Event Detail


Film Screening and Talk The Way of Water: The Wartime Escape of Admiral Chan Chak

Simon Holliday, Film Presenter and Michael Chung, Film Director
Tuesday, 27 Feb 2024
Complimentary Free-Flow Fine Wines from 6:30 pm; Film and Talk at 7:30 pm
The HK Management Association, 14/F, Fairmont House, 8 Cotton Tree Drive, Central

In this event, Simon Holliday tells of some of the pioneering swims that have taken place in Hong Kong waters, including a screening of his new documentary film. 

The film tells the amazing story of the daring wartime escape by Admiral Chan Chak, who led a multinational band of men to safety on the eve of Hong Kong's surrender during the Second World War.  It shows how the one-legged Chinese Admiral escaped from Hong Kong to China on Christmas Day 1941, to safety from the invading Japanese. 
Simon goes on the describe how Hong Kong has over 700 kilometres of coastline, more than any other global city.  The Hong Kong archipelago's rich maritime past from fishing village to major trading entrepot is well documented.  Less well known is how thousands of Chinese swam to Hong Kong in the 1950s to 1970s and Bruce Lee's biggest fear, swimming.
Despite a rich swimming history and the territory’s Olympic feats, Hong Kong needs to address a problem: why is it that, in an affluent territory with an abundance of swimming pools and beaches, more than half the population not know how to swim.  Simon shares Splash Foundation's work in providing thousands of children and adults the opportunity to learn to swim, significantly improving physical and mental health as a result.
Simon Holliday co-founded Splash Foundation with Libby Alexander in 2015.  It is Hong Kong's only charitable organisation dedicated to providing free learn-to-swim programmes for under-served communities, including children from low income communities, kids with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and migrant domestic workers.
Simon is a marathon swimmer and was the first man to swim around Hong Kong Island, and the second to swim from Hong Kong to Macau.  He has also swum across the English Channel. He has recently undertaken a project - HK263 - to swim around every island in Hong Kong, sharing the history of these islands as he goes.
Simon works for Herbert Smith Freehills in Hong Kong.  He has 15 years’ experience in professional services environments across Asia Pacific and EMEA.  Working mainly with lawyers, he has dedicated his career to helping people reach their potential.  He is an executive coach and public speaker.

Members of the RGS-HK, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others, including free-flow drinks.


The opinions expressed in this event are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.

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