1948 Annual Cross Harbour Race | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1948 Annual Cross Harbour Race

1948 Annual Cross Harbour Race

62 competitors set off from the Railway Pier at the TST KCR Terminus. The winner won in a time of 26 minutes 15.4 seconds. HK Sunday Herald 24 October 1948 refers.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Saturday, October 23, 1948


Is there a list of swimmers of that year as I might have been one of those dots ? Also swimmers of the next two years?


For 1948, I am afraid the list of entries does not include your goodself.

I would suggest to look up the newspapers from the HKPL at https://mmis.hkpl.gov.hk/web/guest for succeeding years. Click old newspapers. 

The cross harbour swim marked the end of the swim season in Hong Kong and was held in October. Suggest to type in 'cross harbour race' or '1950-10' (for year). Regards.


Many thanks for your response and suggestion.

I have just heard that a swimming companion of the VRC Eric Guest (Recently deceased) who also swam in the HK cross harbour with me the same year, left Hong Kong in May, 1950 and now conclude it must have been the year 1949.

I could not find a comprehensive list of swimmers in the old newspapers, only an account of the event.Any other direction that I could follow please?


Yes, not much information from the newspapers on the names of the cross harbour race participants for 1949-1950. You could try the VRC but am not sure if they hold information from that far back.

Gordon try the SCMP for 1949-52. My sisters Joan and Cynthia Eager also swam and Cynthia was the record holder. Cynthia went on to represent HK at the 1952 Olympics.

You can be very proud of your sisters Jaon and Cynthia in their swimming efforts as I am sure many others in Hong Kong were. We were all members of the VRC and must have conversed , to mention but a few others like Heather Anderson, Sonny Monteiro and George Saunders.Dancing followed the prize giving after the regular swimming galas.They were enjoyable years.

I am viewing old Hong Kong newspapers for the elusive list of the cross harbour participants, all on line from NZ but I will get there eventually. There are many reports of swimming events where swimmers are mentioned but no comprehensive list of the harbour swimmers - yet.

Thank you for replying. Gordon R.



Forgot to mention that there is a picture of Joan and Cynthia if you unaware in the China Mail of 16.10.1950 (Monday)

Gordon did you ever trace a list of swimming participants from 1948/1949/1950 harbour race? My father was also a dot in those races, swimming for the Lai Tsun swimming club. His team-mates were Chan Chun nam (the 1948 winner), Cheung Kin man (Hong Kong's first Olympic athlete) and Wong Kum wah.

My story pre dates the 1948 Annual Cross Harbour Race by 10 to 20 years with notes from my late brother-in-law, John Rodger’s life in Hong Kong in the 1920s and 30s, where he refers to his mother Meg Rodger, wife of Jack Rodger of The Central Agency and her sister Gladys Rodger, wife of Jack’s brother George Rodger, of Hong Kong Tramways.

Both Meg and Gladys were excellent swimmers and competed in the annual cross harbour swim between Hong Kong Island and China both winning over 12 times, Meg with 9 wins and Gladys with 3.

Meg and Gladys were daughters of Joseph Marshall Ramsay of the Hong Kong Whampoa Docks.


@Msuqa, I'm sorry to say that Gordon passed away in 2018: https://gwulo.com/node/22161

Thanks for the notes about the Rodger family. We've got a page for George, but it'll be good if you can add pages for the other family members (see https://gwulo.com/node/11433) to gather more information about them.

Regards, David

Hi David, I plan to set up pages for both families soon. I am currently in the process of documenting the history of both families for the current and future generations as I find their life's journey will be most interesting for them. The families were involved in senior positions in the China Sugar Refinery, ship building and the Central Agency as well as events during the Second World War.

Regards, Peter

Thanks Peter, I'll look forward to learning more about the families.