Reading Club - Banner

Heroes & Gamblers - Tales of survival and good fortune of the Poy Family


The Honourable Dr Vivienne Poy


Professor C. F. Lee, GBS, SBS, JP, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of HKU


7 May 2016 (Saturday)


4:00 - 6:00 pm


Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong




About the Speaker


The Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy is Chancellor Emerita of the University of Toronto, an author of non-fiction and a historian. In 1998, she was the first Canadian of Asian heritage to be appointed to the Senate of Canada where she focused on gender issues, multiculturalism, immigration, and human rights. She retired from the Senate in September 2012, and continues to be actively involved with communities across Canada. She travels extensively and has special interest in the study of Chinese diaspora.


About the Book


A panoramic account of Chinese diaspora in Australia and North America during the 19th and 20th centuries, from the perspectives of the Poy family.

Readers will experience life of the Chinese in the goldfields in Australia at the height of the White Australia Policy, the horrors of the Second World War and of heroism, the life of high society in Hong Kong and the Japanese invasion, filled with spies and infiltrators.

The turbulent events of the Chinese civil war, the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and the subsequent Cultural Revolution, are felt through the suffering of family members who remained in China.

As luck would have it, due to wartime diplomatic bungling, one member of the Poy clan entered Canada with his family during Chinese Exclusion, where they eventually remained and prospered.

This is the story of a family from the village of Shuizaikou, where the streams meet, in Taishan county in south China.


About the Guest Speakers


Professor Henry Yu

Principal, St. John's College, University of British Columbia


Madame Janaline Oh

Deputy Consul General of Australia in Hong Kong


Mr Frank Ching

Author and Renowned Journalist