Phil Brown has written two books and is currently Arts Editor of the Courier Mail in Queensland. In Kowloon Kid he has written about his childhood memories and growing up in Hong Kong during the 60’s. Although he was brought up for the first six years of his life in Maitland, Australia, his father ran a construction Company and wanted to move to Hong Kong where the building industry was booming.
The book is written in a chatty style with Phil talking openly and honestly about his family and his life while living in Kowloon. His was a wonderful lifestyle as there were few restrictions on where he went, who he played with, and at what time he came home.
His parents quickly adapted to the social lifestyle and went to cocktail parties and events, often during the week. His school days were varied, as he only applied himself with teachers he liked. After school, he ran amok with other children from the English or Australian contingent who lived in the affluent area.
Those happy childhood days have left their mark on the Brown as he returns frequently to Hong Kong and, when he does, he regularly visits places with treasured memories. Phil likens his return to visiting the “Stations of the Cross.”
The Peninsular Hotel was a regular meeting, eating and conversation place for his family, and the first place he heads to. The Kowloon Cricket Club is next and he shows to his wife and son this piece of Real estate worth a fortune.
As an avid reader in his younger days, he spent many happy hours in the Swindon Book Co. and revisits this shop many times. The Grand tour finishes with a visit to his home in Devon Street, where he listened to the Beatles and arranged his stamp albums.
It is quite interesting to see through a child’s eyes, the attitudes of the times. This book was published before the current troubles in Hong Kong. However, Phil suggests that the mainland Chinese are ever patient and would certainly try to return to Hong Kong after their failed attempt in the 60’s.