Helena KEW (née MADAR, aka Lena) [1887-1955] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Helena KEW (née MADAR, aka Lena) [1887-1955]

Alias / nickname: 

Details from the inscription on her gravestone:

12A--/06/03- Sacred to the memory of / CHARLES HERBERT WHITELY KEW / Born in Maryborough Australia / 2nd August 1867 / Died in Hong Kong / 29th September 1934 / aged 67 years.And to his wife / HELENA KEW / Born 15th Apr. 1887 / Died 7th Dec. 1965. [NOTE COMMENTS BELOW SAY THAT '1965' IS A TRANSCRIPTION ERROR, AND THAT HELENA'S YEAR OF DEATH SHOULD BE 1955]


The date of death is incorrect.  Lena Kew happens to be my grandmother, and I was by her side when she died.  Her death was either 1955 or 1956.

We left Vancouver for HK in 1953 and I returned to Vancouver in 1958. 

Thanks for the correction. I've updated the dates above - possibly there was a 56 - 65 transcription error when the year was copied from the gravestone, or the stone wasn't clear to read.

If you can add any information or photos about her life in Hong Kong, it will be gratefully received.

The death was reported on the 8th December 1955 in the SCMP according to the Carl Smith collection. So it appears the death date was 7th December 1955


AVI, do you happen to know who the parents of Helena ('Lena') Madar were? I am researching the Madar line. Thanks for any information. 

Sorry, David, but I have no idea who Lena Kew's parents were.

As crazy as it sounds, it's only recently that I learned what her maiden name was.

Now, Charles Herbert Whiteley Kew's family goes back to the 1600s in Halifax, England then to

Australia where he was born.

If you find anything out, kindly let me know.

Thank you for getting back on this.

I am happy to share any information I find on this. To help me hopefully get to the truth, I was wondering how did you find out Helena's maiden name was 'Madar'? Was it a primary source like a baptism record of her children, a marriage certifcate or a newpaper or obituary report? Or was it a secondary source like Peter Hall's 'In the Web' etc as the latter also mentioned a 'Kathleen Madar' (as another wife of Charles Herbert Whiteley Kew) - another 'Madar' I couldn't as yet fit into the Madar family tree. 

Do you know where and when Helen married Charles Herbert Whitley Kew - even an educated guess if you don't know? My educated guess is Hong Kong circa 1905 (before birth of first child Henry Whiteley Kew in 1906). This is so I can focus on sourcing a wedding notice that might help unravel some of the above questions. 

Sorry for all the questions but any help (even in the negative) would be useful.