Remembering Roy

1927 ----- 1998
ROY T M Henry, former Commissioner of Police, died peacefully at his home in Surrey in the UK on 8 May 1998. His funeral service took place at the Methodist Chapel, Victoria Road, Horely, England, followed by a private cremation attended by close friends and family. On Monday (25 May), a memorial service was held for Mr Henry at St John's Cathedral in Hong Kong where, before an audience of Roy's many friends and colleagues, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management) Tsang Yam-pui gave the following eulogy . . .

ROY HENRY was a Scot by birth, a soldier by family tradition, and a police officer by profession. He died peacefully at home in England on Friday 8 May 1998, aged 71. I am here to talk about his life because he was my friend, just as he was the friend of so many of you here today.

On leaving school at 18, Roy followed a family tradition and joined the army at the end of World War II in 1945. His potential as a leader of men was quickly recognised by the army who commissioned him as officer and posted him to Palestine. Not surprisingly he acquitted himself with distinction.

On leaving the army in 1948, Roy fulfilled a boyhood ambition and joined the Colonial Police Service as an Assistant Superintendent in the Malayan Police. On arrival in Singapore he was fitted out with a uniform, map and gun, then sent into the jungles of the Malayan peninsula to combat terrorist insurgents. Fighting alongside the regular army, Roy proved himself to be an able leader and his unit achieved success after success. During this time his flare for innovative thinking led him to invent a jungle-going armoured police vehicle which became known as "Henry's Car". At the age of 25, and only four years after arriving in Malaya, he was awarded the CPM.

In 1956 Roy received his first promotion to Deputy Superintendent and was transferred to Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Roy soon found himself back in combat when the Brunei rebellion and Indonesian confrontation spilled over into Sarawak. His hard work during this campaign earned him the QPM and promotion to Commissioner of the Sarawak Police in 1964, at the age of 37.

Roy stayed on in Malaysia after it became an independent country. His contribution to that nation was formally recognised when he was awarded the Malaysian equivalent of a Knighthood, the "Datuk".

In 1967 Roy left Malaysia, with his newly awarded OBE, to take over as the Commissioner of Police in Fiji, where he served for six years until it also became independent. It was at this juncture that Roy Henry came to Hong Kong, and into the lives of many of us here today.

Roy was appointed as Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations, in 1973 and the following year was promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police. On 25 March 1979 he was promoted to Commissioner of Police, and took over a Force that was plagued by corruption scandals, a break-down of discipline and a lack of public confidence.

Roy Henry was the right man for the job.

He quickly set about redressing the Force's problems and restoring the public's faith in the police. Roy established a close and regular working relationship with the ICAC, launched a series of territory-wide "Community against crime" campaigns, and spoke with as many junior police officers as he could.

Roy set in motion the re-organisation of the Force through regionalisation and the devolution of command from Police Headquarters. His aim was to give commanders at ground level greater autonomy, which he strongly believed would increase efficiency and strengthen management. By April 1984 this restructuring was completed, and the Force's current structure of Regions, Districts and Divisions came into being.

Roy was also very keen to improve police relations with the public. He embarked upon a policy of Community Policing to bring the Force closer to the people it served. To supplement this, he re-organised and strengthened the Complaints Against Police Office, and made it easier for the general public to complain about police malpractice.

The welfare of serving police officers was something very close to Roy Henry's heart. As a result of a review conducted between 1979 and 1983, he was able to persuade the Government to grant a huge increase in the funds allocated to the Force. At the same time he successfully argued for the introduction of a salaries review mechanism. As a result, new married quarters were built for junior police officers and new police stations providing better working conditions and facilities for frontline officers came into being.

Roy Henry was responsible for many other initiatives and far reaching ideas and changes throughout his five years as Commissioner. It is not possible to mention them all but it is possible to acknowledge that he played the leading role in forging the Force into an organisation that can quite rightly be described as "Asia's Finest". His award of the CBE in 1984 formally acknowledged just how much he had done for the Force and for law and order in Hong Kong.

After Roy retired in March 1984 he continued to advise police forces in various parts of the world on a consultancy basis. His expertise was prized and sought after.

So far I have talked about Roy Henry, the professional police officer. I now want to say a few words about Roy Henry as a person.

Roy was a man of style and natural charisma. He was gifted with the ability to capture the attention of all when he entered a room and to do so without occasioning envy or resentment. He was also able to engage other people socially without dominating them or making them feel in an way inferior.

Roy never married, but he was never a lonely man. His diary was always full with a variety of social functions, particularly lunches, dinners, and get togethers with his many, many friends. Old colleagues who had served with him, as well as serving officers visiting the UK, were always welcome at Roy's home - a friendly place which he shared with his close friends, and old Malayan colleagues, Jack and Eileen Cradock.

Roy had a deep affection for the three young men who were his Personal Assistants during his time as Commissioner here, looking upon them as his sons and their wives as his daughters. These relationships grew stronger over the years and Roy became a loving grandfather to their children.

Roy Henry lived an exciting and adventurous life. He lived it to the full and touched the hearts of many people throughout his 71 years. Roy Henry was a good man. I am proud to have known him, and I am proud to have worked for him. He will be missed by many of us, but he will also be remembered with affection and respect.

One of a kind:
Retired Woman Sergeant Fu Keung San-ling

Woman Sergeant Fu . . . liked by all
WHEN officers attached to the Police Public Relations Branch called Do-Re-Me, they weren't breaking out into the song made famous by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, they were calling for their colleague Woman Sergeant Fu Keung San-ling nicknamed Do-Re-Me because the last three digits of her UI number (1,2,3) in Cantonese are sometimes substituted for the famous musical notes.

"Over time," smiled Woman Sergeant Fu, who worked in PPRB for nearly 24 years, "the name just stuck and as people transferred out of the Branch and new people were posted here eventually everybody forget my real name and just called me Do-Re-Me."

Sadly for those colleagues who came to know and admire her so much, Woman Sergeant Fu Keung San-ling retired from the Force earlier this month, and as the longest serving staff member of PPRB will be greatly missed - although all wish her well in retirement. Her dedication, can-do, happy, helpful attitude, contribution, competence and loyalty to the Force over 36 years earned her many accolades - including a CPM in 1997.

She also cooks a famous dish of delicious handmade dumplings and noodles - often enjoyed, along with her special recipe chicken wings and beef, by PPRB staff on special occasions. "I am a Shantung woman, so my culinary masterpiece has to be dumplings and handmade noodles," she laughed.

Born into a police family (her father, uncle and cousin were police officers), her career as the first woman officer in the family (and one of the first in the Hong Kong Police which had very few female officers in 1962 when she joined) was by no means predestined.

"I decided to join the Hong Kong Police because it was an honour to serve, but also because my father bet me that I would quit because of my bad temper," Woman Sergeant Fu said. "However, I successfully made it to retirement - and my service period is even longer than his," she added with a smile. "Perhaps my work as a lacemaker, embroiderer and knitter before I joined the Force, taught me much about concentration and patience."

Mrs Fu's postings include: Causeway Bay, Saukeiwan, Chai Wan and finally PPRB, where she helped to set up the Junior Police Call/Youth Liaison Section in 1974.

"There have been many changes with the JPC since it began," she said. "Today it is much more diversified in its activities and membership, which includes over 700,000 young people. I enjoyed the nature of the work with the JPC very much and never asked for transfer because working with youngsters makes you feel young and optimistic."

Being in the Police Public Relations Branch for almost two-and-a-half decades, Mrs Fu has worked with many bosses including: the late Drew Rennie, a driving force behind the establishment of the JPC; DCP (MAN) Tsang Yam-pui; D OPS Ng Ching-kwok; SACP Dick Lee Ming-kwai; and DC Sham Shui Po Bonnie Smith.

Her father may have thought Woman Sergeant Fu Keung San-ling was bad tempered, but the only side she ever showed to her colleagues in the Force was the smiling and good-natured one - which everybody already misses.

All the best in retirement Do-Re-Me. And visit often.

San-ling and company with now DCP MAN Tsang Yam-pui at his farewell party from PPRB in 1981

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