SCMP Monday, November 12, 2001
Remembrance Day takes toll on old campaigners
Tycoon Sir Eric Hotung collapsed yesterday with chest pains after hosting a Remembrance Day luncheon.
The lunch had finished and most people had left when the businessman and philanthropist collapsed outside the American Club at Tai Tam at 4.15pm.
The 75-year-old was taken to the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital where his condition was last night described as fair.
A nurse at the hospital said Sir Eric was "all right" and that he had been talking to them.
Neither Sir Eric nor his son Michael were available for comment last night.
Two war veterans collapsed at the cenotaph in Central yesterday morning during an emotional Remembrance Day ceremony - almost 60 years after the battle for Hong Kong.
Former World War II gunner David Hampton was taken to Queen Mary Hospital on a stretcher during the wreath-laying ceremony.
Mr Hampton complained of a slow heartbeat but recovered later.
Jack Edwards, veterans' campaigner and chairman of the Royal British Legion (Hong Kong and China) collapsed at the end of the service and was also taken to Queen Mary Hospital suffering from exhaustion.
Mr Edwards - who suffered a stroke in September which left him blind in one eye - recovered two hours later and was able to continue with Remembrance Day activities.
In a speech delivered at the lunch for the Hong Kong Ex-serviceman's Association and the legion, Sir Eric the legion's branch patron, recalled the suffering his family had endured in Shanghai during World War II and how the Allies had fought their oppressors.
"The world was a cold dark place during World War II, putting the human spirit to the test," he said. Sixty years after the battle for Hong Kong, the world was once again waging war on terrorism, he added.
Quoting the late US president John F. Kennedy, he said: "When liberty is threatened anywhere, it is threatened everywhere," before adding that people would prevail "against the forces of darkness and repression".