The Catholic Club | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

The Catholic Club

Have I missed information on the Catholic Club? Is there a photo of it around the 1920s? I ask because my grandfather, Charles Warren had a debenture in it when he died in 1923 and it was probably where he went to socialise. I'd be grateful for dates and an address and any other information about it.


I found this mention at :

In 1920, the Catholic Church in Hong Kong published another periodical in English. It was called the The Rock. However, it was not directly managed by the Catholic Church. Its chief editor, of The Rock, Lieutenant Colonel F. Bowen, was an active member of the British Forces and an exemplary Catholic. The publishers were the Catholic Union and the Catholic Men’s Club.

I think you're right, David, that the Catholic Club and the Catholic Men's Club are one and the same. There's a 1950s photo on Gwulo apparently taken from the Catholic Club's verandah. Unfortunately my server can't find the URL you give. I wonder where is the best place to look for the Catholic (Men's) Club's address. I'm sure someone will know!

I've fixed the URL above, so it should work now.

The post-war Catholic Club was a different organisation, as far as I can tell. In Barbara Anslow's "Life after internment", she noted that: 

The Catholic Centre, which Father Meyer had planned when in Stanley. was already up and running on an upper floor of a large building on the sea front. It had a tiny chapel, a small bookshop, a library and restaurant for snacks. He had set it up, together with a centre for servicemen on another floor, before returning to USA.

You could try the newspapers and directories to see if they have the address of the pre-war club.

Thanks David. Patricia has kindly sent me some articles on the Kowloon Catholic Club and the Catholic Union Club dated 1908, 1914 and 1923 respectively. The 1923 article on the silver jubilee of the Catholic Union Club reports: “The resumption by the Italian Mission of the Club premises at an early date was regretfully referred to and an appeal was made to the Bishop to exert his influence to prevent this proposal from being carried out. It was stated that the Members of the Club were too well-satisfied with their present premises to be willing to seek other quarters which might not be so suitable.” The article is headed “Catholic Club” and I agree with Patricia that this may very well be the institution in which my grandfather held a debenture in 1923. Unfortunately the article doesn’t mention the address of the 1923 premises of the club. I can't find anything on Gwulo about the whereabouts of the Italian Mission at, or just after this date, but it's a clue.

There was a club at the basement of St.Joseph's Mansion at No.2 Robinson Rd.  The building was completed in the early 1920s.  My father thought it was the Club Lucitano, but I think it could also be the Catholic Club.  The residential building was soon taken over by Wah Yan College, later partly St.Joan of Arc School.  Today, its the site of Bishop Lei Guest House.  The Catholic Club was at the Catholic Centre, Connaught Rd., Central.

The Rock was taken over by the Irish Jesuits Fr. Neary and Fr. Byrne in 1928 soon after they arrived.  I had the impression that they had to revitalise it as the English language Catholic megazine. There were the Chinese language Kung Kau Po and the Portuguese language Religiao e Patria.  The Jesuits had a place at No.62 Robinson Rd.  I suspect it could be the publishing house of The Rock (and their post-war China News Analysis).  The Rock became the Sunday Examinar and was published at the Catholic Centre.