Reminiscence of Ha Hao (Jimmy Lowcock)
The last time I saw Ha Kao was on Saturday, 3rd December 2011 when we had our usual annual gathering to celebrate his birthday at the Kowloon Tong Club. We were talking about horseracing and as he was in a jolly mood, I gave him three tips for the next day which he said he would bet $10 each on a 3x7 win combination. My tips drew a blank on Sunday and now I will never have a chance to make it up to him.
During his tenure as headmaster from 1961 to 1983, he had an influence on so many students, each in their own individual ways that Ha Hao was many things to many persons. To me, he was a headmaster who had just caned you and the rest of the class for some mischievous deed that someone in the class had done but didn’t bothered to own up and still made you felt that he had done the right thing! With his typical sardonic grin, he subtly let loosed a gentle hint of his admiration for the class for sticking together for its own and bite the bullet head on rather than snitching on the culprit.
He let you formed a fencing club and school fencing team without asking too many questions when only a handful of students was interested in what was then an obscure sport in Hong Kong and we later came First and Second in the inaugural interschool fencing tournament.
He had a knack of providing you with fresh and interesting perspective of things to stimulate you thoughts. Come to think of it, he was teaching us lateral thinking way before it became popular to do so.
He introduced you to Jazz music and let you loafed around in his study at the headmaster’s house on lazy Saturday afternoons listening to all his records. Among his favourite were the Modern Jazz Quartet and the Dave Brubeck Quartet which I listened all night on the day of his passing.
Ha Kao had a unique influence on me during my boarding years at DBS from 1961 to1967. There were many good memories and he will be sorely missed.
Class of '66
31st January 2012