leaving_hk.jpg | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


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My parents, Owen and Kathie Hamilton on their leaving Hong Kong for the last time in March 1962.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, March 6, 1962


80-year link  with HK broken

When the Cathay sails out of the harbour this afternoon she will break a link with Hongkong's past by carrying away Kathie Hamilton, whose grandfather came out in the last century as a Lloyd's surveyor.

Mr O. F. Hamilton, Airport Commandant, who has worked at Kai Tak since 1938 and is now leaving on retirement from Government service, is taking his wife to England, after nearly a lifetime spent in the Far East.

She is the last of four generations to have lived continuously in the Colony.

Her grandfather, Mr John Lambert came out in the late 1880’s and his daughter, Kathleen, married Arthur Heron, a ship’s officer with the P & O Company here, in 1890.

Mr Hamilton was also a ship’s officer when he met (on board ship) the slim and vivacious Kathy, then 22 years old. They were married in 1931.

“My mother and father were married in St John’s Cathedral and I was christened there. We were married in the Cathedral also and our son Clive, was christened there. He is 13 years old and has just started public school,” Mrs Hamilton said yesterday.

Employed by the Indo-China Steamship Company, Mr Hamilton was asked to open the flying-boat base at Kai Tak as he held a Master’s Certificates. “In those days Kai Tak was 800 yards across, now it is 8,350 feet, four times the size,” he said.

“Just before the war, planes only landed at Kai Tak on cloudy days, so they would not be observed”, his wife joined in. The Hamiltons were both interned here during the war.

In a reminiscent mood, Mrs Hamilton spoke of childhood days in the Tsimshatsui area. “We lived in Chater Bungalow and our garden went from the borders surrounding St Andrew’s Church to Austin-road, right down to the bowling green. Life was so leisurely then. There was little traffic, just rickshaws and the occasional car.

“My mother died from typhoid in 1924 and my father died in 1935. I was at boarding school at Southlands in Harrow, for seven years,” she said.

Mr Hamilton, a past President of Kowloon Rotary Club from 1959 to 1960, was instrumental in founding the new Chinese-speaking Club, Kowloon West Rotary, which received its charter last year. He was President of the Rennies Mill Student Aid Project for three years.
In England he will work as personnel manager for Messrs Harley, Mullion in London; “going back to his old love a shipping concern,” remarked Mrs Hamilton.

If Kathleen married Arthur William Heron in 1890 Arthur was only fourteen years old. ??



I believe that the journalist who wrote the article must have been somewhat confused about what my mother was telling him.

The facts are that Arthur William Heron (born 21st January 1876) married Florence Osborne Lambert on 5th December 1905 (at St. John's Cathedral, Hong Kong).  My mother Kathleen Florence Heron was born on 6th October 1908.

So, my mother's mother was Florence, rather than another Kathleen, and did not marry Arthur Heron until 1905, when he was 29.

Many thanks for the clarification.