New on Gwulo: 2018, week 24 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 24

A summary of what's new and updated on Gwulo:



We're lucky to have had several interesting articles about people added to the site since the last update.

First is a memoir written by Catherine Hellevik, a Russian lady who spent several years in Hong Kong. Her memoir has many of the same ingredients we see in the life stories of other Russian men and women who arrived in Hong Kong in the 1930s-50s. First the family moved east to settle the new lands around Vladivostok, and had initial success. But then they faced a string of wars and upheavals, with the family moving to Harbin, later to Shanghai, then to Hong Kong. Catherine and her son Norman survived the Japanese occupation interned in Stanley Camp, only to have Norman die very soon after liberation due to a doctor's mistake. It would have been very easy for her to become bitter about the problems she had to face, but she ends her account:

'One does not escape one's fate, "Qui sera sera”. One had to be sensible and there was nothing to complain about. All was, and is O.K.'

Catherine Hellevik and her son Normann Hellevik

Catherine Hellevik and her son Normann Hellevik, by larspetterhellevik


Second is an extract from John Hansbury's memoir, describing his time in Hong Kong in 1946. He was a young airman with the RAF, taking one last posting before being demobbed. His account describes the tension between wanting to see more of the world, and wanting to get back to routine civilian life. It's also clear how dangerous flying was at that time - to the degree that he chose to travel back to the UK by ship rather than by air. The danger was brought home when he has to undertake a grisly task during his stay in Hong Kong, locating bodies after a plane crashed on Lantau.


Third, we have a a timeline summarising Stephen's research into the life of Alexander Findlay Smith (AFS). Stephen welcomes your corrections and/or additional information. AFS is a well known figure in Hong Kong, as he is credited with starting the Peak Tram and the Peak Hotel. Stephen is using contemporary reports to separate fact from fiction in the later accounts of AFS's achievements.


Finally, Geoff invites readers to document any "first and second hand memories from Shamshuipo of HK Volunteers POW". He's made a start, with memories of:


If you can share any memoirs, diaries, or other information about people who've lived in Hong Kong, please post them to the website, or get in touch if you need any help.


Looking for information about:


Memories of:



We've finished typing up the 1926 Juror's List, and it is now available to view online.

Please can you spare 30 minutes to help us type a page from the 1927 list? You'll create a valuable resource for everyone interested in Hong Kong's history. We've put over 40 years' lists online so far, freely available for all to view.









1970 Approaching Kaitak

1970 Approaching Kaitak, by Eternal1966


1930s Methodist Sailors and Soldiers Home

1930s Methodist Sailors and Soldiers Home, by eternal1966e


1984 Temporary Wanchai Market

1984 Temporary Wanchai Market, by eternal1966e


c.1960 cheero club hongkong.jpg

c.1960 cheero club hongkong.jpg, by Weasleywez


1927 Kai Tak Airfield

1927 Kai Tak Airfield, by Eternal1966


1910s KCR Beacon Hill Tunnel (South Portal)

1910s KCR Beacon Hill Tunnel (South Portal), by Moddsey


Beacon Hill Tunnel - South Portal

Beacon Hill Tunnel - South Portal, by scottp


Peninsula Hotel -1957?

Peninsula Hotel -1957?, by Bryan Panter


1945 Stanley Camp

1945 Stanley Camp, by Eternal1966


1948 King's Building

1948 King's Building, by Eternal1966


Happy Valley Race Course 1957

Happy Valley Race Course 1957, by Bryan Panter


Wanchai Praya c.1920s.jpg

Wanchai Praya c.1920s.jpg, by marlowe


International Football 1958

International Football 1958, by Bryan Panter


Click to see all recently added photos.