Les Bird and Hong Kong’s unique history

Posted by Ed 7 days ago


Former Marine Police commander turned bestselling memoirist Les Bird reflects on Hong Kong’s unique history from a unique perspective. 

At one time in his youth, in the hirsute 1970s, Les Bird sported a truly righteous moustache that later earned him the nickname Magnum, after actor Tom Selleck and his legendary whiskers.

“I’ve tried to destroy all evidence of that,” Les chuckles, something he does often, over coffee in the IFC.
It’s the week after Hong Kong’s local elections, and there’s a bit of a spring in everyone’s step, yet another shift in the city DBer Les has called home for over 40 years, half that time in the currently contentious police department.
Now he’s reinventing himself as the Bookazine bestselling author of a memoir, A Small Band of Men: An Englishman’s Adventures in Hong Kong’s Marine Police, about his stint in the force from 1976 to 1997.

The book may not be the ‘gungho guns and action’ thriller people expect, but it is a vivid snapshot of a specific time and place, and an often funny recollection of a niche workplace. It also sounds like a great Netflix mini-series, as long as you cast the right Les. “The young me? Well he’s got to be tall and good-looking,” he says with a guffaw. “But really I only know old actors.”

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