Mui Wo Police Station 1962.jpg

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 00:51

Marine police station at Mui Wo on the hill overlooking Silvermine Bay (at rear). Living quarters for the Divisional Sub-Inspector in command were on the first floor. Quite basic, but a great view was to be had from the balcony. I lived here with my parents 1962-3.

Date picture taken


Thanks for posting this photo; brings back memories. Actually 2 quarters; 1 was for the SDI (Sub-Divisional Inspector) and 1 for the ASDI, (Assistant...).

I was there in 1978 by which time the vegetation was a tad more dense!

Dear Tideswell27,

I should have replied to this way back, so I am sorry about the delay. I am pleased the photo brought back memories for you. I must get around to uploading a few more. On the subject of the two quarters on the first floor. That's an interesting point, because at the time this photograph was taken I do not believe there was such a thing as an ASDI at Mui Wo. The most senior ranking officer below the SDI was the Station Sergeant. I have a couple of station group photos from October 1962 and March 1963 and it pretty clear from these that an ASDI is not present. The SDI and the Seargent are seated centre front in both.

I am not able to verify how much of the upstairs space my family occupied - I was only one at the time - except that the living room was on the side where the balcony is. I have several photos of the living room area and the doors that opened up onto that balcony. Many years later, in 1992 I think it was, I was able to go and visit the place. I was interested to discover that what had been our living room had been converted into a mess with a bar along one side. I have tried to visit again since - on more than one occasion - but the HKP does not allow people like me to do such things any more, at least on spec. Last time was in 2019. Sadly, the characteristic granite facade of this period Hong Kong police station has been entirely covered in a rather ugly grey metal cladding. I will see what I can do about putting up a few more photos of the place.

All the best,

John O'Regan

My turn to apologise. Upon re-reading my earlier post, I note that the word "vegetarian" appears. That should, of course, read "vegetation." Much to be said for proofreading before sending!

You are quite right about the dull, grey cladding surrounding Hong Kong Police stations now. This substance may be practical but it presents a depressing uniformity. Every station looks the same.

On the subject of Mui Wo; I didn't actually live or work in the station, although I did spend time there. I was stationed at Islands HQs at Cheung Sha and lived in Pui O village. I do have experience of living in a quarter in a Police station, having been SDI at Stanley in the mid-1980's. I was required to occupy a flat on the top floor of the station.

Thanks for your reply. Yes, you are so right about the vegetation! It is remarkable just how barren the surroudings were at that time. From the Mui Wo pier below you would have got a clear view of the station up on the hill, but it is very difficult to see now unless you walk around to the beach at Silvermine Bay. See here for a photo of that view in 1963.

When I visited Mui Wo in the early 1990s, I met the then SDI, and it was him who kindly showed me around. He said he had a plan to put on display in the station a roll call of all the SDIs at Mui Wo. I have no idea if he ever got around to it, but even if he did, the current regime would almost certainly have removed it. As I recall my father telling me, it was Pat Nash who was the first SDI to live out there, followed by my father. But the station itself is older than that would suggest. I am not sure, I think it is 1930s, maybe older.

On the subject of the stations, I once I had a large calendar which was made up of photographs of all the old stations. I am not sure where that calendar is now so it is good to be able to look the stations up on Gwulo. 

Incidentally, it is possible to correct inadvertent errors in your posts. Look for the edit tab beneath your post, click on it, and then you can make a correction and save it. 

Dear Mr O'Reagan,

I was SDI at Mui Wo during the 70s and have very fond memories of working there. Mui Wo was part of Islands Division of the Marine Police District, as it was then, with the divisional H.Q at Cheung Sha, Lantao. The island of Peng Chau came under Mui Wo and a police post had been built there in the 196os I believe, although I'm not sure of the date. The other sub divisions of Islands were Cheung Chau and Tai O. Cheung Chau had responsibilty for Lamma Island where there was also a police post. There was also a small divisional CID unit based at Cheung Sha. Seeing the photo of your father took me back to November 1971 when I joined Sectors Division from the Police Training School and although I didn't know him well, he was then Divsional Superintendent of Sectors based at Marine Headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui. I am sure he carried out an inspection of Police Launch 1 during my time on East Sector.  Anyway, thanks for posting the photos. They certainly have brought back a few memories.

Best wishes


Dear Madwith,

Thank you for your message about Mui Wo and for your memories of being SDI there in the 1970s. Also for the memory of my father. I remember his time as DS Sectors and also his time at Tsim Sha Tsui. PL1 and PL2 were his favourite launches and he spent some time in the 1960s as commander of PL2; a role he was succeeded in by Charlie Fisher. In those days it was possible to go out for a 3-day shift with one's Dad and I followed that up by being the guest of Charlie too, who would occasionally entertain the crew by leaping sideways from the radar mast into the sea. It was a long leap! I have fond memories of Marine and PL2 and all the good people who were part of it. I was treated very kindly as the boss's son, but I felt the whole crew's camaraderie and goodness nevertheless. I also loved the Chinese food they served up on board. My parents often talked fondly of our days at Mui Wo. In later years I got to know Peng Chau and Hei Ling Chau through visits on police launches. There was a leper colony at Hei Ling Chau, and I remember the residents were put to work doing handicrafts there. There was also a small aviary as I recall. Green Island, on the way back to Central, also had a police station. A bit away from Lantau, but I remember stopping off there and once being given a live chicken. We took it to Kowloon City and they did the rest!

Best wishes,

John O'Regan


Your post brings back fond memories for me of what in the mid to late 1970s was referred to as Marine District - later upgraded to Marine Region. The normal career path for a young Inspector in those days was to be posted to a Marine Sector, (later upgraded to a Division), and mine was no exception.

Upon completion of basic training at PTS and familiarisation in Marine in the mid-1970s, I was posted to North Sector operating from Tai Po Kau base and to Police Launch (PL) 2 which was the command launch.

The sector commander was Charlie Fisher, CIP, and his assistant (under whom I worked) was Steve LEUNG. We used to work 3 days on - 3 days off. Incidentally Charlie’s leaps off the radar platform on PL 2 were the stuff of legend in Marine District! He would never force you to follow suit, however, unless you wanted to do so.

The Sector commander’s crew was the “A” crew; they worked their 3 days then he would hand over  to his assistant sector commander - the “B” crew. The Inspector who worked under Charlie at that time was my old chum Laurence Knox, who incidentally was later ASDI Mui Wo under Julian Turnbull in 1978, when I was working at Islands HQs at Cheung Sha. Sadly both Charlie Fisher and Laurence Knox are no longer with us.

As I say, fond memories indeed!


Dear Mr O'Reagan,

I have posted some photos of Launches 1 and 2 .  I served on Pl1 for about 12 months all told but spent about 2 and a half years on East Sector all together. I'm not sure if you remember these names but they were all  in sectors in the early to mid Seventies. Jack O'Meara was the CIP/Marine, Dickie Bell was Sector Commander East, Wally Kiel (spelling?) was West Sector Commander and Arthur Luke was South Sector as was Charlie Fisher at the time.' Joe' Li Kam Po was the chief instructor at the Marine police training school for Navigation and all things maritime. His assistant was Yau Shiu Fan.

Best wishes.

Ah, some interesting memories conjured up by the names mentioned above! I think it would have been in 1977 when I attended my Special Class Navigation Course at the Marine PTS (MHQ in Tsim Sha Tsui). By that time Mr. YAU Shiu-fan CIP had taken over as Chief Instructor.

The late Geoff Cox was known as DS Sectors (later Sen Supt Operations) and Dickie Bell was his no. 2. Sadly so many of the characters from those days are no longer with us - such is life.

Dear madwith and Tideswell27,

Thank you very much for your posts. Those names are indeed ones to conjure with. I remember Jack O'Meara very well. A lovely man, who also attended my parents' wedding at Union Church, Kennedy Road, in 1961 - sadly demolished. I also remember Dickie Bell too. The Bells were people we would see socially. Wally Kiel and Arthur Luke I also remember, but mostly from my father's conversations. Jack O'Meara came from the same city in Ireland as my father - Waterford. He was known to our family there and he would visit them when he was on leave. It was a great tragedy that he died relatively young in Hong Kong. But he is in my memory and I remember him as a kindly and very funny man. My mother was very fond of him. We all were. Dickie and Maria Bell moved to North Wales after his retirement and my parents would visit them there. From what my parents' said, their house was a nautical museum. I believe he had a huge ship's wheel serving as a table in his living room. Unfortunately, I never saw it.

Charlie Fisher was indeed a legend, and my wife and I used to visit him down in Devon before he passed away. His house was the most magnificent tribute to Marine that you could imagine. Apart from floor to ceiling photographs of PL1 and PL2 and a whole range of launches and other images from that era which adorned almost every wall, his whole bedroom ceiling was decorated in huge naval sea charts of Hong Kong and its surrounding waters. Charlie was amazing and he shared with me many fascinating tales of Marine and old Hong Kong. In addition, he was an expert on typhoons and Chinese junks and he wrote books about them too - not published unfortunately. I also had the good fortune to get to know Lawrence Knox after a visit to Tsim Sha Tsui MPHQ in 1992. Through him I met Eddie Leung, Eddie Ngai, Annie Wan and Iain Ward. All great characters. Ward's histories of Marine are excellent, especially the first one covering 1841-1950. Thank you for jogging all these memories.

Best wishes,


As a postscript, one of my favourite Charlie Fisher anecdotes concerned Cantonese, in which he was more than passingly proficient. He said, "If you can walk into a brothel and ask for a pair of shoes, and come out with a pair of shoes, your Cantonese is exceedingly good!"