Frederic A. SILVA (aka Jim) [1928- ]
Resided at 15 Kent Road, Kowloon Tong, from 1961-1971.
Edited extracts from Mr Silva's letters dated 7.12.2017 and 22.1.2018:
“My ancestors were in HK (from Macau) as early as 1847. I was born in 1928 on Chatham Road in Kowloon – right near Rosary Church and Austin Ave. I lived here in my early life. In the early 1900s (say 1910 or so) my mother and many of our Macanese residents of HK re-established themselves in Tsim Sha Tsui, right close to the Star Ferry service which brought Portuguese male office workers from their Kowloon homes to the HK central business areas. Before moving to Kowloon (1900 to 1920?), most of the Portuguese of HK lived in the Mid-Levels. My late mother herself was born on Shelley Street in the Mid-Levels. Our community were part of the pioneering residents of HK as they came over from Macau to get employment in HK’s many businesses (mainly foreign banks) [….] Some Portuguese families here were the d’Almeida Remedios clans; the Figueiredo family, who were auctioneers of ginseng herbs; the Sousa family, [and] the Cartia[?] family.”
"I left HK with my wife and family to migrate to the USA in 1971. I lived in Kowloon always. My last Kowloon home was 15 Kent Road in Kowloon Tong. I sold my house in 1971 and I had bought it in 1961. I was happy living there with 2 sons, wife and mother in law and 2 female servants. I bought this house at a Lammert Bros. auction. The previous owner was the estate of Butterfly Wu [a movie star] who mortgaged this home to the Bank of East Asia and she died later.”
“There were many good points in living in Kowloon Tong. It was a quiet area most of the time. Gardens were large with great ‘Flame of the Forest’ trees which bloomed in the early summer. Most homes were owned by residents. But there were downsides too. Living here would be more expensive than most other areas. There were mosquito infestations from time to time. But the biggest nuisance were the low-flying planes from the nearby Kai Tak airport which created ear-splitting noise landing and taking off all year round.”
Thank you to Mr Silva for sharing this information.