Geoff Daniel, a highly regarded Sai Kung community member for nearly a quarter of a century, has died suddenly at the age of 70. He collapsed at home in Arundel, West Sussex, and never recovered consciousness. His wife of 48 years Jane has told us about his life:
Geoff was born in Mevagissey, Cornwall, in June 1948. He attended Truro School, then Kings College London from 1967 to 1970. After becoming a graduate engineering trainee at London Transport, Geoff married Jane in 1970. They loved in London (typo by Jane; she meant to write lived, but as they were newly weds it seems appropriate) then moved near Hemel Hempstead until he changed jobs in 1980 to work for Kennedy & Donkin in Woking and Godalming in Surrey. They lived in Chiddingfold from 1980 and “that became our base”, Jane wrote.
Geoff’s first posting was to Taipei to work on the mass transit rail project 1985-87. The couple had five years back in the UK as Geoff worked overseas including Venezuela and France and then on London channel tunnel and Docklands light rail project with Freeman Fox. He was head-hunted for Hong Kong Airport Rail project so the Daniels moved to the colony in 1992. “The rest is history!” Jane said. Geoff was Chief E & M Engineer at the MTR until 2004, working with Sai Kung resident Barry Hills and Russell Black (project director). His projects also included Tseung Kwan O extension. “We lived in Sai Kung all our time in Hong Kong,” Jane wrote. The Daniels moved a lot. They stayed at houses in Yan Yee Road, Clearwater Bay’s Las Piñadas, Floral Villas, Chan Uk village and finally Chuk Yung Road again.
Geoff and Jane produced three children: Karen who came to Sai Kung in 1992 for her gap year and worked for Wayne Parfitt in Pepperoni’s; John and Paul went to KGV, John for a year only, Paul finished his education there. Now Karen and John live nearby Arundel where the Daniels have ended up. Paul lives in Montreal. Geoff continued consultancy work at Lloyd’s Register Rail and finally with an old colleague Michael in Bangkok on new mass transit projects there. “We came back to UK in 2015 to live in Arundel,” Jane wrote.
“The Thursday lunch in Sai Kung was a favourite weekly event for him. We were social members of Hebe Haven Yacht Club. Lately Geoff joined ‘Coastwatch’ which is the voluntary organisation that took over from UK coastguards when they folded due to cutbacks. He loved doing that. They will miss him. His mates from there are coming to the funeral in uniform. We also have become involved in a local charity, Chestnut Tree House, which is a children’s hospice. Geoff’s grandfather was a fisherman in Cornwall and he used to spend his summer holidays out with him on his boat. When we arrived back in Arundel he bought a boat but unfortunately his health has prevented him from sailing it very much.”
Geoff Daniel will be much missed by his Sai Kung friends. He was the sort of bloke you felt comfortable with immediately. Affable and a good conversationalist, he was a pleasure to know.