The Argyle Street camp for Vietnamese refugees commenced in 1979, managed by Hong Kong Police and the Civil Aid Service. In close proximity to the residential area, the camp sat next to Lomond Road and Argyle Street on one side, St. Teresa’s Hospital and Kowloon Hospital on the other side. Back then I was working at Kowloon Hospital. Children from the camp often climbed uphill to the hospital’s football field which was right in front of the female nurse dormitory. To ensure the safety of our female colleagues, I joined a group of male nurses to stand guard outside the field in shifts. If there was any illegal entry to the hospital area, we stopped them and asked the security division to step up patrols. The current site of the refugee camp stands Kowloon Hospital Rehabilitation Building, Hospital Authority Head Office and Centre for Health Protection.
Editor’s note: The official name of the refugee camp was Argyle Street Detention Centre. Previously a concentration camp, it accommodated refugees during the war and interned prisoners of war during the Japanese Occupation. It was used by the colonial government as a detention centre for Vietnamese boat people before its demolition in the 1990s.