28 Tai Hang Road (勤屋)

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 20:50

This property, seen in a screen capture from the 1960 film, Visa to Canton, stood at 28 Tai Hang Road (now Kan Oke House).
It appears to have been demolished soon after this footage was taken - an aerial photo from 1963 shows an empty plot - before the site was redeveloped in the current Kan Oke House apartment block.

Date picture taken
1 Jun 1960


I have no other information on this building, but perhaps someone who lived in the area at the time may have some memories triggered.

I posted about this house in a FB group a while ago: 

It belonged to a merchant, Kwok Hin Wang, 郭顯宏 and was built in 1928. The name of the mansion was 勤屋 (the two words at the top of the building). 勤 means industrious/hardworking and 屋 means mansion. It was rebuilt into a 12-storey building named Kan Oke in 1966. Kan Oke is the phonetic translation of 勤屋.


I have studied the buildings along the lower part of Tai Hang Road for a while and so can recognise it right away. I wonder how Philk could identity the building as 28 Tai Hang Road if he has no prior knowledge of it...

Thanks Ashley. It's nice to know a bit more about it.

With regards to your query, I have a rather good eye for recognising surroundings and I was able to triangulate the position relative to Grandview Mansion using Google Earth. This is only one screen capture, I have another one very similar in angle to your linked image (in colour) that shows Grandview Mansion behind much more clearly.  It was then just a matter of confirming using the mapping office's online aerial photos.


Mr. Kwok was born in Nanhai, Guangdong in 1891. He came to Hong Kong in 1902 and graduated from Queen's College in 1910. He worked in several shipping companies after his graduation until he set up his own 顯發公司 with shipping as its main business in 1916. He built 勤屋 in 1928 and served as district chief of Causeway Bay during Japanese occupation. After World War II, he founded another shipping company named 中國航運.

Mr. Kwok was a philanthropist and an enthusiast of swimming and fishing. He was the honorary president of Chung Sing Benevolent Society, and Nanhai Chamber of Commerce. He also served as the chairman of 華人游泳會 as well as committee member of Hong Kong St. John Ambulance, Nethersole Hospital and Hong Kong Sea School.

He passed away on 2 October 1961 in Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital at the age of 70.


The original movie clip was a panning shot from right to left that started looking down Tai Hang Road and stopping on the house, so I have gone back and stitched the two together to give a better view of the area. Plus, tidied up the colouring (following a suggestion from another user). Enjoy.