Keith Buckley Q&A
Keith Buckley is a director of Hsin Chong Construction Group Ltd
Keith Buckley is a director of Hsin Chong Construction Group Ltd. He is also Chairman of the construction charity, Lighthouse Club Macau and Chairman of the British Business Association of Macao (BBAM). A British citizen, Keith was born in 1948 in Germany, where he lived and went to school for 18 years, before going to study civil engineering in the UK, at the University of Surrey. For the past 40 years he has lived and worked in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. In 2003, he came to Macau to manage the construction of the Sands Macao, thinking this was just another construction assignment which might last a year. Little did he know that Macau was going to be home for the next 15 years during which time he has, with his team, managed the construction of The Venetian Macao, Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Sands Cotai Central and most recently, The Parisian Macao. Keith is married to Jolan, who is Dutch, and they have two married daughters and two grandchildren living in London. Keith speaks Dutch and German in addition to English, and at various times has learnt Polish, Turkish and Mandarin.
- What’s your idea of a perfect day?
It depends where I am. In Macau it would be one of those rare days with blue sky, good weather and a long relaxed lunch and good wine, with family and friends.
- If you could go back in time to any event in history, what would it be?
The first manned moon landing mission in July 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the Command/Service Module. I recall being glued to the TV at the time.
- What’s your favorite book?
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Chinese writer Jung Chang, a family history that spans a century, recounting the lives of three female generations in China. It gave me an understanding of human hardship caused by political and cultural turmoil.
- And your favorite singer/ band?
Sting as a singer; The Beatles as a band. But I appreciate all genres, including Blues, Jazz and Classical. I like music with a tune that I can remember.
- Who is your hero?
Sir Winston Churchill: when I think of the technically advanced communications in the world of today and compare it with what was available at the time to manage the Second World War with its global coverage, he was a truly amazing leader.
- What can always cheer you up when you are having a bad day?
Actually I rarely have a bad day. I take a pragmatic view of life. If I did have a bad day, my grandchildren would always cheer me up, but they do not live in Macau and so it would be family, friends and colleagues.
- What’s your worst habit?
Some people call me a workaholic, which may be the case and maybe a habit, but I do what I have to do, which includes my job, my chairmanship of the Lighthouse Club Macau and the British Business Association of Macau (BBAM).
- If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A Swiss dish called Zürcher Geschnetzeltes served with Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns). It is a simple veal ragout or stew recipe in a white sauce, made with mushrooms and white wine. It contains many of the typical Germanic flavorings, including parsley and lemon zest.
- If you could retire tomorrow what would you do?
I am 69 this year and so could retire tomorrow, but it is not me. I always need to be doing something, so I would continue with my non-profit activities, travel more and spend time with my family.
- What’s your favourite season or festival?
In Macau it would be autumn and Chinese New Year. I associate Christmas with cold and winter, so Christmas in Asia for me is not the same as in Europe.
- What’s your favourite place in Macau?
Coloane village and water front - during the week, not at the weekend.