New Kowloon boundary stone, Jat's Incline [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

New Kowloon boundary stone, Jat's Incline [????- ]

Current condition: 
Ruin

Jat's Incline has become one of our regular walks, and I'd noticed it has a marker stone a short distance uphill from the temple. The stone is down at bottom left in this view, and the yellow-coloured rock in the distance is part of the temple.

Ordinance marker stone on Jat's Incline

 

I've stopped to take a closer look a few times, but never been able to make out the writing:

Ordinance marker stone on Jat's Incline

 

So last week I went armed with my daughter's box of chalks:

Ordinance marker stone on Jat's Incline

 

There are three lines of text. I wasn't able to make out anything clear in the top line but the middle name has DINANC clear enough to say it read ORDINANCE.

The bottom line looks like a mix of numbers and letters. You'll see I chalked the number at the right as a 6, but looking at this photo I think the loop is the top of the nine not the bottom of the six. I think I can see the letters in the middle too, so it looks like:

???????
ORDINANCE
?? 25 SE 9?

I don't remember seeing an ORDINANCE marker stone before - has anyone else seen any examples?

And any guesses about the rest of the text, or what this stone was used for? It could refer to an Ordinance - a law that was passed? Or maybe I've imagined an "I" and it should be "ORDNANCE", connected with mapping the area?

Suggestions welcome!

Photos that show this place

Comments

Hi David,

Suggest to bring along a pack of flour with a paint brush on your next visit and sprinkle them onto the words.  Flour are would probably be cleared away by ants or other insects in notime.  One of my friends learning Fung Shui told me they are using this method to 'read' old engravings on stones\graves on site visits.  Might have to bring along some latex gloves for the application as your hands would be a mess if you do it bare handed and could make a bigger mess with your camera.

T

I google'd how to read old gravestones and it turns out chalk is a bad approach and so is flour: http://www.ncgenweb.us/newhanover/cem1.html

According to that page I'll have to head up there with some tin foil instead! 

Hi David,

I did not consider the micro-organism's damage to those.  The site also mentioned the matter of shadows and light.  Maybe I will switch on the LED light of my phone next time and see if that is sufficient.  If not, there are other portable LED lighting panels (for photography) which may do the trick.  If that works it would be less troublesome then using aluminium foils.

On the other hand, I believe I have also read some photography tutorials saying using ND filters and a tripod for longer exposture may do the same trick.  

T

Hi, David.

A closer look of the stone.

????????

ORDINANCE

26 of 1937

There are letters from the side as well. 

JAT INCLINE ORDINANCE STONE side view
JAT INCLINE ORDINANCE STONE side view, by Herman Chan
JAT INCLINCE ORDINANCE STONE
JAT INCLINCE ORDINANCE STONE, by Herman Chan

 

 

Thanks Herman, that is much easier to read. Please can I ask how you made it clearer?

Then the next question is what the ordinance 26 was about. I checked the online copies at https://oelawhk.lib.hku.hk/exhibits/show/oelawhk/browse, but unfortunately the later sections of the 1937 edition that cover years 1932-37 have been lost. Does anyone know another way to look it up?

I think the stone is dated 26 SE 1937. 

I went to the site with my two sons at night. There was a lamp-post nearby. I thought the smartphone captured better shadow contrast image. In addition, Kevin and Justin used the aluminum foil to do the engraving of the writing as well.

JAT INCLINE ORDINANCE STONE
JAT INCLINE ORDINANCE STONE , by Herman

David:

The ordinance is the Interpretation Amendment Ordinance 1937. It contains miscellaneous changes to official titles and definitions (the current equivalent is the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance, or Cap. 1).

Section 2 of the 1937 ordinance defines 'New Kowloon' by reference to a map marked 'New Kowloon' dated 8 December 1937, signed by the Director of Public Works and countersigned by the Governor, and deposited in the Land Office.

Could it be that the stone is a boundary stone for New Kowloon, with a reference to the ordinance as the authority?

A copy of the ordinance can be found in the Hong Kong Government Gazette, 24 December 1937 on the HKUL Digital Initiatives >> Government Reports site. The Gazette (much more than the Historical Laws site) is the best place to go for ordinances as they were actually enacted.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Chris

Thanks Chris, that's a great help, and also good to know for future searches. (Tip for those future searches: Though the summary of entries listed at https://lib.hku.hk/hkgro/browseGa.jsp?the_year=1937 only mentions ordinance #24, Ordinances passed and assented to:- Sterling Salaries Conversion-No. 24 of 1937, the PDF for that entry shows it actually covers ordinances #24 - 28, and gives the details of each one.)

Back to the marker stone, and a boundary stone for New Kowloon is a very likely explanation. Unfortunately the map mentioned in the ordinance isn't included in the PDF file, but a bit of good luck helped out. I remembered seeing a map of New Kowloon in Empson's Mapping Hong Kong, and dug that out. It's Plate 4-6, and shows a map dated 8th Dec. 1937 that defines the extent of New Kowloon, so it's the missing map.

The map defines the northern boundary of New Kowloon as the 500 feet contour on the hills at the back of Kowloon. Now 500 feet is 152.4 metres, and looking at the location of the marker stone on the map, it is between the 150m and 160m contour lines, so I'll take that as confirmation.

I haven't read any mention of this before, so it's a good find, a Kowloon version of the Victoria City boundary stones on Hong Kong island. Maybe the local council would like to erect one of those Welcome To ... / You Are Now Leaving ... signs here, for New Kowloon!

I wonder if any more still exist? They'd likely have been erected wherever a road crossed the boundary.

Regards, David

JAT INCLINCE ORDINANCE STONE ENGRAVING FOIL
JAT INCLINCE ORDINANCE STONE ENGRAVING FOIL, by Herman
JAT INCLINCE ORDINANCE STONE ENGRAVING
JAT INCLINCE ORDINANCE STONE ENGRAVING, by Herman

Google "Plan of new kowloon"

https://images.app.goo.gl/cxSBfHQYxBF8FgFJ6

The tin foil worked well, thanks for posting that.

We walked along there again this morning, and the combination of the lower winter sun, and being a bit earlier in the morning meant the shadows were clearer than our first visit.

New Kowloon boundary stone
New Kowloon boundary stone, by Admin

 

I can see there's also a "No." at the start of the third line of text, but I'm still not sure what the top line says.