25 Nov, 1909 King Edward's birthday & unveiling of statues

25 Nov, 1909 King Edward's birthday & unveiling of statues

Hong Kong Telegraph, 25 Nov 1909, page 4, available via HK PUblic Library collection.

Date picture taken (to nearest decade for older photos): 


HK Telegraph critique of King Edward's birthday arrangements

David, this is a fascinating piece of acerbic social commentary aimed at the élite of British society in Hong Kong. Especially nice is the description of the so-called duchesse being subjected to scrutiny before being permitted “to deposit her large and important person on the sacred bench.” In her book, Patricia Lim mentions that Robert Fraser-Smith, founder of the Hong Kong Telegraph was notorious for attacking prejudice and discrimination in the Colony. It seems that this tradition continued after his death. On a personal note, my father was born three days before the birthday celebration and I doubt that my Eurasian grandmother would have attempted to attend. I am sure that my English grandfather, Charles Warren, by virtue of his marriage, would have been a “goat”, relegated to the public stand. I don’t know if, at 38, he was still in the Hong Kong Volunteers. I should like to think that he was able to see the spectacle, as he was fiercely royalist, ensuring that the Union Jack be raised over his company building every morning and lowered in the evening.