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Tuesday 21-Jun-2016

英國其中一個最為人熟悉的signature建築叫做伊莉莎白塔,即Big Ben,大笨鐘,職責是報時。位於泰晤士河畔的Big Ben和對面的巨型摩天輪London Eye一同守護著河流,是遊客到英國倫敦必到景點。

Big Ben建於1859年,原名伊莉莎白塔,是倫敦西敏寺(Westminster Abbey)的鐘樓,即國會大樓的鐘樓。鐘樓一小時響四次,每十五分鐘一次,風雨不改,響足個半世紀,既準時又可靠。

那157年間,他見證著時代更替,看過戰爭塗炭生靈,那動盪時、那和平時,他都靜靜地陪伴著英國,走過個半世紀的歲月。他看著一個個英國小生命的誕生,也歷盡英國人們百年歸老之時。由只是含蓄地出現在書局的明信片中,到今天像大明星一般走進你和我的Facebook自拍照中。Big Ben真正可以說一句:「有甚麼風浪我未見過?」

Big Ben和紐約 Times Square、台灣101大樓和香港IFC一樣,是每年除夕倒數進入新一年的地標。除了英國人,還有來自世界各地的遊客,一睹大笨鐘的風采,感受它的氣勢。

風采?對,不少外地人看過小說故事和奇幻歷程中的Big Ben,在心中為他添上了幾分童話色彩。但對於本地英國人來說,Big Ben卻是一個老爺爺,在英國這首海島大船中擔當著稱職的陀手,陪伴著英國人飄浮在時間的大海之中。

其實不太romantic。等於土生土長的香港仔,也不會在生日情人節清明約三五知己八點鐘去尖沙咀看幻彩詠香江。對英國人來說,Big Ben的存在是低調卻充滿智慧。說話不多,一小時只開口四次,比起你公司那位內向沉默的同事Michelle更不起眼。而他每次開口,都是精準無比地告訴你:「It’s 15 minutes, my son.」游走在倫敦商業區的你,或許也不太明白為何世人都專程來倫敦聽你那位老前輩報時。

其實倫敦人,英國人對Big Ben的驕傲,不是他尊貴的「國際地位」,而是一種「我們都是Big Ben」的身份認同。我們和Big Ben一同各安本份,做好自己的角色,負上應有的責任。像時鐘裡面數不盡的小齒輪,雖不起眼,卻發揮著大作用,缺一不可。

「大家都愛普通 沒傳奇 大氣候要清淡 而無味」我們都是鐘樓下的百姓,內斂而踏實地好好飾演好百姓的角色。

 圖片: Kanchanmala Yadav 

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With an entrepreneurial spirit spreading across online, print and broadcast media, Samuel is an award-winning educational consultant and celebrated columnist.

As a leader in the field of education, he was honoured with the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award and his most prestigious achievement to date includes the founding of Hong Kong’s premier educational brands - Britannia StudyLink, Anglo Belgravia and Ascent Prep.

In addition to streamlining the UK independent school application process for Hong Kong families and spearheading the first official UKiset-accredited educational centre in Hong Kong, Samuel has led his company, Britannia, to becoming one of Asia’s leading brands with diverse clients and distinguished institutions ranging from Radley College to HSBC Bank and Hong Kong Telecom.


Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.


MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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