Those of us who’ve been in Hong Kong for some time either forget or take it for granted. Worse, we allow that now well-known Hong Kong cynicism to take over where too many try to see what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

No one, however, can ignore how swiftly and effectively the Hong Kong Jockey Club reacted to the horrific tragedy after the races at Sha Tin on Saturday.

This was when a bus carrying passengers from the racecourse crashed leaving 19 dead and over 66 people injured, some in serious condition. Let’s not forget the emotional scars that will need healing.

That evening, in restaurants, in bars and at homes, it’s what anyone could talk about. It didn’t matter who won what.

What mattered as we approach the Lunar New Year holidays, a time for celebration and being with family, and as we get ready to welcome in The Year Of The Dog, was that Hong Kong had lost many of its own.

These types of tragedies are a rarity in this city of over 7 million. So when something like this strikes, it affects us all. It strikes heart, head and home. It casts a very dark shadow over a city that is not used to darkness and is always looking for some brightness to take us to the sunny side of the street.

Of course, the incredibly generous donation by the HKJC can never bring back what’s been lost. It does, however, show the giving side of a racing club. Let’s just repeat that: A racing club.

Knowing how the Club works and how closely intertwined it is with the very fabric of Hong Kong and its people, one doubts that the giving will stop here. There are still wounds to heal, and there’s still work to be done.

While the Hong Kong government grapples to understand what exactly went wrong, where the fault lies, and provide the public with some much needed answers- and quickly- take a bow, the HKJC, and Thank You.

You’ve made a Hong Kong Belonger extremely proud to know you.

Hans Ebert

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