Joan IZARD (née FRANKLIN) [1935- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Joan IZARD (née FRANKLIN) [1935- ]

c.1935-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (country): 

Thanks to Joan for these notes about her life:

I was born in Hong Kong in 1935 & stayed there until I left with my mother, brother and sister on the M/V "Neptuna" in August of 1940, bound for Australia.  (Incidentally the "Neptuna" was later sunk in Darwin.)

I returned to Hong Kong in 1947 after spending the war years in Australia, plus a couple in the UK.  Our house West Crag had been bombed and severely damaged (which you probably know as it has appeared in Gwulo), so there was nowhere for us to live in HK immediately after the war.

My father (F.P. Franklin - weighing only 7.5 stone) walked from his Argyle St internment camp to help to get the South China Morning Post going again, and was later appointed Controller of Government Printing.  Of course many of the faithful SCMP staff were there, including the illustrious Editor, Henry Ching, who had also endured severe privations during the war.  My father survived only until early 1955.

As a child, I knew very little about it - but many years later at a drinks party, I met a man named Bob Goudie (who worked for The Telephone Company).  He told me that he had been on one of the first British Naval ships to arrive in HK after WWII, and he had been delegated to drive my father around in a jeep, in order to requisition a generator (of which Father was aware) to work the printing presses (to replace, I've been told, electric cables run from Naval ships).

My late brother Douglas published (privately) a book of our father's poems, written while a POW.  One of the poems was recently reproduced in the book "Forgotten Souls", by Patricia Lim.  Our younger son, Peter is also buried in Hong Kong, in the Catholic Cemetary.

You are probably aware of the book, assembled by Alexander Skvorzov's two daughters Helene Ballerand and Luba Estes, published by scmpbooks and entitled HONG KONG PRISONER OF WAR CAMP LIFE , which contains not only sketches of camp life but also of a number of inmates - plus five of my father's poems. 

To get back to your question, I lived in Hong Kong from 1935 (barring the war years) until 1959, when I left to get married, returning in 1964 - and remaining there until 1979 - after which my husband Bill was posted to Sydney by his company.

May I take this opportunity to congratulate you and others at Gwulo, for such a wealth of interesting history about Hong Kong.

Kind regards,