team in the university.

"In those days, we also took part in community service, performing at hospitals and elderly centers."

Lau said some former team members had not seen each other in 10 or 20 years.

The 50th anniversary dinner would be a warm reunion."

Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung is the retired headmaster of Diocesan Boys School

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