Associations, Clubs & Societies | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Associations, Clubs & Societies

Here are a few I can think of that are interested in one or more aspects of Hong Kong's history. What others are out there?

  • Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch
    You can attend many of their talks without membership, but being a member also allows you to join their organised outings, gets you a copy of their annual journal, and lets you borrow books from their extensive collection. Recommended.
    Visit their website.
  • The Conservancy Association
    "The Conservancy Association, founded in 1968, is the non-government environmental organisation with the longest history in Hong Kong". One of their areas of interest is the preservation of Hong Kong's heritage.
    Visit their website.
  • The Hong Kong Historical Aircraft Association
    This is the group behind the "Wings over Hong Kong" book, and the project to preserve the old hangar at Tai Hom. But... though a search on the web returns many mentions of the HKHAA, I can't find their website, any official statement of what they do, or how to join. Can anyone help?
  • Hong Kong Railway Society
    "The main objective of the society is to have a group of people who enjoy railways get together and meet new friends who have similar interests. As a result, members will be able to learn about railways in general."
    Visit their website.


The Hong Kong Historical Aircraft Association (HKHAA) was founded in 1992 by a small group of dedicated aviation enthusiasts with a simple but bold idea. Their goal was to build a full-size flying replica of the Farman biplane which in 1911, made the first powered flight in Hong Kong at Shatin. The replica was built, and flown successfully on 15 November 1997 at the new Hong Kong International Airport prior to its official opening. The Farman is now suspended from the roof of the terminal as a reminder to everyone using the airport of Hong Kong’s aviation origins.

Preceding this project and then in parallel with it, the ever increasing membership undertook to gather together information and pictures on Hong Kong’s aviation history. It was quickly apparent that it was a subject hardly explored in-depth and somewhat of an enigma in many areas. From these expanding archives interesting new material surfaced, resulting in a goal of compiling as much as possible into a definitive book to commemorate the closure of Kai Tak Airport. The result was the well-received Wings over Hong Kong published in 1998. ISBN 962-217-542-2. This book was described as a “jewel” in an enthusiastic review in a US aviation magazine by R.E.G. Davis, the Air Transport Curator of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington DC, USA.

The HKHAA welcomed new members, and meetings with a formal dinner and a speaker were held monthly in a private dining room in Central District. A regular multipage newsletter was published containing historical material relating to Hong Kong and the HKHAA’s current and future activities. To include interested participants living away from Hong Kong and so encourage a wider dialogue and sharing of information on all aspects of aviation related to Hong Kong and China, an internet discussion group operated on

During its active lifetime the HKHAA organised a number of exhibitions in order to enlighten the Hong Kong public about its aviation history. A very few remaining active members continue to gather archive material for research purposes.

However, the HKHAA at the time of writing is in a state of suspension for most activities primarily due to a lack of people willing to undertake the not too onerous administration and organisational tasks of keeping in contact with members, recruitment and publicity and the organising of meetings, speakers and visits. A website creator and administrator are also needed. The majority of those who were heavily involved in the HKHAA’s management have retired overseas or left Hong Kong on new assignments or are now running their own businesses in HK with little free time available.

It had been hoped to emulate the success of the Wings over Hong Kong book by producing a new book containing new material and pictures found in the intervening years to celebrate the 100 years of aviation in Hong Kong in 2011. This is highly dependent on sponsorship and the time made available to the project by many people.




Thanks for giving us the background about the HKHAA, and an update on its current status.

If any readers are interested in contacting / helping with the association, should they leave a message on the discussion board, or is there any other contact you recommend?

Regards, David

IDJ's mention of yahoo groups reminded me I'd missed another one: "This group is about the Stanley Internment Camp in Hong Kong during World War 2." It's an interesting read if you are looking for information about Hong Kong at that time.
Visit their website.


Leaving a message on the should get a response from the Chairman of the HKHAA and he normally accepts people onto the discussion board, although he is on overseas leave at the moment.

Present members are from all over the world and not just confined to Hong Kong. There is a lot of interesting material in the back-messages relating to historical aviation in Hong Kong and also other historical subjects where the subject has drifted off-topic for a while.

New members will be welcomed in order to revive the dicussion board and hopefully the HKHAA's former activities.


I was browsing Ordinary Gwei Lo's site the other day ( and found a comment by someone called Mike McNamara about a website that is trying to link up ex-Royal Navy Staff who served at the Joint Services Transmitting Station on Stonecutters Island.

They have website:

The site mentions they have some photos on FLICKR which can be accessed if you send them an email requesting to see them. May be worth having a look although I haven't contacted him as of yet.



Phil, thanks for the link to the Stonecutter's site. That reminds me of another forces' site, for anyone that served at RAF Little Sai Wan:

They have a photo of how it looked, and several other old photographs of the area.

Today the area uses the Chinese name 'Siu Sai Wan'. Reclamation and re-development means it looks very different now.