SCMP Staff Christmas circa 1960's.jpg

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 03:47
Date picture taken


May be from the 1960s. Robin Hutcheon (Editor), arms folded seated in the centre and John Luke seated fourth from right.

Thanks moddsey.  You seem familiar with SCMP staff.  My father served in the HKVDC and worked at SCMP pre-war to 1973.  Johnny Luke & Freddie Wong were my dad's friends and he mentioned Robin Hutcheon from time to time.  Are you connected with SCMP?

No, am not connected with the SCMP. But had a family member that was from 1969-1980. Thus, some names and faces appear familiar.

I worked at the SCMP in 1959-60 as a reporter and subeditor. I was on a four-year contract but was fired when I married without permission of the directors. Eighth from the left, front row, is T.G.N. (Terence Gordon Newlands Pearce, general manager (hired from Westminster Press in London). I have a similar pic on our wall at home except I am in that one.

Hello Phil,

My dad John Prettejohn (4th row right in the picture) was a reporter for the SCMP to 1973.  I remember having lunch at the SCMP canteen which consistently served up a delicious cheese toast and a very refreshing ginger beer.  Cheers,  Mike.


G'day Mike

I remember your dad. A nice bloke. He took me round the newsroom on my first day there and introduced me to everyone. My memory is not as good as it used to be but I have an idea that John at one stage was on the shipping round and I stood in for him for several days while he was away.

Cheers  Phil



Hi, I'm Robin's son.
In 1960, Robin was still at the China Mail, the afternoon paper. The editor at that time might have been Alec Sturrock, the man sitting two to the right of Robin (arms folded, front row wearing suede shoes). I know Alex was editor in 1969, the year he passed away and my father took over.
I can also confirm that it was company policy that single expat employees not be allowed to marry during their first contract (four years, I think). 
And yes, I recall the balcony of the SCMP building in Wyndham Street, which adjoined the staff canteen and the excellent Singapore Noodles they made there.
Robin is still around and I've asked him to try and identify others in the photo.

Hi Stephen


SCMP Christmas 1959
SCMP Christmas 1959, by Phil

Yes, Robin was China Mail editor when I was there and I worked for him  for a while. As far as I can remember, in my time, John Luke edited the SCMP and Wilf Pennell took his place when Luke was on home leave. The news editor was Alec Greaves, who I think was Bea Hutcheon's cousin. The Sunday Post-Herald editor was Stuart Gray (I think that was his surname). I also worked for him during my last few months. My wife Eve and I used to join Robin and Bea occasionally for lunch in Sydney's Chinatown when we lived there but we have unfortunately lost touch.

Mike, your mention of Freddie Wong reminded me that he and his brother  Charlie (?) used to join a few of us at a weekly poker game at 6 Bowen Rd. Freddie always went home a winner. Tony Myatt and Bruce McEwan were regulars. Freddie introduced us to exotic versions of poker such as blind baseball.



I found this in one of my old albums. I have no recollection of it being taken, but I still recognise a couple of the people. That's Alec Greaves third from right in the front row. The young bloke in glasses second from right in the back row is Peter Olaeus. That's me in the second row, third from left (a drink in hand. Typical.) Ken Botwright, a Canadian, is second from right in the third row. I think Freddie Wong is first in the top row and his brother Charlie two along from him. Would love to hear from anyone who recognises any of the others.

Some familiar faces.  Freddie Wong (my godfather) is the only one I can attach a name to.  Johnny Luke (also my godfather) is not in this picture.  My dad was quite friendly with Alec Greaves. 

Hi this is a message for Stephen Hutcheon. Wonder if you could ask your father, Robin, if he ever came across a Ronnie / Ronald Bloom ? Dad was stationed in HK in the diplomatic service with the British Foreign Office in ‘56-59 and would have had occasion to get to know local journos and newspaper editors as part of the job. 
Anyone with any knowledge or contacts please feel free to jump in. I live in HK now and am just trying to get a better picture of my dad . 


Here's a photo of Alec Greaves (making a face) and some colleagues. Recognise anyone else?

Alec Greaves and colleagues
Alec Greaves and colleagues, by shutch