1950s "A suburb view in Hong Kong"
When: This comes from the same set as the recent photo of the YMCA and the Peninsula Hotel in TST, and should be taken around the same time in the 1950s. There's a personal connection between the two photos, which we'll look at in the "Who:" below.
What: Over at the right of the photo, there looks to be a "San Miguel" sign on the end of the building. Possibly a pub?
In the centre is a more substantial building, the J E Joseph Hall:
Do you remember either of them?
Where: The photo was sold to tourists with the title "A suburb view in Hong Kong", but according to the 1938 report for the New Territories  the location is somewhere in Fanling:
In January H.E. the Governor opened Joseph Hall, the fine new building at Fan Ling presented to the New Territories Agricultural Association through the generosity of Mr J. E. Joseph.
Can anyone pinpoint where the hall stood on a modern map?
Who: The Hall is named after Joseph Edgar Joseph , and he's the connection with the previous photo of the YMCA and the Peninsula in TST:
If you had to associate a name with the TST photo, it would be Kadoorie. Not only are they the family behind the Peninsula, they were also one of the main donors towards the cost of building the YMCA. The Kadoorie and Joseph families share many links.
Looking back through the Jurors Lists, we can see they worked together. J E Joseph first appears in the list for 1905 , working as an assistant at Benjamin, Kelly & Potts. The "Kelly" in the company name was an alias used by the Kadoorie family, and so in that same list we find Eleazer (aka "Elly") Silas Kadoorie, working there as a broker.
The families likely first met through the Jewish community. They were certainly both prominent members of the Ohel Leah Synagogue  up on Robinson Road. The membership lists for the synagogue  show them swapping roles between member, committee and trustee over the years.
They were also both connected with the nearby Jewish Recreation Club . The first clubhouse was a gift from the Kadoorie family, opening in 1909. It was destroyed during the second world war, but the Club re-opened in a building that had been donated by J E Joseph as a house for the synagogue's Hazzan  .
The last connection is their generosity to various charities over the years. As one example, they both supported Hong Kong's farming community, and created funds that are still in operation today. The Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund  grants loans to "to individual farmers, pond fish operators and mariculturists", while the J.E. Joseph Trust Fund  grants to "farmers' co-operative societies and individual farmers".
Though they shared many similarities, one big difference is that while the Kadoorie name is still well known, few remember J E Joseph. The likely explanation is given in Joseph's obituary: it doesn't list any children to carry on his name and reputation .
- Report on the New Territories for the year 1938.
- Joseph Edgar JOSEPH [c.1880-1946]
- 1905 Jurors List
- Ohel Leah Synagogue
- Ohel Leah Membership Lists [1934 – 1940]
- Jewish Recreation Club
- The early history of the Jewish Recreation Club is given in "A History of Jews in Hong Kong, 1946"
- A hazzan or chazzan is a Jewish musician, or precentor, trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the congregation in songful prayer
- Kadoorie Agriculture Aid Loan Fund
- J.E. Joseph Trust Fund
- J E Joseph's obituary
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