Sailors and Soldiers Home | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Sailors and Soldiers Home

Sailors and Soldiers Home

Postcard Published by M. Sternberg, Hongkong



I am fairly sure that this is NOT the interior of St Peter's Church, Praya West. I suspect this is the interior of the Seamen's Institute, Kowloon between 1912 and 1923, during which time it was in use as a Freemason's Lodge. On the same subject, I am writing the 150th anniversary history of the Sailor's Home and Mission to Seafarers in HK, at the behest of the Mission here, and would very much welcome permission to use (and a high res image please) any images of the early mission buidlings. I am particularly interested in finding an image of the premises of the mission from 1910-1933, which were situated at 21 Praya East (post 1922 reclamation 18 Johnson Road). Post 1933 until around the mid-1950s these old Mission premises became a government building partly occupied by the PWD.

Stephen Davies

Stephen, thanks for pointing this out. I've removed "St Peter's" from the Places Shown.

Please can you say more about why you think it shows the Seamen's Institute? Wouldn't the Sailors and Soldiers Home in Wanchai be a better match for the description on the card?

Regards, David

Looking at the postcard through a magnifying glass I read in the black semi circle:

(first line) Red Dragon        Cathay

(below)       M 65                      X

The tablecloth has:

"HKTU" (in a semi circle; for: Hong Kong Island Line(?) according to the internet) and below:

"Quit you like men"

- a quotation from the New Testament; 1. Corinthians 16:13

Stupid of me - of course Sailors and Soldiers Home - since it says so! The paraphernalia were so obviously not Anglican that I misled myself. This will presumably have been the Wesleyan Methodist organization at the junction of Johnston and Hennessy Roads before they built the familiar, but now long gone red brick edifice.

The puzzles I am trying to resolve (and find photos of) are two:

One is the separate Seamen's Institute for the Missions to Seamen, beginning as rented premises in Wanchai in 1905 and in a purpose built building as of 1910 at 21 Praya East and quite separate from the Sailors Home. It served until the new home opened in 193, by which time it had become 18 Johnston Rd, whereafter it served as a government building (initially PWD and another government department) until it was demolished in c.1962. I am very anxious to see if I can find a photo of this building either when it was on the Wanchai waterfront or later.

The second is the Kowloon Institute, opened in 1896, extended in c.1900, but closed and the premises rented out to the Freemasons (Scotia Lodge) in 1911. The Freemasons had it until 1919. It was reopened as the Kowloon Seamen's Institute in 1923 but closed again in 1925 and demolished thereafter. It was on the corner of Canton Rd and Haiphong Rd (though Haiphong Rd was then the Kowloonside Elgin St) - any image would be a boon.


A postcard of the Seamen's Institute appears in Wikipedia here 

I've made Places for the two Institutes:

Regards, David