Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club is an imposing and inspiring place, it’s walls covered with famous photographic images from seismic international events, many of them taken by former and current members.
The only reason why I was sitting at its bar sipping a beer and feeling rather inadequate as a graduate journalism student during the summer of 2011 was that one of my university professors had given me the contact details for one of his friends, the photojournalist Robin Moyer, who’d suggested meeting up at the club for a drink.
There he regaled me with fascinating stories of working with some of the most iconic photojournalists associated with the Vietnam War, hanging out with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and how the photograph of the lone man in front of the tank column at Tiananmen Square was taken and got out of the country to find itself on front pages across the world.
The only slight downer was his suggestion that covering a combat zone was the most surefire way to make a name for oneself as a foreign correspondent; I didn’t disagree with him, but that option just wasn’t and still isn’t that high on my list of need-to-dos after Iraq and Afghanistan tours.
Thanks to him insisting on rounds of drinks charged to his club account, I left the club at the evening’s end and tipsily wandered down the sloping streets of Hong Kong Island to catch the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor’s obsidian waters, returning to the late-night bustle of Kowloon.