Bouncing back from Pandemic

RC Thursday Dinners Group set up when restrictions ease

COVID-19 has affected most of our lives. The situation in first few months of this year was especially serious.

Wave after wave of the outbreak caused the Hong Kong government to implement various kinds of social distancing, interrupting our normal daily activities in very noticeable ways.

Our occasional Sunday-morning breakfasts at the Landmark Cafe in Central had to break into tables of four. Attendees played music chairs, going table to table to catch up with classmates seated at another table while maintaining safety measures.

People wearing masks on Hong Kong streets to reduce risk of infection in pandemic.
Photo: Amakuha, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

When the seating-per-table restrictions finally relaxed to eight people in early May, some Raimondian spouses spearheaded by Connie Chiu, Eddie Chiu’s wife, could not wait any longer. They organised a function of their own and simply invited their husbands to join them.

So, on May 11, 2022, a group from the Raimondi Class of 1969 went to the Craigengower Cricket Club in Causeway Bay to enjoy a long-awaited dinner.

We thank the ladies for their efforts to keep us Raimondians together. They are shown in the photos below:  

May 11, from left to right: Winnie Yip (Dave Yip’s wife), Catherine Cheng ( Simon Cheng’s wife), Esther Alfonso (Reynaldo Alfonso’s wife), Vivian So (William So’s wife), Connie Chiu (Eddie Chiu’s wife), May Lee (Lawrence Lee’s wife). 
May 11, from left to right: Winnie Yip, Vivian So, May Lee, Lawrence Lee, Catherine Cheng, Esther Alfonso, Simon Cheng, Dave Yip, Eddie Chiu, William So, Connie Chiu, Reynaldo Alfonso, Patrick Tsang.

That evening, Reynaldo Alfonso told us about his experience as a supplier of frozen goods to restaurants for many years. He has since handed over the business to his son.

It dawned on us that some of us did not even know the restaurants he mentioned existed, or had not been to them for a long time.

We decided to have a dinner gathering every third Thursday of each month. We are leaving it to Reynaldo to choose the restaurant, as he and his son combined had more restaurant connections than any of us.

Thus, we have created the RC Thursday Dinners Group.

Lawrence Lee subsequently suggested that Raimondians and/or their wife, whose birthday falls on that month, need not pay.

We just hope that during any particular month, you would not be the only participant not celebrating a birthday. Otherwise, you would end up buying dinners for everyone else! Fortunately, the odds of this happening are not high.

We gathered for the second dinner in Sang Kee Restaurant on June 16.

June 16, from left to right: Reynaldo Alfonso, William So, Eddie Chiu, Dave Yip, Lawrence Lee, Simon Cheng.

“The traditional Chinese restaurant is squirrelled upstairs in a don-descriptive building in Wanchai. They boast secret and traditional recipes passed down generations for premium authentic Chinese Cuisine,” as a reviewer described the restaurant on the Openrice platform.

June 16, from left to right: Vivian So, Catherine Cheng, Winnie Yip, May Lee, Connie Chiu, Sandra Fan (Connie’s friend), Esther Alfonso.

The restaurant has over 45 years of history and has received the Michelin Guide Recommended Restaurant award for many years.

Lawrence Lee at a display of the Michelin Guide award.

We were reminded that the pandemic was still with us.

Patrick Tsang and his wife had to pull out at the last minute because his wife was in close contact with a positive COVID case. Though they had no signs of infection, they placed themselves in self-quarantine – as good citizens should.

As a further preventive measure, we took the Self-Antigen Test before going to the dinner, and had the test results on our phones for everyone’s peace of mind.

Negative rapid-test results shown on mobile phone.

It goes without saying we enjoyed the warm comradeship and the conversations that took us back to our memory lanes. We, of course, could not overhear the talk at the ladies’ table and therefore have no knowledge of their complaints about their husbands!

There was no birthday boy or girl in June; everyone paid. The menu for the evening is here, in case you are curious about the food.

Handwritten menu for the dinner.

The menu for the June 16 dinner:


1. 蓮藕餅

2. 椒鹽魷魚

3. 鯪魚釀青椒


1. 咕嚕肉

2. 鹽焗雞

3. 魚鯇煲

4. 枸杞浸豬潤、豬腰

5. 梅菜扣肉

6. 焗魚腸


1. 泥鯭粥

The RC Thursday Dinners Group is not an exclusive club.

Raimondians who are in Hong Kong and wish to join the dinner group regularly are invited to send a message to Lawrence Lee/Eddie Chiu in the RC 1969 Friendship WhatsApp chat group.

The emphasis is on “regularly.” Ad hoc attendance will create logistic problems for Reynaldo. After all, he is organizing the dinners voluntarily.

Overseas Raimondian of 1969 class: Please plan your visit to Hong Kong and make it to our monthly dinner gathering. We may even treat you and your wife to a fantastic dinner! Tell us in the RC 1969 Friendship chat group when you will be in town, and we will take care of the rest. We do want your wife to come too, if she is travelling with you.

Source: Chart at the top of the page shows COVID-19 statistics from Hong Kong government website