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 Post subject: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:44 am 
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Very sad news from Jane Ram:

"Sorry to tell you that Vernon died late on Monday. He fell last Friday night, fractured his hip and was evacuated by police boat to be admitted to Queen Mary Hospital. Doctors operated on him and successfully implanted a new hip ball. They were already talking about rehab training to walk again starting soon. He appeared to be making good progress, but suddenly it seemed that his lungs and his heart gave up despite the best efforts of the doctors to revive him. The official cause of death is stated as pneumonia. He had weathered so many health dramas over the years, and it seemed that he would emerge unscathed from this one. It was so sudden, it is hard to accept that he is gone. But he was fortunate in having a quick and peaceful end.

There will be no funeral as his body will go for medical research. The plan is for a Celebration of his Life probably in April, when our daughter, Gitanjali (currently heavily pregnant with her second baby) and her husband and children can be involved.

They already know that the new baby will be a boy and even from the scan pictures it is clear that he will have more than a little of Vernon about his face (no sign of a beard yet!)

Please spread the news as far and wide as possible.

All best wishes for the festive season!

Love,
Jane"


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File comment: Vernon Ram - by Andy Maluche
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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Yes, Dec 16. I've only received this email yesterday. As an ex-SCMP editor and author, he'd still been writing recently, occasionally sending leads for story ideas to me. His cheerful presence will be sorely missed.

Having been featured numerous times in the Lamma-zine over the years (search for him at the top of the home page), this is my favourite story, of Vernon's huge 80th birthday parties in 2006, photos by Bob Davis:
http://www.compunicate.com/Lamma-zine/Blog/Blog-2006-12.html#Dec14 (2nd half of story)

Below is the top half of the namecards I made for him, plus probably my favourite photo of a fit Vernon, by Mr DickStock:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:12 pm 
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Vernon was a true gentleman, so sad to hear this news. He will be missed. Condolences to Jane and their daughter.


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:51 pm 
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i'll miss that smiley face every time we passed by each other on tai peng…. the last time was just 2 weeks ago…. :(


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Dear Jane, so sorry to hear about your loss. Vernon was always a joy to meet in the village. R.I.P. old chap.


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:42 pm 
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SCMP, Dec 28, 2013:

Long-time Post editor chose to live by his words

Vernon Ram was offered a Rhodes scholarship but instead followed his passion for journalism

by Christy Choi, C.P. Ho and Jane Ram

Vernon Lionel Ram 1926-2013

Vernon Ram, father, mountain climber, dandy and one of the longest-serving editors at the South China Morning Post, has died of pneumonia. He was 87. He died unexpectedly after a minor hip operation, following a fall while adjusting a light at his Lamma Island home.

Ram was pronounced well enough to receive visitors at Queen Mary Hospital, but died on December 16.

Best known for almost half a century's work with the Post, Vernon was born Ramachandran in Mumbai in 1926, one of almost a dozen children in a traditional Tamil Brahmin family. A superb sportsman and a brilliant student, he was offered a Rhodes scholarship. But his heart was in journalism and he turned it down to pursue that path sooner.

In those days, it was almost impossible for anyone with an Indian name to succeed at English-language publications. After numerous rejections he picked a new name out of a telephone directory, stabbing the pages at random. The new name, Vernon Lionel Ram, served him well and he soon moved to Delhi.

Friend Henry Bradsher, who met Ram in early 1959, writes: "He was a widely respected sports reporter, columnist and editor, a status he achieved at a relatively young age."

Ram wrote the Ringside Seat, a popular sports column for the Indian Express covering politics in the industry. During his career, he covered three Olympics - Helsinki in 1952, Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964.

It was that trip to Tokyo and a meeting with Sally Aw Sian of the Sing Tao Group that brought him to Hong Kong in 1964. Aw hired him to beef up the sports section of the Hong Kong Tiger Standard, forerunner of The Standard. There, he met his wife Jane, a regular contributor of music reviews. They married in 1966 in Cambodia at the special invitation of the late King Sihanouk.

Ram joined the Post as an assistant editor in 1970, a job that gave him roles from writing editorials to editing the education section and letters to the editor.

"In a way he was the king of the subs," said Post columnist Jake Van Der Kamp. "He knew his stuff, his judgment was sound, and he was a walking library."

His career took him well into his 70s, working for many different print media in Hong Kong. He joined the KCR (now the MTR Corporation) and later the Urban Renewal Authority.

"He was a quiet man, hardworking, generous and friendly," said V.G.Kulkarni, a friend who also worked at The Standard.

He had a knack for quietly listening and being able to get to the heart of the matter with a few "pungent words", said friend and ex-Reuters journalist C.P.Ho.

Ram was well-known in the arts and culture community, covering some of the world's great arts festivals as well as many Hong Kong events, especially the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival.

After retirement he travelled once a week to the Home of Loving Faithfulness near Fanling to serve as a volunteer.

Ram was part of a group of Hong Kong media industry veterans nicknamed The Gang. The group would meet once a month to talk politics and the latest goings on in the city. The December lunch was to be curry, Ram's favourite and his suggestion, but it came three days too late.

Ram's body will go for medical research. A celebration of his life will be held in April when his pregnant daughter Gitanjali and his family can attend.

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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Sorry to hear of Vernon's passing, though pleased he didn't suffer and delighted, too, to learn more about his very full life. I wish Jane and Gitanjali well and will always remember their hospitable home on Lamma - a welcoming retreat for young expatriates like myself once.
Working with Vernon at the SCMP in the mid-1980s was an eye-opener. He was a towering character amongst many other memorable ones. In particular, colleagues appreciated his knowledge and diligence but also his sense of style and fun.
He widened our interest in food and culture, took us under his wing and yet, with that twinkle in his eye, appeared to do it all through admiration of our own lesser selves.
He was a charmer and his zest for life infused our own.
Thanks Vernon!
Roy Edmonds, Blackpool, U.K. (www.royedmonds-blackpool.com)


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:43 pm 
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A lovely man with a good life. We were lucky to have had him with us.

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"Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat!"


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:06 am 
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I like the way he re-invented himself as a young man with an Anglicised name and a desire to emigrate. Strangely he kind of represents the transient nature of Lamma. An iconic figure for the island.


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 Post subject: Re: R.I.P. Vernon Ram
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:43 pm 
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From Jane Ram:


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