Anna Joaquina Maria REED (née D'ALMADA E CASTRO, aka Belle) [1909-2000]

Submitted by angie-r on Fri, 10/15/2021 - 09:43
Anna Joaquina Maria
D'Almada e Castro
Alias / nickname
Birthplace (country)
Hong Kong
Cause of death
Natural Causes

Anna Joaquina Maria D'Almada e Castro married Wilfred "Willie" Alexander Reed on August 21, 1939 at Rosary Church, Kowloon, and had one daughter, Angela, who was born in Macau.  Willie passed away on March 20, 1971 in Hong Kong at age 65.  Belle, as she was known, passed away on March 6, 2000 in Seattle, just a month short of her 91st birthday.  Angela resides in Kirkland, Washington.

Belle's parents were Joaquim "Jock" Teles Maria D'Almada e Castro and Angelina Praxedes (dos Remedios) D'Almada e Castro who were wed on November 11, 1895 at the Catholic Cathedral. Her father Jock was Chief Clerk in the Hong Kong office of the International Banking Corporation.  Her mother Angelina came from a large family and enjoyed crocheting and reading crime magazines up to the day she died at home at 98 years of age. 

Belle was the youngest of her three siblings, Phyllis dos Remedios, Jose "Dick", and Maria "Molly" D'Almada e Castro. In her younger years, Belle lived with her family in their home at Lyemun Villas on Chatham Road.  They later moved to a flat on Granville Road. The sisters attended St. Mary's Canossian School in Kowloon.

Belle was very musical and could play the piano and accordian by ear.  She taught dancing for a few years and was adept at sewing and making dresses and fancy dress costumes for her daughter.  Belle enjoyed all the Hollywood musicals and attending concerts as well. Before they married, Belle was on the women's hockey team at Club de Recreio and Willie Reed was their coach.

In the fifties, most of the celebrities visiting or filming in Hong Kong would stay at the Peninsula Hotel.  Belle would sit in the lobby tea room and wait to catch a glimpse and get an autograph. When actor Robert Wagner arrived in Hong Kong with his parents, Belle posed as a Macau reporter in order to attend the press conference. She befriended Wagner's mother and took her shopping.  This led to an invitation for Belle and Angela to join the Wagners for tea in their suite at the Peninsula. Her daughter's autograph books were filled with many signatures that Belle obtained, including those of Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Margaret O'Brien, Michael Rennie, Steve McQueen, Orson Wells (he was at Dairy Lane on Nathan Road when she saw him!), Jimmy Stewart, Rory Calhoun, Cary Grant and Betsy Drake Grant, and William Holden and Brenda Marshall, to name a few.  Belle's favorite actress was Joan Crawford, and she sent the actress cards and gifts for years before finally getting personal responses on Joan's blue personalized stationery, a stack of which is in her daughter's possession.

Belle was a housewife for many years before she started to teach English at home to the children of Japanese neighbors. Eventually her "classroom" expanded to include the children of friends.  When actor Steve McQueen was filming The Sand Pebbles at Sai Kung, his daughter Terry attended Maryknoll Convent, while his son Chad came to Belle's class, referred to by the nuns. This new career late in life led to her teaching at Funful Kindergarden at its first location at #1 La Salle Road. The school was held in the house where Belle's close friend Carmen Botelho and her family lived in for many years. After Belle retired from teaching, she left Hong Kong to join her daughter in Seattle in April, 1993, when she was 84 years of age.


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