OLD HONG KONG XMAS CARD | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1932


Seems I'm way off on the date, but wasn't it just recently in the SCM Post about the daughter wanting to sell the land for redevelopment rather than having it saved for posterity as an Antiques & Monument building? I plead ignorance.

Yes, this property was the centre of the recent storm over its preservation. The Govt baulked at forking out several billion dollars to save it and I understand the owner (Ho min Kwan?) demolished it at the end of 2013.

But perhaps it was a later version that was knocked down?

Hi Phil,

I believe it is the same one.  The Chinese style tower, pavilion or Pagodas were added after Ho Tung took over the property.  Hense the card was printed 'Season's Greeting From Sir Robert & Lady Ho Tung'.

Tthe book Ho Tung Garden also mentioned the interior had been remodeled various times.

Best Regards,


Thanks Thomas - it did confuse  me to see the demo date being set at 1927. I guess it can now be changed to 2013.

Looks as though it's the later building that we'd previously called 'Ho Tung Gardens'. I've updated the 'Places shown" above.

But now we know it was originally called The Falls, carrying over the name from the previous building. I've updated the Place's name too.

regards, David

Dear Megabyte,

Do you have the original of this ? 

From the writing on the card, I think it was probably dated a bit earlier than 1940.

Firstly, Ho Tung Gardens, which is pictured on the card, was built as the home for one of Sir Robert Ho Tung's wifes, Clara CHEUNG, aka Lady Ho Tung, who died in 1938. Following her death the house, which up until then had been called "The Falls", was renamed "Ho Tung Gardens". As the writing on the card seems to precede both Lady Ho Tung's death and the renaming of her home, it should date from before 1938. 

Ho Tung Gardens was completed in 1927, so the card should be from the period 1927 - 1937. 

That makes sense. I've moved the date back from 1940 to 1932, the middle of your range.

Hi, can I have a higher resolution of this X'mas card. I am trying to make a video to document the house. i have some 1930's photographs




Indeed I do. However my scanner / printer is currently out of action.

The house had been remodelled into 4 apartments with the pool and garden area being enlarged with addition of a pool house. A large garage and servant quarters were also built. I played there in the late 50's and early 60's. There was a member of the Ho family who lived there until the 70's or later.

Thanks for your comments. Pl enlighten us regarding "pool house" and "played". Do you mean played games as a child, and the 'pool house' was related to the swimming pool rather than say, a pool table? How fortunate to have set foot there and then.

The pool was some distance from the main building, so they built a  'pool  house', which is a building built adjacent to a bathing/swimming pool which has changing rooms, showers and provision for ablutions. I played there as a child. They had extensive lawns and gardens. In later years I visited the families who resided there.

Hi there, Andrew,

Fyi there's a nice big 8 x 10 original B&W of "The Falls" supposedly taken by AP on Dec 27th 1941 when HK was technically overrun by the Japanese Imperial Army. It's currently on eBay  ref #174565755544 pts @ US90 + US$14 s&h but it's original. Seller in New York. Interested?

Good luck!



Thanks, just bought the photo

Thanks, i bought the photo

Congratulations Andrew! Glad the photo found a good home!