1949 Fight for Sight Fashion Show at the Gripps, HK Hotel

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:39

The Gripps was a restaurant in the Hongkong Hotel and it was where the Rotary Club had their "Fight for Sight" fashion show, which was organised by my mother as manageress of the Linen Chest, in the early 1950s.  The charity fashion show was put on to raise funds for a second Trachoma Clinic run by the Rotarians.

1949 Anti trachoma article
anti trachoma article.jpg, by Nona


1949 Fight for Sight article.jpg
Fight for Sight article.jpg, by Nona


The article above is of interest in that it gives a lot of names so I typed it out so it could be read easily ...

“Fight for Sight” Charity Ball Motto

“Fight for Sight” will be the motto at tonight’s Hong Kong Rotary Club Annual Charity Ball at the Hong Kong Hotel, where local Rotarians will gather in force to help support the organising of a second Trachoma Clinic.

The annual ball will be sponsored by the Governor and Lady Grantham, who will be welcomed on their arrival by Mr George Lin, Chairman; Mr D S Hill, President; Mr P F Fung, Vice-President; and Mr John W Y Yuen, Hon Secretary.

Among the official guests will be Sir Alexander and Lady Grantham, General F R G Matthews, Sir Leslie Gibson and Lady Gibson and Mr and Mrs D W MacIntosh.

Rehersals were successfully carried out yesterday under the production of Mr Mena Silas, well-known showman, credited with the four musical comedy hits in Shanghai and Bombay.  The entire music to the “floor shows” has been composed by Mr Silas, played by Sof Faller and his Orchestra.

Pupils of Carol Bateman, Miss Greta Lo (“The Doll”), Miss Kirsten Rasmussen (“The Imp”) and Miss Marie Anne Galgin (“The Sylph”) will provide some of the highlights of the evening’s entertainment with their classical dance numbers.

Latest fashions specially designed by Mrs Parks, and made locally, will be worn by “charming mannequins” in the form of Miss H Anderson, Mrs A R H Esmail, Mrs J W Harper, Mrs M Muskett, Mrs P Pike, Mrs G Parks, Mrs D Walker and Mrs M Yatskin.  Wardrobe mistress is Mrs J Ramsey. This item is presented by The Linen Chest Limited.

The main feature of the evening will be the song “Fight for Sight” which has been specially composed by Mr Silas to be the theme song of all Rotarians.

Gifts have been donated by many prominent public figures including Sir Mankam Lo, Dr Arthur W Woo, Mr J C McDouall, Dr F I Tsoung, Mr H O Odell, Mr Aw Hoe, Mr John Yuen, Mr F Fleth, Mr Victor K Bashi, Mr G B Mahbubani, Mr E de Chaffoy, Mr Kwok Chan, Mr D P K Au and Mr James T Choy. Firms which also contributed include China Emporium, Reiss Bradey, Andersen Meyer, Nan Kang, Wing On, Sincere, Federal Bottlers Inc, and The Sun Company.

The “Fight for Sight” campaign has set the target at $20,000 to maintain the clinic this year. The fund will be needed to procure medicines and to pay nurses and Clinic rentals.  Doctors, all Rotarians, serve the Clinic gratis.

Since the inception of the first Trachoma Clinic a year ago, more than 10,000 patients have been treated free of charge.


1949 Fight for Sight pencil sketch
Fight for Sight pencil sketch.jpg, by Nona

 Models for the "Fight for Sight" fashion show whom I could name ...

1. Lila Parks






7. Jenny Yatskin


I have the names of the other models but can't put a name to a face, HOWEVER, I do think that #8 is Miss H Anderson!

Miss H Anderson, Mrs A R H Esmail, Mrs J W Harper, Mrs M Muskett, Mrs P Pike, & Mrs D Walker.


The president of the Rotary Club in those days was David Smith Hill, who was also known as David Hill.  He and his wife, Naomi, were great friends of my parents, and their daughter, Deidre, was in the same year at KGV as my sister, Lindy.

A photo of my parents (right hand side) with David and Naomi Smith Hill

1951 David and Naomi Smith Hill with my parents
David and Naomi Smith Hill.jpg, by Nona


And this photo, taken on Tai Mo Shan in 1952, is one of me (little squirt at the back), Lindy and Deidre Hill (in white skirt) on my father's car!

1952 Deidre Hill, Lindy & Nona Parks
Deidre Hill.jpg, by Nona


Date picture taken