The Immigrant Dragons of Bendigo Part II: The Dragon Maker

Written by Billy Potts

For 126 years, the small Australian city of Bendigo has embraced Chinese dragons. This year their dragon, Sun Loong, is retiring and the city is hunting for a new craftsman who can build their third dragon, Dai Gum Loong. A long search has brought Anita Jack, general manager of the Golden Dragon Museum and Dan Beck, vice president of the museum, to Hong Kong. Their quest has finally yielded a suitable candidate: Master Hui Ka-hung of the Hung C Lau (雄獅摟) workshop. Continue reading “The Immigrant Dragons of Bendigo Part II: The Dragon Maker”

The Immigrant Dragons of Bendigo Part I

Written by Billy Potts and Edited by Justina Chong

This is the fourth in a series of articles in which I explore the cryptozoology of Hong Kong. This article was published in a shorter form in Zolima City Mag.

It’s a cool January afternoon and I’m waiting in a bus terminal at Yuen Long station. A blue minivan pulls up and I’m beckoned to jump in. Crammed in the back are Anita Jack, Managing Director of the Golden Dragon Museum, Daniel Beck, Vice President of the museum, and Ben Devanny, from the Bendigo City Council, along with their translator, Heidi Yeung. They have travelled from their homes in Australia and Taipei to the hamlet of Pak Sha Tsuen in search of a dragon maker. Continue reading “The Immigrant Dragons of Bendigo Part I”

The Mystery of the Art Deco Lions

The missing lions.

Written by Billy Potts and Justina Chong

Standing to attention behind a thicket of foliage, two lions wait, their geometric shoulders bunched powerfully, haunches tensed like clock springs. They share a grinning, mischievous countenance, their large lolling tongues framed by cubic teeth. The lions’ clean Art Deco lines cut striking figures, best appreciated from the safari vehicle of a tram negotiating the gentle curve on Des Voeux Road that skirts the grand Bank of China Building. Continue reading “The Mystery of the Art Deco Lions”

The Sheung Shui Tiger

Written by Billy Potts and edited by Justina Chong

This is the third in a series of articles in which I explore the cryptozoology of Hong Kong. This animal falls into category 3 of George M. Eberhart’s classification of cryptids, ‘Survivals of recently extinct species’. We had planned for this to be the last in our series but we’ve decided to publish now because of a newly reported tiger sighting near a walking trail in Ma On Shan Country Park today. To mark the occasion we are revisiting one of Hong Kong’s most infamous tiger encounters, one that has passed into the city’s lore. Continue reading “The Sheung Shui Tiger”

Riding to the Edge of Night

It’s a Wednesday night in the dog days of summer. Ah Wai’s taxi, a standard 4-seater Toyota Crown Comfort YXS10, pulls up outside the Canny Man pub on Lockhart Road. The cab’s livery and dashboard ‘for hire’ sign are ablaze with red and its roof light glows a soft yellow amidst the gaudy neon signs of Wanchai. We are taking a road trip into the world of the night shift.

Continue reading “Riding to the Edge of Night”

Au Wei – Shipwright, Junk Builder

When we arrive at the deserted Kwong Ming Shipyard after a short walk along Tam Kung Temple Road in Shau Kei Wan, Mr Au (亞神) is asleep. His dog eyes us suspiciously and barks the drowsy shipwright awake. Mr Au’s somnolence makes sense for a semi-retired 87-year-old and given the steep decline in the construction of wooden boats in Hong Kong. Boatbuilding has been his livelihood for over 60 years. Things were different in the past, and as recently as the 1990s, his yard produced most of the wooden boats built locally. Continue reading “Au Wei – Shipwright, Junk Builder”

Rohit Dugar – Brewer

2005, Hanover, New Hampshire. A young grad student joins his classmates at a local tavern. He’s served an unusual beer, something he’s never tried before: ‘Smuttynose’. The bottle has a picture of a seal on it. The taste: an aroma of hops paired with caramel. It’s different; another level of richness, complexity and flavour. Something changed in that young man’s mind that evening and he’s never looked back. Flash forward 11 years to an unusually warm and bright December morning, here in Hong Kong. The Globe Pub, off Hollywood Road, is abuzz with an early lunchtime crowd. Amidst warm lighting and brass fittings polished to a gleam sits Rohit Dugar, the man from the New Hampshire tavern, now founder and brewer at Young Master Ales, purveyor of world-class beers, from right here in Hong Kong. Continue reading “Rohit Dugar – Brewer”