Anna May Ethne MATTHEWS [1900-????]

Submitted by David on Sun, 07/01/2018 - 11:44
Anna May Ethne
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Biographical information about Anna Matthews and her family can be found in an article by Anna's son Clifford Matthews (co-editor of Dispersal and Renewal: Hong Kong University During the War Years) in the South China Morning Post of 4 May 2008. She was born c.1900 into a Eurasian family. Educated at the Diocesan School for Girls in Hong Kong. Later worked as secretary to Amercian businessman Lambert Dunbar. Dunbar and his wife Elsie helped established the International Women's Club (IWC) in the early 1930s which was based in the old Gloucester Hotel. The IWC served as a meeting place for women of all nationalities and Anna was the club's Secretary and Treasurer before the war. After the war she served as Chairperson of the IWC. She also worked part time as secretary to the Vice Chancellor of Hong Kong University Sir William Hornell. Following the round up of enemy civilians by the Japanese in January 1942 Anna and her 16 year old daughter Jacqueline were initially held at the Tai Koon Hotel before being transferred to the Stanley Camp. My mother-in-law Mavis Gock Ming who was a stenographer with the IWC was detained with them but was subsequently released and did not go to Stanley. I believe Anna, her daughter and Mavis may have been living in the Club rooms for safety reasons which why they were detained together. Mavis lived in Shanghai after the war and kept in touch with Anna who remained in Hong Kong.