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Steps to Paradise and Beyond: Hawaii to China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Elsewhere


Dr. Verner Bickley, MBE


Dr. Gillian Bickley


23 January 2013 (Thursday)


7:15 - 9:00 pm


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







About the Speaker

Dr. Vivienne Poy

Dr Verner Bickley, MBE has lived in Asian and Pacific countries for over fifty years, enjoying a long and distinguished career of service in Singapore, Burma, Indonesia, Japan, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, including influential and path-breaking work on behalf of the British Council, the US federally-funded East-West Center housed at the University of Hawaii, and the then Education Department in Hong Kong. In his work at the East-West Center, in particular, he was at the forefront of a pioneering effort to embrace cross-disciplinary knowledge on the cutting edge of what subsequently became the "Pacific Rim" in academic and wider discourse. In Hong Kong, he was first director of the Institute of Language in Education (now incorporated in the Hong Kong Institute of Education) and contributed much to the understanding of the standard of English in Hong Kong.


About the Book

Passage to Promise Land

Steps to Paradise and Beyond, the second volume of Dr Verner Bickley's autobiography, describes some of the fascinating experiences and cross-cultural insights derived from his work and travels in many Asian and Pacific countries, including his official visit to China in November 1979 and his experiences in South Korea just before the assassination of President Park Chung-hee. He writes briefly about President Obama’s mother as an East-West Center grantee during Verner's time as Director of the EWC Culture Learning Institute and the President’s own education in Hawaii. Verner concludes with a brief description of how the Institute of Language in Education (now incorporated into the Hong Kong Institute of Education) was set up (in the early 1980s) by the Hong Kong Government "to raise substantially the professional standards of English and Chinese in the schools" of Hong Kong.