Betty STEEL [1910-c.1997] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Betty STEEL [1910-c.1997]

Birthplace (town, state): 
Wei Hai Wei
Birthplace (country): 
c.1997-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

My grandmother was moved to Hong Kong from Wei Hai Wei when she was five, due to her father being appointed to the victualling Store Office in Kowloon. Sadly her father died in 1917, and is now burried in Happy Valley cemetery. With her mother and sister Audrey they continued to live in Hong Kong in a number of places: Kowloon, North Point and Happy Valley being the main ones.

Once my grandmother was 18/19 she managed to get a job as a secretary for the Governors of Hong Kong, Clementi and Peel, and Southorn (administator) in the interim. In her diary, she narrates her commute: bus to the Star Ferry, rickshaw to Battery Path, chair to Peak Tram, tram to the Peak, then the Governor's chair to the Mountain Lodge. This was only for a brief period when staying at the Knutsofrd Hotel before taking leave in 1933 to visit the UK for the first ever time.

Her diary is largely descriptions of every day life and how she spent her time. She was an assiduous diary writer all her life, and although the diary attached to this was compiled at a later date, I think the details will be quite accurate.

My grandfather was a British diplomat in the Asia Pacific region. They were married in Hong Kong and returned a number of times over the years.