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My First Business in Woodside Hong Kong & Andy Bandara (Ex-PDL): A Blast from the Past

Today I chatted with Andy Bandara, one of two old business partners (the other was David Ng) whom I brought to Hong Kong to spearhead my first ever business called “Business Dynamics“. I lost touch with Andy for many years.

Business Dynamics

SCMP write-up


It was wonderful to share and cherish old memories from that long spring and summer of 1990. At that time I operated the business from The Woodside, an old colonial house up the one-way Mount Parker Road, Quarry Bay. It was also known as “Gwei Uk”, The Ghost House by locals as there were reports of sighting of ghosts. Woodside was used by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World World and executions were known to have been carried out here. Taxis would hate to drive us up there as they would drive down empty. There are no lights up the road. Hikers love to hike up Mount Parker Road to Tai Tam Road which takes 1½ hours.  click video for full view of Taikoo Shing, and even Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery where my late wife Brenda Marie de José Ossuary is (Number 061)  Hong Kong Hiking Tour: Quarry Bay MTR→Mount Parker→Tai Tam→Wong Nai Chung→Wan Chai

Although I’m a Soul & Ghost Whisperer I’m not clairvoyant so I never saw any ghosts when I lived there. I’m Claircognizant – the intuitive ability of clear knowing.

As residents of Woodside we had separate, small & long, single bedrooms each. Some rooms were quite large and can accommodate a family of 4. There was also men and women dormitories basement that can fit more than 10 people, a huge kitchen, and big laundry and dryer machines.

It was a foreigners community of 30+ people – mainly Americans and some Asians. I rented the biggest front room downstairs as my office. I worked and lived there for nearly 3 years from 1989-1992. I also got my third brother Dr. Andrew to stay in Woodside when he first arrived and worked for the Department of Health.

Image result for mount parker woodside

Woodside, up Mount Parker Road, Quarry Bay – a century old historic residence of the Tai Koo Sugar Company characterized by its marvelous facing brick works, arched verandahs, timber doors and windows.

Image result for mount parker woodside

Andy and I started sharing wonderful stories about our exploits and adventures in 1990. I had previously noticed Michael, our American Woodside community leader had conducted business courses there. I wanted to start up my own training business.

During a visit in Malaysia, a friend of mine Tracy Lee re-connected David Ng to me as he was a well known Trainer with Personal Development Leadership (founded by Dato’ Lawrence Chan). David, Tracy and I belonged to The Valiant Vanguards in school.

 

Related image

Dato’ Lawrence Chan, founder of PDL


I ended hiring David and Andy as trainers for my new business. We did 2 personal growth workshops in Hong Kong. It lasted some 6 months but we couldn’t generate enough traction and business to sustain it. I sold my first Kornhill Hong Kong property to fund it but eventually I lost my shirt!

Business was not ok, but our social life was fantastic.

Then I met Mary Reynolds, the PRO of Diane Freis, the Hong Kong-based Fashion Designer. I fell head over heels in love with Mary. I lost my virginity to Mary. Yes, I was then a 31 year-old virgin  1 year after leaving my 10-years of Brahmacharya or celibacy life and as the co-Founder of Brahma Kumaris Malaysia. Read about: Why I Joined & Left Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation CULT (2nd Chinese BK).

Andy said I was so distracted by Mary. Mary was an Alpha female, an outspoken and badass British. She was beautiful, elegant, classy, gorgeous dresser, the life of the party,  and had “the best legs in the fashion industry”. Diane Freis later shared with me that she was her best PRO.

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Diane Freis, the Hong Kong-based Fashion Designer

Andy and I recalled Mary and her 2 friends one called Yim organizing some port luck parties at Woodside, all walks of life came. Those were the fun days. Mary’s 2 friends went out with David and Andy.

Woodside had a community car and community Apple Macintosh. I drove them to Stanley, The Peak, etc. I took them to the Malaysian Association of Hong Kong which used to meet religiously every Friday evenings at some outlet in Central.

 

3. Jackie_chan, Anita Mui

I was the Emcee for the Malaysian Association Annual Ball. Here with Michelle Yeoh, Maria Cordero (Fei Mah), Jackie Chan, the late Anita Mui, and Maggie Cheung (not in pic).  Willie Chan from Ipoh was Jackie’s manager then.

In hindsight I was an inexperienced entrepreneur. I did not know how to market training workshops and had no database which I have now. All I had was a dream, and I’m proud I did it. My tuition fee was losing my first property.

It became my foundation when I joined Life Dynamics in 1991 (a Large Group Awareness Training founded by Robert White), Wings Seminars, and Franklin Quest in 1992 (which later merged and become FranklinCovey of 7 Habits fame). Later I became known as “The Father of Asia FireWalking” and coached Nestle, the first Corporate FireWalking in Asia.

 

3. Wong Jim FireWalk

The World’s First & Only Live TV FireWalk Charity: TVB Tung Wah Charity Show – we raised HK$68m that night

   

Robert FireWalk

I always FireWalk first before my Graduates

 

Andy and David split from Hong Kong. David now lives in New Zealand. Andy immediately went to London, 3 years later ended up in Ireland. He has a 24 year old son and he is a Chef at a local Malaysian-Asian restaurant in Galway. Andy went to ACS (Anglo-Chinese School), Ipoh.

 

Image may contain: ocean, sky, beach, cloud, outdoor, water and nature

Galway coastline

Published on 19 October 2017.
Updated on 21 October 2017.

By Whisperer Robert Chaen.

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