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By Angel CHAN (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)

A barrister-at-law, a co-author of “Cyberlaw in Hong Kong”, an occasional guest lecturer at CityU - these are the roles he has taken on at work. But back at home; this gentleman has another significant role to play- a supportive husband to his busy wife, Ms. Alisa Kwan, the Residence Master of Hall 9. This is Mr Paul Stephenson, a caring man from Harrogate, England, who is devoted to his work and also his big family of hall residents.
“Completely out of the blue!”, when asked what his first encounter with Hong Kong was like, Paul showed his disbelief and amazement. One day in 1987, he got an unexpected telephone call from a law firm in Hong Kong and a few months later he was invited to work here in Hong Kong. 

When asked why he started living at Hall 9, Paul told us, “My wife Alisa teaches at the School of Law and she enjoys interacting with the students.  She had the honour of being appointed to act as a Residence Master and so we moved into Hall 9 when it first opened in December 2005.” From then onwards, Paul also got himself “a lot of interesting chances to mix with the students.”

In all these years, Paul has viewed himself a staunch supporter of his wife, “My role is not at the forefront, I‘d rather help her at the back and give her my opinion if she asks for it. She is the one to make the final decisions.”  When recounting his participation in hall activities, Paul did not conceal his high spirit. He listed a host of jobs he’d done, such as being a judge in a healthy food competition organised by another hall, a cheering team member in a basketball match, a speaker at Hall 9’s Induction Course for Exchange Students to share his experience living in Hong Kong as a westerner, a teacher at the Let’s Bond with English Conversational Classes and, to his surprise and great satisfaction, a protector of his hall residents against a king-size monkey on a hiking trip. “We were walking to the top of Lion Rock and a branch which had fallen off a tree was lying over the path with a giant monkey sitting on it. The girls all hid behind me in great panic and I was supposed to confront the big monkey on my own. But the monkey was very friendly and we managed to walk past him peacefully! “ 

Paul told ResLink how much his wife enjoys her role as the “Hall Mother”, the term first used by an American exchange student who stayed at Hall 9 a few years ago when he spoke to Alisa.  Judging from the pride and happy smiles on his face when he recounted the things he has done with the hall residents, ResLink has no doubt that Paul also enjoys his role as the “Hall Father” of his many hall children!