Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2022

11 Years in Hong Kong!

Yes, after over 2 years, COVID is still around and here to stay it seems. Lessons have moved online, sports lessons have been on and off (mostly off), and attending online church is a thing now. Steph now volunteers as a “Chat Host” for the online church sessions. Since July 2021, Sam has been helping out as an MC for in-person church sessions. Selwyn’s taekwondo/football/swimming and Shaun’s judo/basketball/swimming lessons have been happening on and off sporadically too. Just 5 days ago the “5th wave restrictions” have finally lifted so gyms/parks/recreations have finally opened up, restaurants can now open past 6pm (yes it was that much of an overreaction!), but beaches and swimming pools are still closed. Here’s hoping we can travel out of Hong Kong soon – it’s the mandatory designated hotel quarantine upon return that’s preventing us from travelling!

Some highlights for the year:

  • May 2021: Selwyn turned 7
  • June 2021: Sam completed teaching the first cohort of a new IB Mathematics curriculum. 2 years of curriculum setting and lesson planning (for both in-person and online modes) have finally paid off!
  • August 2021: Shaun turned 4
  • 1/10/2021: Selwyn got baptised at ICA!
  • October 2021: Sam resumed regular gym sessions after….. 4.5 years?
  • November 2021: Steph began taking regular Muay Thai sessions
  • December 2021: Steph was promoted to Director level!
  • 19/12/2021: Selwyn promotes to Taekwondo green stripe!
  • 28/12/2021: wedding of Stanley & Annie in Hong Kong (over Zoom)
  • 22/02/2022: wedding of Adrian & Canmy in Melbourne (over Zoom)
  • April 2022: Sam preached for the first time ever at ICA! (Pre-recorded due to COVID restrictions)

Statistics since relocation (past year in brackets):

  • 352 visitors (+0 still, thanks to COVID)
  • 45 trips out of HK (+0 still, thanks to COVID)
  • 38 weddings attended (+2, via Zoom)
Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2021

10 YEARS in Hong Kong!

Bubble Bath!

Playrooms are opening up again – this is a quiet (and clean) one in Tsuen Wan.

Today marks our 10th anniversary since relocating from Melbourne! We have officially worked longer in Hong Kong than in Melbourne! We have continued to thrive (survive?) through ever-changing circumstances thanks to COVID-19!

Entry stamp at Hong Kong Immigration

I had to go through a 1-year followed by two 3-year visas to eventually qualify for PR.

10 is also the number of years Sam has been teaching and so he has taught longer than consulted in the engineering world.
9 is the number of eggs the female beetle has laid recently and the larvae are growing. Yes, we have a male and a female stag beetle!
8 is the underwear size big Shaun wears even though he’s only 3.5!
7 is how old Selwyn will be next month – wish we can invite his friends!
6 is the number of baby teeth Selwyn has lost so far
5-figures was how much it cost to finally buy an electronic drum set for Selwyn though he has been learning for 2.5 years!
4 is the number of schools Sam has worked at
3 is the number of places Steph has worked at (in Hong Kong)
2 is the number of mortgages we have in Australia because we can’t afford to buy here
1 is how we as a family need to stick together through COVID and through whatever else the world throws at us

Once again, here are our highlights – in some ways it’s a special edition since all these were done under varying degrees of restrictions:

  • May 2020: Selwyn turned 6
  • June 2020: Shaun tried learning Judo… however after a few sessions, sports clinics were shut down
  • August 2020: Shaun turned 3
  • August 2020: Selwyn began Primary Year 1 (over Zoom initially)
  • September 2020: Shaun began Kindergarten 1 (over Zoom initially)
  • 10/10/2020: Stephen & Stephanie in Melbourne (over Zoom)
  • 19/02/2021: Brenda & David in Hong Kong (over Zoom)
  • 09/12/2020: Celebrated Steph’s parents’ 40th Anniversary
  • Around December 2020: Shaun overtook Selwyn in terms of weight
  • 07/03/2021: Celebrated Sam’s parents’ 40th Anniversary
  • April 2021: Both Steph and Sam received the first dose of the COVID vaccination

Statistics since relocation (past year in brackets):

  • 352 visitors (+0 thanks to COVID)
  • 45 trips out of HK (+0 again, thanks to COVID)
  • 36 weddings attended (+2, both via Zoom)

Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2020

9 Years in Hong Kong!

Wow, this time next year it will be a decade.

Let’s talk about the single biggest issue: the COVID-19. Here’s some of the adjustments we’ve had to make:

  • both Selwyn and Shaun haven’t been to school for 12 weeks.  Yes, that’s since Chinese New Year. They have 3 Zoom sessions with their teachers each week, and some homework each day.
  • same goes for Sam: he’s moved to running classes online.  There’s fewer contact hours, but a lot more preparation work involved.
  • around Chinese New Year, Steph’s company rolled out a one-week-in, one-week-out rotation but since movements became more restricted, she’s working from home everyday now.
  • on work-days we send one of the kids to Steph’s parents who live 5 minutes walk away, and we’re ever so grateful for them.
  • no more sports lessons (Selwyn & Shaun’s swimming, Selwyn’s rollerskating)
  • Selwyn’s 1-on-1 drum lessons still continue
  • Selwyn’s piano lessons are now online (one device pointing at his fingers, and another showing the teacher’s face and markings on her book)
  • Selwyn has been enjoying playing board games (he’s mastered Pickomino and is now learning and loving Ticket to Ride: Europe)
  • Shaun loves eating: so much so we created an Instagram account for him before we made one for Selwyn!
  • we watch church online now, and ICAHK also produce a weekly video for the kids.
  • grocery shopping is done weekly and we now have a set pattern in buying what we need from the wet market as well as the supermarket.

Even before COVID-19, Hong Kong had been in a rough patch, which also saw schools suspended back in November 2019.  This has truly been a tough year, and it doesn’t seem it would alleviate soon. In our family, this August/September will see Shaun transition to kindergarten, and Selwyn transition to Year 1.  They may well begin their new phase of education online.  Similarly, with Sam’s Year 12 students transitioning to their tertiary studies.

So, despite what’s affecting the world over, let’s review last year’s highlights:

Statistics since relocation (past year in brackets):

  • 352 visitors (+9)
  • 45 trips out of HK (+6)
  • 34 weddings attended (+4)
  • 31 weddings missed (+0)
Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2019

8 years in Hong Kong!

8 years in Hong Kong! Notable milestones include:

  • Sam became a permanent resident (attainable after 7 years)
  • Steph got a new job
  • The boys getting cuter, cheekier, smarter
  • Sam has officially worked as a teacher longer than an engineer!

Now that we’re (officially?) in Hong Kong for the long-term, what’s our exit strategy? Our reason for eventually heading back to Australia is now because of our kids’ education.  Ideally we want them to finish secondary school in Australia, and also “serve” their time in Australia so their kids obtain Citizenship by Descent if born abroad.  If Selwyn is to begin secondary in Australia, we’re looking at a January 2026 start.  But that would mean Shaun would be in Grade 4.  What if Shaun’s Cantonese/Chinese isn’t that good at that stage (it’ll always mean Selwyn has extra 3 years of Canto)?  What if Selwyn wouldn’t want to leave Hong Kong because of his friends?  What if Sam doesn’t want to teach in Australia? What if…?  We’d like to plan now, but there will always be plenty of “What Ifs” later and it would need to be a decision we make as a family.

Once again here are the memorable moments, spiritual growing and church involvement, travelling, exploring and experiencing, working and living in HK milestones in the past year:

Statistics since relocation (past year in brackets):

  • 343 visitors (+47)
  • 39 trips out of HK (+4)
  • 30 weddings attended (+4)
  • 31 weddings missed (+3: sorry Calvin & Eunice, Elliot & Jasmine, James & Yi-Ting)
Posted by: sammerz | 10 June, 2018

Family Photoshoot at Disneyland Hotel HK

It was a very hot and sunny day, but we managed to capture some beautiful moments with family at the grounds around Disneyland Hotel in Hong Kong. Photography by Sunny Production.

Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2018

7 years in Hong Kong!

Well friends, we’ve finally made it to 7 years since we relocated from Australia.  In that time, our marriage has grown stronger and we’ve been blessed with 2 handsome and cheeky boys with very different personalities.  Though Hong Kong has become a permanent home for us – home is where our family is, and wherever God takes us.  For now, we feel it’s best for all us to settle here for a few more years – and perhaps head back Down Under for the kids’ latter years of education.

Milestones over the past year

Here’s the summary of milestones categorised into celebrating memorable moments, spiritual growing and church involvement, travelling, exploring and experiencing, working and living in HK:

  • 29/04/17 Sam participated in his 3rd Spartan Race
  • 07/05/17 Sam and Steph mentored a team of St. Paul’s Convent School students in creating an app and business model in the Technovation Challenge. The girls won the Senior Division in Hong Kong and got tickets to participate in the Global Pitch Summit in Silicon Valley! Click here to read about the team’s journey.
  • May 2017 Celebrated Selwyn’s 3rd birthday
  • July 2017 Sam finishes 3 years at St. Paul’s Convent School 
  • 01/08/17 Shaun was born!
  • August 2017 Sam starts a new job at Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School
  • 30/09/17 Sam was scratched (superficially, thank God) by a monkey – only a month into the new job on Monkey Hill!
  • 07/10/17 Attended David & Esther’s Wedding
  • October 2017 Celebrated Shaun’s 2.5 months and Steph’s birthday on the same evening
  • October 2017 Sam’s bro Isaac & Lana’s son (and Sam’s nephew), Jacob Ezekiel Leong, was born!
  • November 2017 Travelled to Melbourne, Australia (Sam & Selwyn for a week, Steph and Shaun for a month including Brisbane)
  • 05/11/17 Attended Sam’s bro Elisha & Amy’s wedding!
  • 09-11/11/17 Sam travelled to Beijing, China, for IB Workshop
  • Late November 2017 Selwyn is officially off diapers, woo!
  • 26-30/12/17 Travelled to Bangkok, Thailand
  • 07/01/18 Shaun was dedicated to God at ICA
  • 21/01/18 Sam participated in his 4th Standard Chartered Half-Marathon (PB: 2:44’09”)
  • 24/02/18 Sam, Steph and Selwyn travelled to Macau for a day trip
  • 31/03/18 Sam’s first hike on Lion Rock
  • April 2018 Selwyn finally slept in his own room, for 3 weeks in a row, and counting….

Statistics since relocation (past year in brackets):

  • 296 visitors (+10)
  • 35 trips out of HK (+4)
  • 26 weddings attended (+2)
  • 28 weddings missed (+4: sorry Wing Hong & Sam’s cousin Ee Jia, Oliver & Natazia, Seth & Carmen, Jason & Tze Shin)
Posted by: sammerz | 14 August, 2017

Shaun @ Day 14

01 (203).jpg

Our 2nd son 🙂

Photo by: Season Photography.

Posted by: sammerz | 01 August, 2017

Shaun Chung Him Leong (梁頌謙)


Shaun, our second son.  A proud Dad, a strong Mum, a cute baby (and an excited older bro).

Posted by: sammerz | 01 May, 2017


We would like to announce that our second son will be named:

Shaun Chung Him Leong

In Chinese, it is:


Some pronunciations:
  • Cantonese: Leung4 Chung6 Him1
  • Putonghua/Mandarin: Liang2 Song4 Qian1
  • Malaysian/Hokkien: Leong Siung Chien
Like Selwyn, our desire is for Shaun to life a life that glorifies God and he pursues all that God has called him to be.  Our prayer is for him to grow strong, healthy, full of God’s wisdom and blessing.

Why Shaun?

Shaun is originally Irish and means:
  • God is gracious
  • Gift from God
We live our lives to be more like God’s Son, Jesus.  Jesus is the epitome of God’s grace, and He is God’s gift to us.  Likewise, Shaun will be a reminder of God’s grace for us and he is a gift for our family.

Why 頌謙?

The two Chinese names come from 頌 (which means praise) and 謙卑 (which means humble).
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul.
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.’ – Psalm 146:1-2 (ESV)
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. – Psalm 25:8-10 (ESV)
我還在世上的時候,我要歌頌我的神。』- 詩篇 146:1-2 (CNV)
『 耶和華是良善和正直的,
耶和華都以慈愛和信實待他們。 』 – 詩篇 25:8-10 (CNV)
We pray that Shaun’s name will be a reminder for all of us to live a life of praise and humbleness – a life that honours and glorifies God.

Other cool facts

  • 頌 is Steph’s middle name.  (Selwyn and Sam share the same middle name, 信, which means “faith”.)
  • “頌 Him” looks like “praise Him”
  • “Shaun” sounds almost like “shone” (光亮) which is in Sam’s name (光信).
  • Shaun as in “Shaun the Sheep”, not “Sean Connery” or “Shawn Mendes” 😉
We appreciate your love, support and prayers for baby Shaun! 🙂
2017-03-30 Morphology
Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2017

6 years in Hong Kong!

Today marks the 6th year since we left our Aussie jobs and took a leap of faith to Hong Kong.  What began as a “2 year test run” has now become rather permanent.

Last year we mentioned that we hoped to have another child – and so we will!  Though not a girl as we originally hoped for, but God has answered Selwyn’s prayer for a little brother!  Coming soon: some time in mid-August!

Milestones over the past year

Here’s the summary of milestones categorised into celebrating memorable moments, spiritual growing and church involvement, travelling, exploring and experiencing, working and living in HK:

Statistics since relocation (past year in brackets):

  • 286 visitors (+29)
  • 31 trips out of HK (+5)
  • 24 weddings attended (+4)
  • 24 weddings missed (+2: sorry Samuel&Melissa, Fred&Veronica)

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