MSO GRADE NEWS
From: Grade Management Team
Date: 24 September 2009
Greetings from our new Head,
Let me introduce myself. I am an Englishman,
born in Lincolnshire, a fairly flat, agricultural
county on the East coast of England. When I
was three my family moved to Singapore,
where I started school. While we were there
in the early to mid‐1960’s, both my parents
came up to Hong Kong and brought back photographs and toys My family in England
that shaped my early impressions of this city. We went back
to England in 1965, and then to the USA in 1969. The Vietnam War and Nixon’s
Watergate debacle registered in my schoolboy consciousness, but ping‐pong diplomacy
and the restoration of diplomatic ties between China and the US passed me by. My
family returned to England in 1974, where I stayed until I
graduated from university in 1980 with a degree in
medieval history. My intention was to go on to do an
advanced degree in history, my chosen field being the
Viking settlements along the Don and Volga rivers and
how, under the influence of their contacts with the
Byzantine Empire, they became the foundation of the
future Russian Empire. How then did I end up in Hong
Taking my daughter Emma
into the sea at Westward Ho!
MSO GRADE NEWS
One cold winter evening, walking about to keep warm, I passed a door on which a poster
advertized a talk on careers in the Hong Kong civil service. It looked warm inside. So in I
went. The slides of Hong Kong that illustrated the talk looked very little like the
photographs my father took in 1963, but what interested me more was the offer of a free
return train ticket to London to attend an interview. I had an
enjoyable time in London and enjoyed the interview, but was not
surprised a couple of weeks later to get a polite letter thanking
me for my interest but regretting that no appointment could be
offered. A few months later I had graduated, failed to secure a
research grant to carry on my studies, and was wondering what
on earth to do when I had a call from the Hong Kong Government
Office in London, offering me a job if I could come within the next
couple of weeks. So, on 1 September 1980 I flew into Kai Tak,
grateful for a job but not expecting that I would make my home
here. One of the oddest experiences I had was with the very
first breath I took, infused with the aroma of the Kai Tak nullah.
It triggered a flood of memories of Singapore and Malaysia in the My son, Jeremy, emerging
early 1960’s and made Hong Kong seem at once to be a friendly and from the sea
This city has continued to grow on me and in my affections. I was married here in 1996 –
to a fellow civil servant – and my wife and I are now trying to raise two children to be as
comfortable and at home with the languages and heritage of Hong Kong and China as
with the language and heritage of England.
In taking up this new post as Head of the
Efficiency Unit it is my duty to use the
experience that I have gained over my years
here to direct this team to where it can be
most effective in helping the public service as a
whole sustain this city as a good and decent
place in which to raise a family and make a
living. I welcome that responsibility and look
forward to learning and working with all of you
in the years ahead.
Me reading, which I spend most
Of my free time doing
MSO GRADE NEWS
Meet our new MSOIIs
In the last two issues, we have introduced to you nine new faces. Are you impressed by
these bright and enthusiastic young fellows? In this issue we will have another three
new members, who joined us between June and July, showing up with their lovely photos.
Do grasp the chance to get acquainted with them.
Ida Lai (MSOII/GPA)
Hi there! I am Ida, one of the new members to the MSO
team. It has been three months since I work in the
Government Property Agency. Glad to meet you all here.
Though I am new to the MSO team, I have been working in
the Government for over 5 years. Previously I worked in
Department of Health and Food and Health Bureau.
Certainly after those years, I have a much better sense of
preventing diseases and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
And do share with me if you get some keep‐fit tips.
On vacation, I enjoy traveling, not to mention backpacking.
I collect postcards and fridge magnets in trips, to keep track
of the good time that I had.
I am sure I will meet you all around at some point. Looking forward to knowing and
working with you soon. Cheers!
MSO GRADE NEWS
Sophie Ho (MSOII/EU)
My name is Sophie. I am so glad to be a member of the MSO
family. I am posted to the Grade Management Team. I studied
Journalism in university. I joined the government 4 years ago, and
had been a Customs Officer of C&ED and a Liaison Officer of HAD.
It is challenging for me to take up a new post with a totally
different job nature from my previous one.
My first impression of the MSO Grade is professionalism and
enthusiasm. I will try my best to seize the chance of learning
from all my easy‐going and experienced seniors and colleagues.
I hope I will become a professional MSO and make contributions
to departments in the near future.
Apart from working, I dedicate most of my leisure time practicing piano. It has been my
dream to learn playing piano since I was little. I had learned playing piano when I was in
secondary school, but stopped it after a few years. I re‐started my piano lessons recently.
My goal is to get a pass in Grade 8 examination.
Patrick To (MSOII/EABFU)
I am Patrick To. I am now working as an MSO in the
EABFU, FSO. I am a graduate from the University of
Hong Kong with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial
Engineering and Technology Management. After my
graduation, I worked in a Logistic company, which
equipped me with cargo handling skills and managerial
techniques. During my leisure time, I enjoy playing
basketball and watching movies. Being a fresh MSO, I
am excited to embark on the new journey in which I
can learn new things and meet people from all walks
of life. I am sure I can adapt to the new environment
soon as the colleagues are very friendly and helpful.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
We welcome any
suggestions, views and
enquiries about the
Grade. Please send
them to us via email on
MSO GRADE NEWS
Bid farewell to former HEU and fellow MSOs
Ms Kitty Choi, who has led us through numerous endeavours for more than three years,
has left the post of HEU and taken on another challenge in FHB from August. To bid her
farewell, a surprise party was arranged where EU members gathered, giving their words of
thanks and sharing their unforgettable memories with Ms Choi. We wish Ms Choi all the
best in her new posting.
DHEU presenting souvenir
to Ms Choi
Herbert Ka (MSOI/EU) and William Ting (MSOI/EU) have proceeded on pre‐retirement
leave in June and August respectively. Edmond Lam (SMSO/OGCIO) will proceed on
pre‐retirement leave in October, followed by Mrs Hedy Lo (PMSO/EU) and Anson Chau
(CMSO/FSO) in November. We wish them good health, good luck and happy lives.
Former HEU, DHEU and
ADEU(1)’s Team bidding
farewell to Herbert Ka