Dutch roots in Hong Kong | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Dutch roots in Hong Kong

The Central and Western District Council has agreed with a proposal to sign post ‘Dutch Lane’ with a display explaining the history - it will go up later in 2011. I discovered this lane just up from Bowen Road around 2000 when I used to live in the area. Locals using the path told me they called it Hor Lan (Wan) Qeng – 荷蘭()徑.

The only highlights I have been able to find of the path as on Chinese hiking web sites. [Click here for more about Dutch Lane]

Question now is what other references we can find of the Dutch in Hong Kong. All I can come up with is Holland Street in Western and Java Road - Java is the Chinese name for the former Dutch shipping line now known as Nedlloyd.

After World War II the ‘Java China Japan Lijn’ (JCJL) merged with the ‘Buiten Lijnen’ of KPM and formed the ‘K J C P L’, trading under the name ‘Royal Interocean Lines’ (RIL) in the southern hemisphere. The Chinese name was ‘Java’ and the road where RIL built its head office after the war is now named ‘Java Road’. After more mergers the company is now known as ‘Nedlloyd’.

Any other reminders of Dutch roots in Hong Kong?



Living reminders.

Have you ever heard of Dutchman Charles Henri Maurice Bosman 何仕文?

He was Robert Ho Tung's father.  Anything with the Ho Tung name on it is part Dutch.


re Dutch HK roots

Anyone remember a Dutch hockey team - playing in the '50s at Happy Valley? My Dad was in it for several years - as kids we would go to watch their matches; and sometimes also stray over to the racing.

Also the Dutch Yacht Club - not sure where that was located, but Sint Nick (Sinterklaas)  would arrive there every year to make sure all the HK Dutch kids had behaved themselves during the past year - naughty children (little boys especially) would be taken away for punishment - I remember one year an older kid (who must have been in on the dramatics) put on a particularly convincing show, struggling with the 'Zwartepieten' (black peters) to stay out of the 'big bag' (a wicker laundry basket was used for the occasion)  naughty kids were taken away in!   It made a huge impression on me (abt age 5 then!)

Anyone with memories of this?

Michael Rogge filmed the Sint's '53 arrival 


happy trails


The Dutch team still plays hockey even up to this day. Similar to the English Football FA Cup, there is a Holland Cup competition for Hong Kong hockey Premier League sides under a knockout system with the 'Cup' being handed out to the winner by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

This is the link to the Dutch hockey team in Hong Kong. 


The Royal Building on Ice House Street housed the Nederlandsch-Indische Handelsbank for 20+ years.

We're currently transcribing the Jurors Lists from the early 1900s, and see company names like:

  • Royal Dutch & Asiatic Petm. Co.
  • Java-Japan-China Lijn
  • Netherlands Trading Society
  • Neth.-India Commercial Bank

Regards, David

A couple more suggestions, courtesy of Gweipo:

Should I drawn the attention to "Shell" where oil tanks once found at North Point? (i.e. Oil Street, Shell Street)

I don't know this lane but from the location pointed in google map, it is in Wan Chai District. That's why I wonder if C&W District Council have the authority to put up a sign in a location not under it's jurisdiction.

Another bit of Dutch history in Hong Kong: the "Dutch Block" at Stanley.

I've just uploaded some pics of the Netherlands (Dutch) Tennis Club in the 1920s. My grandfather Pieter Marks played tennis there around 1925-1928. He was employed by the Nederlandsch-Indische Handelsbank 


I note that this thread from 2011. Is it still active? I have been looking at all the photos (great :-) ) but none from Dutch people. Or rather, Dutch people's experiences. Am hoping this works for contact. Posted yesterday but no reply. 

Ah i see now how it works. Wonderful.

I have a couple of pictures of myself and my sister and brother (mother bent over helping my brother to behave) getting gifts from Sinterklaas. My siblings look a bit puzzled but me, even though i was the oldest, look absolutely thrilled. Everyone looks dressed 'to the nines'. Quite a glamorous event.

There is a Nederlandse Vereniging and a Dutch Chamber of Commerce - they may help? 

Thank you Paul. Are they in HongKong?

Nothing @ Chamber of Commerce and have tried over an hour or so to access Nederlandse Vereniging several times but server keeps dropping out. Will try again tomorrow. Also tried a few other Dutch in HongKong sites eg. the embassy. I think i'd probably have more luck accessing via the Netherlands. Somehow ;-)

Got through this a.m. Apologies from site; they have a probleem.

Michael Rogge's videos include a couple of Sinterklaas in Hong Kong. This one is from 1950:


And this one is from 1953:


He has many more films he took in Hong Kong, so you might find other scenes among them that have a Dutch flavour.

Hi Peter!

I remember those days well and although I am not Dutch - I can still sing the song!!  Love the video and I recognised a couple of kids too.



Just noticed the original thread was from 2011 - yet it appeared in my news today!!


If Gwulo would be interested I could send (22 pages)  the list of Dutch/Dutch business in Hong Kong dated 1968.

This list was issued March 1968 by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Hong Kong.  Glancing through the list many names bring back memories of my own stay in Hong Kong (1974 - 1976).

Amongst others: Bill Blaauw, Arend Kleber, Harry Nietzman, Maurits de Braauw, Steffen Elgersma - sadly not any longer with us.


Hi Theo,

Please do share the overview of Dutch and Dutch business in Hong Kong from 1968!

Doing research for my book about the Dutch community in Shanghai, ca. 1900-1950, I came across many links with Hong Kong, because of the shipping link between the cities along the China Coast and Japan as well. Many companies had representatives in the major ports, which moved from port to port. Their stories interest me and I found several family members of people who worked for Dutch companies like Holland-China Trading Company, Java-China-Japan Line (Royal Interocean Lines), Netherlands India Commercial Bank, Netherlands Harbour Works, etc.

My main character Charles Gesner van der Voort (1916-1991) lived in Hong Kong with his family after WWII, along with several of his Holland-China Trading Company colleagues from pre-war Shanghai.

Hong Kong related photos found during my research are available on Gwulo, via my profile. Also, for your convenience, I have made a folder on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/161392673@N02/albums/72157714826332737/

Kind regards,

Pieter Lommerse

Yes please, the list from 1968 will be a useful resource.

The best way to submit it to the site is as text in a new forum post (https://gwulo.com/node/add/forum/2). If that isn't possible then if you can scan the pages to JPG files and upload them (https://gwulo.com/node/2076), that works well too.

Regards, David