St Christopher's Home, Tai Po [1935-1993] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

St Christopher's Home, Tai Po [1935-1993]

Current condition: 
Demolished
Date Place completed: 
1935-01-01
Date Place demolished: 
1993-01-01

I've guessed the location based on the location of today's Deerhill Bay development, which is on the site of the old Home. Corrections welcome.

The dates come from an article in the 21 Jan 2010 edition of the HK Standard, which begins:

The Anglican Church in Hong Kong is fighting a legal claim by the Inland Revenue Department for HK$180 million in outstanding tax on its joint development with Cheung Kong which turned a Tai Po site into a luxury residential zone.

The land is in Deer Hill Bay which, in 1935, became the Sheng Kung Hui St Christopher's Home for homeless children. It became vacant in 1993 when, because of new welfare policies, the home was moved from Tai Po to various housing estates.

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Photos that show this place

Comments

Hi David,

Thank you for your input and insight.  As a former child from the home,  I hope The Anglican Church of  Hong Kong will win this suit.  There must have been thousands of children the home had helped, and given us the chance of becoming productive members of the society.  I recently have in my possession a digital copy of 2 pictures showing the japanese occupation of the home I believe in the mid 1940s.  The anonymous donor ask not to show until she said it was ok.  I will respect her wish.  I mention this because the historic value, and the hardship the home must of have to maintain it.  I would like to ask the Inland Revenue Department not to proceed with the suit due to many wonderful things the home have done for some many children.  Thanks,  ken

 

David,

Thanks for pinpointing the home on the map. As you probably know I have posted various pictures of the site that my family donated to the home back in 1967.

It seems to me, looking at the map, that the land has the new road through it but the point where the plaque may have been was nearer what looks like a roundabout. Phil is the specialist here.

I had understood that the Anglicans lost their case over the $180 million but may be wrong. For some reason I recall it was a mesy deal and involved one of the mega developers. Phil may have more info.

Whatever happened it seems clear the Anglicans consigned the plaque commemorating my grandmother Anna Louisa Olson and the gift of land, to the bin. None of the emails I have sent to the present home have received an answer and neither has the Anglican Church replied to any query I have raised. I suppose they are embarrassed. Seems a pity that such generosity should be dismissed in a somewhat cavalier way.

Phil is the real expert and is I think doing a bit more research.

Strange that I have pictures of my great uncles' graves in Happy Valley dating from 1872 and yet nothing from 1967 when the then bishop of HK unveiled the plaque.

As the now dead News of the World used to say "All human life is here."

Sean

I have been looking into the mystery of the Olson plot recently - courtesy of some aerial snaps of the area taken in 1973 and 1974 - and my suspicions are that the plaque occupied a position on top of a hill that used to sit where the current HK & KLN KFWA SUN FONG CHUNG COLLEGE now sits.

This whole spit of land that includes Sun Fong Chung college, Po Leung Kuk Tin Ka and the Japanese Int School was originally a finger of hillside that had the Tai Po road goind around the edge of it in a big hairpin loop. Remnants of the old route exist because they have been incorporated into the design of the various private roads around the three schools (just click on the googlemap to allow roads to be seen and you'll see the entrance to the Japanese school carpark is where the old road veered to the left around the hillside).

Anyway, Sean was kind enough to send me a photo, taken at the time of dedication of the land, of a procession of boys walking up stone steps with a pathway and road behind them and I have been able to match this photo with an area on the aerial photos. Basically it looks as though the plot of Olson land was indeed atop of this finger of hillside - and was separated from the St Christopher's main site by the Tai Po Road and a rather steep hillside.

I haven't looked into when the Tai Po Road was re-routed here (perhaps someone can let me know where I might find out) but the hillside looks to have been leveled in the process and the three schools built on the newly - available flat land.

The aerial snap below shows how the road used to loop around the Olson hillside - although this is oriented so that the top of the photo is actually south (the same direction the camera was pointed).

If you can imagine a straight line that chops off the loop at the base then this is a good approximation of how the road was re-routed/straightened to remove the long and danegrous bend. The Olson plot sat on top of this jutting land and so became a victim of redevelopment when the site was leveled and made into a develop'able plot. The three schools sit nicely together in the same loop of land today and one remaining part of the land is still undeveloped and referred to as plot T77 - located where the loop starts to straighten on the upper (i.e. southern) side. Of course, the remaining T77 plot is much lower than it once was.

Tai Po Road at St Christopher' s Home

 

 

 

I am sure Phil has solved the mystery of the land. My thanks to him and all his hard work.

Still find it strange that the home has never replied to my emails when I asked what happened to the stone that marked the donation. A simple "don't know" would have been better than silence.

However, mystery of the land itself now solved.

Thanks Phil.

Sean

David,

I was searching informations on the web and I am excited to read articles from Ken, and Sean about St. Christopher orphanage.  It was great to see all of the photos of the pllace.  I don't remember very much of the home.  However, I had a wonderful experience living there. They gave me a new life. They helped me find a family which I loved.  I left the home since 9/1963 and had not return to see the old place.  It was good to read about other who lived in St. Christopher Home. Hope to connect with more people and find my roots through your website.

Thank you,

Sara

Hi Sara,

There's also a website dedicated to Hong Kong's orphanages and children's homes, http://www.fanlingbabies.com/index.html

Regards, David

Hi, David,

Thank you for your response and  update, I checked out the website. Do you by any chance know where I can find informations (records) of my deceased partent's names in HK.?  I just want to know their names and where they were from?  Whether they were native to HK , or were they from mainland China.   I have no memories of them or how I ended up at St, Christopher's Home. I was not a baby, I was a toddler. It is funny after all these years I am starting to think about my early life and want to do some research of my past.

Thanks

Sara

I'm sorry, but I haven't done that before. I suggest you try contacting St Christopher's Home to see what records they keep:

http://www.skhsch.org.hk/about_us/contact_us/lang_en

Also contact the group at http://www.fanlingbabies.com/index.html to see what help they can give, as I guess they've got members who've already made similar searches to yours.

Please let us know how it turns out, so other people reading this page in future can learn from your experiences.

Good luck,

Regards, David

Dear Sara,

I may have been at St. Christopher's Home in Tai Po during the same time that you were there.  I would be happy to share information with you.  Feel free to contact me directly at chiuoiyansch@gmail.com.

Thank you,

Chiu Oi Yan

Hi

I may have been at St Christophers in 1961. I have tried to send an email to them but it bounces back. There have not been many recent posts here but can anyone tell me how I can contact the relocated St Christophers Orphanage?

Thanks

Sharon