Christine CORRA [1921-2007] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Christine CORRA [1921-2007]

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Christine Corra (Genders) was my Mother.  Unfortunately she died on November 11th 2007 - Remembrance Day which we all thought was very appropriate given her wartime history.  She always said she lived far longer than she anticipated given her wartime internment in Stanley with her Mother.  Her Father Henry Corra was in Sham Shui Po.  Her Brother was evacuated to the US.

Hi Sue, Thanks for writing. I've copied your note over here to your mother's page.

Your mother was mentioned a few times in diaries written in Stanley:

Though the last two entries are records of classical concerts and just have the name "Corra". Any idea whether that was Christine or her mother playing?

Regards, David

Hi David

Sorry for the delay in replying!  The pianist mentioned would have been Poldi (Leopoldine) Corra playing.  She was a wonderful pianist, playing entirely by ear - never had a lesson in her life.  My mother, Christine Corra did not play an instrument and was tone deaf but a wonderful artist especially using the medium of pastels - hence the pastel drawing of Bob Tatz.




Thanks Sue, it's hard to know who's being referred to in the diaries, so thanks for clearing that up.

I've made a page for your grandmother at 

It's under your account so please feel free to edit it if there is anything you'd like to add.

Regards, David

Thank you David.  Actually I have a very interesting family history of the Corra family and their days in Hongkong before, during and after the war .  Communicating with Bob Tatz has made me reread it.  It is some 35 pages long - what is the best thing to do with it?  Scan it over to you?  I also have various bits and pieces (lists from Stanley and Sham Shui Po) and photos - what to do with them too?  They should be saved for posterity.  I believe in the family we have quite a lot of film footage of Hongkong (my grandparents were the Bell and Howell Agents for Asia for many years).  The film footage is in slightly random order, interspersed with other things!  Any idea where that would be best placed?  My family were connected with HK from the mid 20's to the mid 70's one way and another! 

Many thanks.  Sue Ponsford (nee Genders)

Hi Sue, sorry I missed your questions earlier. Yes please, if you can scan the family history and send it over I'll be interested to read it.

For lists & photos, a good first step is to scan / take digital photos of them too. That means you're protected if anything happens to the original paper. Once we've got digital copies we can also work out if they can be made available here on Gwulo, and which archive might be a good home for the originals.

Film footage is trickier. If you've already got digital copies, the easiest place to share them is to put them on Youtube. The Hong Kong Film Archive could be a good home for the original films:

Regards, David

I am her eldest granddaughter and would like to correct comments about her piano playing experiences. 

She was a piano student  at the Vienna Conservatory until she left Vienna and was taught by Marie Pretner- the most famous piano teacher of her time. Pretner had been the assistant of Leschetizky ( who was a teacher and virtuoso who taught Paderewski and Schnabel) and taught using his methods - where the student sat upright at the piano and made no inessential movements. The main characteristics achieved by this method were a beautiful tone from the brain rather than the hands; listening to the inward singing of a phrase ; and playing musically with agile fingers and supple wrists to bring out the beauty and spirit of a composition. Our grandmother achieved all of these things and was held up by Marie as the best student she had ever taught. So much so that Marie sent a constant stream of her students ( when on concert tours) to visit Poldi in HK after the war. 

Poldi could play anything she heard by ear and was a wonderful asset at any gathering or party where there was a piano. She played whenever she had time and the concert platform’s loss was the gain of all who heard her. We were very privileged to hear her play throughout our childhood.