Mon 3rd May: Handing over

What will be the new office once we get it all sorted out

While Kathy and Alice continued with the big sort out at Tai Po, I stayed on Hong Kong Island for the final handover of the kennels.  There were some last minute bits and pieces to remove, like the two plastic huts that were in the back field.  They had been taken apart and the pieces are now on Lamma.  I don’t know if anyone will ever work out which bits belong where, but I’m sure I’ll find some use for them.

Ling and Lin, two of our hardworking cleaners. I'm so glad they agreed to make the move to Tai Po with us

At 4pm I met up with the Swire representative and there was a token handing over of the keys (except we never had any), and then the gates were chained and padlocked, and we said our final goodbye.   A few people walking by said how sorry they were to see the kennels closing, and how sad it was.  Apart from one Bel Air resident who called many times to complain about the dogs barking, the general support from the local community has been strong, and many dogs from HKDR now live at Bel Air.

Empty kennels which will soon be demolished

It seems that not everyone at Tai Po is happy to see HKDR in their neighbourhood either.  One of the volunteers, Quinie, who led the cleaning team (and did a fantastic job) had one of the tyres on her car let down by a local who had been complaining about cars using “his” road and “his” (actually public) space for parking.  On top of the parking issue, we were also told that we must not walk our dogs outside the grounds of the house! (and yes, the dogs do still need walking, especially those like Casey and Clementine who don’t have full run of the garden).

It’s a tough one, because legally there is no rightful claim to any public land, but the villagers in the New Territories are known to take the law into their own hands over such matters.  It’s something I’ve been learning a lot about in the years of searching for land.  As the saying goes, I think these people want to both have their cake and eat it, meaning that they don’t want outsiders moving in but they’re happy to take the money that goes with building houses on their land and selling or renting them to anyone who’ll pay.  The roads and land not actually owned by the villagers are not theirs to close off to anyone wanting to use them, and the walks in the surrounding countryside are public and even part of the Wilson Trail. 

I made a discovery today when I dug out my Hong Kong driving license with the intention of renewing it.  I thought it had expired, but not only is it valid until 2015, but I’m also licensed to drive Light Goods Vehicles, otherwise known as vans!  I’m a van driver and I didn’t even know it.

There are so many great photos of the move to Tai Po and the house and gardens, plus all the volunteers who worked so hard over the weekend.  I keep looking through them trying to choose some for posting on this blog, but there are too many great shots.  The dogs look so blissfully happy in their new space, so please have a look yourselves.  They are all on the Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) Facebook page.

On top of everything else, we’re also getting ready for this Saturday’s Comedython at Champs Bar, Charterhouse Hotel.  It will be good to unwind and have a laugh after the trials of the past few weeks.  I can’t be there for the whole 12 hours, but I’m looking forward to a fun evening.

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3 Responses to “Mon 3rd May: Handing over”

  1. Quinie Chan Says:

    THANKS YOU. THANKS YOU. THANKS YOU. GUYS
    You guys are amazing! Without you the site would not be ready for the big move. You guys done all the hard works and I was just behind the desk (phone). It’s been pleasure working with you and we still need you.
    Thanks again for your supports.

  2. Anna Says:

    I passed by the kennels this morning, and looked in through the gate for about five minutes. It’s disconcerting – the memories flooding through your head are powerful and relentless. Cyberport Road will never be the same again, never. I’ll forever be haunted by that image of the silent, still, lonely, kennels.

    Looking forward to coming to Tai Po though!! 🙂

  3. Alison Says:

    I can’t believe someone did that, well I can but I just find that so infuriating! Isn’t what he did a criminal offense? (damaging someone elses property?) if so they should of called the police !

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