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FCC Main Bar is the finishing line for Macau Grand Prix champions

The Main Bar might not be somewhere you would expect to find leading sportsmen, but over Macau Grand Prix week in November it became a regular haunt for some of the world’s leading riders and drivers.

Eight-time Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix winner Michael Rutter (below, centre) was joined by two-time winner Peter Hickman (right) and Irish racer Steven Heneghan for a bit of pre-race training in the days leading up to the event while former World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff (right, on the left) came to celebrate his record-breaking ninth Macau victory with FCC member and fellow racer Richard Meins.

Former World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, left, with FCC member and fellow racer Richard Meins. Former World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, left, with FCC member and fellow racer Richard Meins.
Eight-time Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix winner Michael Rutter (centre) was joined by two-time winner Peter Hickman (right) and Irish racer Steven Heneghan. Eight-time Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix winner Michael Rutter (centre) was joined by two-time winner Peter Hickman (right) and Irish racer Steven Heneghan.

‘Painstakingly researched’ book on Viet Cong spy is well received

The Punji Trap, by Luke Hunt The Punji Trap, by Luke Hunt

Journalist Luke Hunt’s second book “The Punji Trap” pries open the life of Pham Xuan An, the Viet Cong spy whose work for the Communists — conducted under the cover of being a foreign correspondent for major publications — was a major factor in the defeat of South Vietnam in 1975.

The release is also timely with the 50th anniversary of the Tet offensive approaching. That offensive, at the end of January in 1968, turned the tide of public opinion against the war.

Hunt, who has been a regular contributor to The Correspondent, interviewed An over many years alongside many of the people who knew him best, in particular the correspondent Pham Ngoc Dinh, whose portrait hangs under the Reuters plaque in the bunker of the FCC, and Tran Kim Tuyen, who headed South Vietnam’s spy network.

Club stalwarts like Jim Pringle and others who have passed away like Hugh van Es also figure in the narrative, which traces Vietnamese history from the early days of French colonisation and into the 21st century.

Early reviews have been positive.

“Luke Hunt’s incisive portrayal of a fascinating character explores a murky underbelly of espionage in the Vietnam War. This painstakingly researched work is compelling and thought provoking,” said Lindsay Murdoch, Southeast Asia correspondent for The Age in Melbourne and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Michael Philips, of the Phnom Penh Post, said that after the documentary series ‘The Vietnam War’ by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, “Hunt gives us an intriguing book to help fill in the gaps.”

“The Punji Trap” is published by Pannasastra University of Cambodia Press and distributed internationally by Talisman. International retail price US$18.

Introducing… FCC new members January/February 2018

The latest group of members to join the FCC is, as always, an interesting bunch. The membership committee meets regularly to go through the applications and are always impressed by the diversity of the prospective members. As you would expect there’s a healthy mix of Journalists and Associates – and all have interesting tales to tell – so if you see a new face at the bar, please make them feel welcome. Below are profiles of just some of the latest ‘intake’.

Regina Ho

Regina HoFinally! Membership! Love the bohemian vibes of the club. My origins can be traced to the beautiful Pearl of the Orient, but Hong Kong is now home. Hong Kong has certainly grown on me and when I came, I could not have imagined myself in the finance industry.

The past 15 years have been with a bank where I have had the challenge of building and managing trading, treasury and product functions and now, slowly but surely on to winding down said institution. As to where the road leads me, who’s to say what’s next?


Noah Sin

Noah SinBorn in Hong Kong, I spent my formative years in the UK, where I read history and international relations at university, interned at the British parliament and got my first taste of journalism at The Independent’s London office. I wrote about China and Hong Kong for the newspaper and a few other outlets.

My interest in what’s happening in the East – and a constant urge for Hong Kong street food – eventually took me back to my home city earlier this year. I now report on Chinese capital markets and the internationalisation of the renminbi for Euromoney Institutional Investor.

Mikko Takkunen

Mikko TakkunenI’m the Asia photo editor for the New York Times’s foreign desk based here in Hong Kong. Originally from Finland, I lived in the UK for over a decade, including working as a freelance photojournalist in London, before moving over to the editing side and life across the pond in New York.

I spent a couple of years at Time magazine, before joining NYT at the end of 2015. I had never set foot anywhere in Asia before landing in Hong Kong, just a day before starting at my current role in March of last year. I’ve very much enjoyed the city so far. My family includes my wife Veronica Sanchis Bencomo, a photographer and curator, and our beloved rescue puppy, Capa, named after the famous Hungarian photographer.

Anthony Tung

Anthony TungI am art director and partner of Pop Spot advertising agency. With more than 40 years’ experience, I was part of Hong Kong’s first graphic design company Graphic Atelier, worked in established agencies such as Glenngraphic Advertising, and was partner in a company that successfully promoted the use of computers for graphic design. I was responsible for the rice brand 源隆米業(金象米), and the logo designs of Hong Kong’s CITYBUS and EPS易辨事.

Photography is one of my passions, and I am drawn to capturing and sharing Hong Kong’s rich native culture. I also enjoy the city’s nature, and in 2011 successfully completed Trailwalker as my first hiking challenge!

Mala Uttam

Sala UttamAfter working as a lobbyist in DC for several years, I moved back to Hong Kong to train as an educator. I am currently the Head of Year at an international school and the career shift has been a welcome change. Not only am I sleeping more, but my heart is lighter and my spirit more hopeful than ever before!

As an undergraduate at Georgetown University, we were taught the importance of cura personalis, or “care of the person”, which describes our responsibility to each person in our community. This stayed with me decades after I graduated and was the inspiration for a free clinic which I co-founded with Dr Damien Mouellic with collaboration between senior students at Chinese International School and medical professionals. The clinic aimed to provide high-quality medical treatment to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. Over the past year, we have managed to serve some 500 people whose median household income is HK$8000/month or less.

My yoga teacher always says “life is coming from within you, not coming at you” and I repeat this mantra to my students. I encourage them to look for where joy naturally arises in their lives and to follow that sensation and see where it leads.

Jack Yao

Jack YaoI was born, raised and educated in the northern part of mainland China, migrated to the south in 2004 and made a big career change from shopping/logistics/retail to multimedia journalism and have enjoyed doing it ever since.

Now, my focus is on outdoor sports events reporting and migrant workers’ living and working conditions.


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