Dina House (1st generation) [1935-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Dina House (1st generation) [1935-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1935-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)


Barbara Sue-White's book on Hong Kong's Indian communities tells us that Dina House on Duddell Street was owned by the Shroffs, an influential Parsi family (52). It also mentions that the Schroffs and the Ruttonjees (another important Parsi family), who were strongly linked, lived together during the war years 'in (their) five-storey building on Duddell Street' (54) - this was 'a sturdy structure' in which others sheltered during the hostilities.

We know from Barbara Anslow's comments on this site that Dina House was used by the ARP during the fighting, and she mentions a second storey. Can anyone confirm or refute the idea that Dina House and the five-storey building on Duddell Street were one and the same?


HK Telegraph 18 June 1935 Page 5

Dina House was completed in 1935 and comprised 8 storeys. The first 3 floors were for offices whilst the 5 upper floors were for residents.


Thanks, Moddsey. My guess is that the five residential stories means that the two families owned this one building. Barbara Sue-White seems to have been working from oral sources at this point, and it's an easy 'mistake' to make.

Henry Ching writes:

My memory, which may be at fault, is that the Ruttonjee and Shroff families lived in the building at the very end of Duddell Street, on the right. Dina House was next door.

The building next to today's Dina House is called Ruttonjee House.

Thanks, Henry. Your comment sent me back to a sentence in Barbara Sue-White's book I'd not properly taken account of:

All the male members of the family were arrested in the raid ((in October 1942)) except Beji ((Shroff)), who happened to be next door at the family's Dina House when the arresting Japanese arrived. (p. 54)

So it looks like your memory is spot on.


Both Rutton House and Dina House was built in 1923 and were designed by Palmer and Turner. I would suppect both buildings were commissioned by the Ruttonjee family, since one is named after the family last name and another after his mother Dina.

Hi Zerlina,

Please can I ask what is the source for the year 1923 for the completion of Dina House?

In a comment above, Moddsey notes the completion of this building was reported on page 5 of The Hong Kong Telegraph, 1935-06-18. That article also says "The architect of the new building which will be eight storeys in height, is Mr. Leslie Ross, F.R.I.B.A."

Regards, David