Hong Kong & Yaumati Ferry Ticket Stub (1995 or 1996)

Hong Kong & Yaumati Ferry Ticket Stub

This Hong Kong & Yaumati Ferry ticket stub is from the summer of either 1995 or 1996, when my dad took us to Lantau Island.

If you watch Hong Kong movies from the 80s and 90s, any that show scenes of the harbor will likely include a vessel from HYF, and maybe even one of the distinctive vehicular ones. Like the Star Ferry, HYF was one of the icons of Victoria Harbor, but unlike the Star Ferry, it served more of a functional purpose than a tourist one. When Hong Kong ceased to require its function any longer, the ferry service ended.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

HYF ferry appearing in movie Sunshine Friends, 1990
Opening scene in 1990 movie Sunshine Friends (笑星撞地球) showing an HYF vehicular ferry

Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (1982)

Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (1982)

For this Friday afternoon museum post I’m delighted to bring you this 1982 introductory booklet to the Hong Kong Museum of History.

I first visited the museum in 2007, when I went to Hong Kong by myself. In later years, I took JC there as well. It’s really a fascinating glimpse into Hong Kong’s past and gives a nice outline of Hong Kong’s story (pun somewhat intended as the permanent exhibit at the museum is called “Hong Kong Story”). Who knew that I had a booklet from there all this time?

The details are murky now, but I am 100% certain that my father gave me this booklet. He either brought it over to me here in the United States, or I saw it at his house or office and picked it up with interest, and he gave it to me. There was a boarding pass stub tucked between the back cover and last page from one of the summers when I returned to Hong Kong as a teenager, so it’s probably the latter.

Being a PhD of history, my father liked to keep these types of old things (and being the son of a history buff, I suppose I do, too). At the time he gave me the booklet, it was already over a decade old. Now, it is 35 years old, and has spent at least the past 20 years inside that blue shoulder bag that was also given to me by my father. Amazingly, both the booklet and bag still smell like him, even though he himself has been gone for over 20 years.

In my current state of mid-life crisis, I am embracing minimalism to “lighten my load”, so to speak. For most people, it’s probably normal to own a lot of stuff, and after a few decades on this Earth it’s not uncommon to have roomfuls of things collected throughout the years. When my father died and we had to go back and claim his things at the university, there was an entire storeroom of books and papers. But I wonder if he, like me, ever looked at all those things that he saved and kept in his closet and on his bookshelves. What do we hope to gain by saving all this stuff? Will we take it with us when we leave, or will everything just get shoved into a broom closet/storeroom? It doesn’t make sense to keep things we will never use or even look at, but we still do it.

So that’s probably why I’m scanning all this stuff and putting it out here. At least here, someone from the internet might stumble upon it and look at it with fascination like I did that one day in my dad’s room. Life keeps moving forward in many different directions, and one little spark of interest could change the course of someone’s life, even if that spark comes from the past. No, we shouldn’t live there, but sometimes it’s nice to pay a visit.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (PDF, 18.8 MB)

View of Hong Kong from the 1960s

View of Hong Kong in the 60s
View of Hong Kong in the 60s – half of this picture is land now

I scanned this photo from my grandma’s albums back in 2004 when I visited my grandparents for the first time after many years. I had sort of frozen them out of my life, and 2004 was when I started to warm back up to them. From that point on I would visit them regularly until 2009 when my grandpa died.

Fast forward to now, and all of a sudden it’s been 6 years. Due to some issues with my dad’s side of the family, I haven’t seen my grandmother in over 4 years. Another freeze, I suppose. I’ve kind of convinced myself that she’s lost her marbles already anyway, that it doesn’t make a difference if she doesn’t see me. She’s well into her 90s now, and chances are I’ll probably never see her again.

Life sure can be complicated sometimes… or, perhaps, maybe it’s just we stupid humans who make it complicated.

Handbook of Stocks and Shares of the Principal Public Companies of Hong Kong 1955-1957

I found this book while cleaning out my granny’s house last year. Before the internet, before discount brokers, this was one of the tools privileged people used to invest their money. All hating aside, however, this is a fascinating look into Hong Kong’s past.

First, the cover:

HKSE Handbook of Stocks and Shares - 1958
Some figures from 1955 to 1957, for investing in 1958

And the back:

HKSE Handbook of Stocks and Shares - 1958
Printed at Ice House Street by the Standard Press, Limited, which still exists today

With Chinese New Year coming up, it’s interesting to see that holidays were just as big in Hong Kong in 1959 as they are in 2015:

HKSE 1959 Holidays
Whit Monday?

Somewhat unsurprisingly, HSBC is the first company listed in the book:

HSBC Figures for 1955 to 1957
Wonder if any of the people listed are alive still…

Lastly, the index of the companies listed in this book contains many names that are still familiar today…

HKSE Principal Public Companies Index
Some familiar names to be sure

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

HE USED to steer clear of her

ODO-RO-NO Ad, 1938
ODO-RO-NO Ad – SCMP – October 18, 1938

Here’s another ad from that old newspaper that was found at my Granny’s house. This one is an ad for Odorono, an early deodorant. Smithsonian.com has a nice history of the product on its site. Just like the Brylcreem, Odorono is still sold today (though probably in a different form).

Hold on to HAIR HEALTH

Brylcreem Ad, 1938
From the SCMP – October 18, 1938

A few pages from the October 18, 1938 edition of the South China Morning Post were found in my granny’s flat. This was one of the ads on the pages. I’ve never heard of Brylcreem but apparently it is still around, and of course, Watsons is still around as well. It’s interesting to note the 5-digit telephone number. In my lifetime, I’ve used the 7-digit number and today’s 8-digit one.