From No 1 on the Bund in Shanghai to a Kaolin Mine in Cha Kwo Ling, Hong Kong – the Century Old China Coast Saga of the McBains

York Lo: From No 1 on the Bund in Shanghai to Kaolin Mine in Cha Kwo Ling – the Century Old China Coast Saga of the McBains


Left: The former Kaolin mine in Cha Kwo Ling; Right: The former McBain Building at No 1 on the Bund in Shanghai (now known as Asia Building)

From 1903 to 1983, kaolin clay was mined in a quarry in Cha Kwo Ling, a village near Kwun Tong facing the harbor. The 19 acre mine was operated by Hong Kong Clays and Kaolin Company (香港磁泥有限公司 ), a firm incorporated in 1933 and owned by the McBains, a legendary Scottish/Eurasian family which controlled a vast business empire from the late 19th century to 1949 stretching from the Mentoukou coal mine near old Peking to prime commercial real estate in Shanghai to rubber and tobacco plantations and oil fields in Sumatra, parallel to the rise and fall of the British Empire in Asia.

The Empire Builder – George McBain

The century old saga of the McBains began with George McBain, who sailed from Scotland to China in the early 1870s. According to one of his descendants, Robert McBain (current CFO of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings, former banker and graduate of Princeton), his ancestor and Sir Paul Chater “were on the same boat to China, though whether from Bombay or from the time when the ship left the British Isles is not clear. In any case, the young men decided to divide the Chinese market between them. They drew straws or flipped a coin and thus Chater got off the ship at Hong Kong and McBain went to Shanghai. Both men succeeded in achieving what they set out to do – becoming wealthy in the China trade. “ [i]

However, this story might not be entirely accurate as other sources showed that George McBain did stay in Hong Kong before moving to Shanghai – one stating that he came to HK to work for a bank [ii] and from 1874 to 1878, his name was listed three times on the Common Jurors List in Hong Kong – in 1874 and 1875 as a broker on Burd’s Alley and in 1878 as a broker on Gough Street. (Chater was also listed as a broker on Caine Road in those years.)

In 1879, George McBain moved to Shanghai where he established the firm of George McBain & Co (麥邊洋行). A 1900 article which called him “the richest man in Shanghai” said he started out “so poor that he handled freight on the wharves” and he “saved his money and bought one little boat after another until he was able to establish a transportation line and go into general speculation”.


Left: Advertisement of the import business of George McBain in 1920 (Source: Propagateur de Commerce International, Volume 17, 1920)

While shipping on the Yangtze made McBain rich, it was his exploits in Southeast Asia – specifically northern Sumatra which made him super rich. His interest in Sumatra was initially in the areas of tobacco as the strong demand for cigarettes in Asia (especially China) had resulted in a need for locally sourced tobacco leaf since this was much cheaper than imported tobacco leaf from the UK and the US.

In 1890, McBain formed two companies – Shanghai Sumatra Tobacco (capital of 104,390 taels) and Shanghai Langkat Tobacco (capital of 80,000 taels) and listed them on the Shanghai stock exchange. His tobacco plantations in Darat, in the Langkat region in northern Sumatra near Medan, happened to be southeast of oilfields developed by the Royal Dutch Company and exposed McBain to the even more lucrative business of petroleum, which was booming thanks to the exploding demand for kerosene lamps.

In 1894, McBain incorporated “Maatschappij tot Mijn-Bosch en Landwouexploitatie in Langkat” (“Langkat Mines and Forest Exploitation Company” in Dutch, hereafter referred to as Langkat Company) to further exploit natural resources in Sumatra. In 1896, McBain made a killing in the stock market as news of the oil discovery in his operations in Sumatra resulted in more than doubling the share prices of his listed companies. [iii]  Oil production in McBain’s Darat field however did not commence until 1901 and soon cases of the firm’s Hatt brand of gasoline and Dragon brand of kerosene were being shipped throughout Asia, including to Hong Kong where they were represented by the branch office of Geo McBain & Co on Aberdeen Street with its own warehouse that could store 50,000 cases, about a quarter of the capacity of the Hong Kong warehouse of Standard Oil, which it also supplied some gasoline to.[iv]

As McBain’s fortune grew, so did his social standing and trappings of wealth in Shanghai. In the 1890s, he served on the board of the French Municipal Council, which governed the French concession, for six years. He also built a big three storey mansion on 10 acres of land (location of the present Citic Square and Westgate Mall) which became known as McBain Road, furnished with “one of the finest collections of china and curios” and “a garden so large that it takes 12 gardeners to keep it in order”.  And when the most prestigious office address in Old Shanghai – No 1 on the Bund – was put up for sale by the British firm of Hogg Brothers (兆豐洋行) in 1899, McBain bought it as the site of his new head office.

In 1903, McBain’s shipping business in the Yangtze became the target of acquisition which turned into a major diplomatic affair. Although McBain only owned two vessels (Sual and W Cores de Vries) with a total tonnage of 1600 at the time, small compared with China Merchants (5800 tons) or Jardine’s Indo-China or Swire’s China Navigation (5500 tons), he managed to secure the best berths in terms of locations in the British concessions in Hankow, Wuhu, Chinkiang and Kiukiang and also owned the Wayside Wharf in Shanghai which had frontage of 867 feet, 2 pontoons each 200 feet long and six godowns capable of taking 30,000 tons in cargo.[v]

These strategic properties attracted buyers such as the Hamburg America Line which offered 1 million taels in 1901 which McBain turned down. However in June 1903, the Japanese shipping giant Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK, 日本郵船會社) paid McBain 1.35 million taels to acquire his shipping business in the Yangtze. Immediately the British competitors of NYK protested against the acquisition and ultimately via the intervention of the British Foreign Office, NYK was prohibited from using the piers in Hankow that they acquired from McBain in the British settlements. [vi]

In the midst of this dispute, George McBain died suddenly in Shanghai on February 13 1904 [vii] His funeral on the 15th was well attended and the North China Daily News wrote highly of him, stating that “one whose left hand rarely knew what his right hand did in the way of charity was the late Mr George McBain. Numerous instances of his kindly thoughts for less fortunate fellow-creatures were spoken of in various places yesterday”.

The Guardians – Cecile-Marie McBain and R.S.F. McBain

George McBain left his fortune to his Eurasian wife Cecile-Marie and their nine children. Similarly to Sir Paul Chater, George McBain married relatively late in life and also to someone who was much younger. According to a syndicated article written by Frank G. Carpenter for Timely Topics entitled “A Shanghai Croesus” published in 1900 [viii], McBain first met Cecile-Marie (of Austrian-Chinese parentage according to her descendants) when she was a ten year old student at a school ran by the French mission which he was a benefactor of and she had been brought there by Catholic nuns who had found her on the streets of Ningpo.

Lord Kadoorie, who was a neighbor and family friend of the McBains provided a different version of Cecile-Marie’s origins in an interview for a book about old Shanghai, stating that she was the daughter of a sampan woman who made McBain’s “deliveries and cleaned his ship”. [ix]

Regardless of her origin, McBain was so impressed with her as a young girl that he not only paid for her expenses at the school in Shanghai but sent her to Europe for further education where she became fluent in English, French and Italian (Kadoorie said she was also fluent in German). Upon her return at the age of 18 (in around 1888), he married her at a time when interracial marriage was frowned upon, especially by his British associates. Over time, she gave birth to nine children (with aspiration for a dozen) and earned a reputation in Shanghai high society as an accomplished lady with excellent taste.

When McBain died in 1904, Cecile-Marie was not in a position to take over his businesses and none of their children were old enough to do so either. Stepping up was a business associate by the name of Richard Sadler Freeman, who not only took over the management of the businesses but married Cecile-Marie in 1906 and took on the McBain name, changing his name to R.S. F. McBain (hereafter referred to as RSF). The name “R. S. Freeman” first appeared in 1894 as a clerk for Barlow & Co in Shanghai and Hankow. [x] Barlow & Co was the Chinese branch of Thomas Barlow & Brother of Manchester and London, a leading trading firm which traded tea in India and rubber in Malaya. Freeman proved to be a capable successor over the next two decades as he not only preserved but augmented the McBain fortune.

And not only did RSF inherit George McBain’s business and family, he also inherited his social standing as he was elected to the Shanghai Municipal Council (SMC), the governing body of the International Settlements in Shanghai in March 1908. Two other trustees of the McBain estate who were closely involved in managing the family assets in conjunction with RSF were John Prentice (1847-1925), the head of Shanghai Dock and Engineering (耶松船廠, which RSF also sat on the board of) who also served as chairman of the SMC from 1901-02 and John Elmore, a senior manager of the firm.

Under RSF, Geo McBain rebuilt its fleet of vessels through acquisitions from firms such as the East Asiatic Co (it also continued to operate Kerosene Wharf in Pudong) and its operations in natural resources in Sumatra continued to grow. By 1910, Langkat was a major independent producer of oil in Asia, producing 2.5 million cases of lamp oil per year and the firm also operated its own refinery in Rantau Pandjang in Kelantan, Malaya. The recently formed Anglo Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (which merged with Shell in 1907) under Sir Henri Deterding sent Robert Waley-Cohen (who later became the head of the firm) to Shanghai and after complex negotiations with RSF successfully acquired the Darat oilfield from the Langkat Company.

The same year, the bursting of the rubber stock bubble in Shanghai crippled the financial system and some even attributed this to the downfall of the Manchu regime the next year. Many articles in Chinese publications falsely attributed the crisis to George McBain and the Langkat Company which could not be more wrong since George McBain had already passed away six years earlier and his companies did not go into rubber until after the crisis. That being said, Langkat was one of the most heavily speculated stocks during this period, rising from 400 taels in 1908 to 1600 taels per share at the height of the market in 1910 and falling back down to 800 taels in 1911.[xi]

RSF was also named in two high profile lawsuits relating to stock manipulation – one in 1910 by RN Macleod and WAC Platt for insider trading and withholding of material information and another in 1912 by Miza Mohamet Tackey for damages of 55000 taels.[xii] RSF was also a business partner with two major players in rubber stocks – Albert William Burkill of AR Burkill & Sons (祥茂洋行) and Arthur Jones Welch (father of the famous English writer and painter Denton Welch) of J.A. Wattie & Co (匯通洋行) and in 1911, both Shanghai Sumatra and Langkat entered the rubber business. [xiii]


The McBain residence in 1922, soon to be converted into the Majestic Hotel. Source: HSH website 

In 1916, the 7 storey tall McBain Building (麥邊大樓) was completed at the No 1 on the Bund site with Moorhead & Halse (馬海洋行) as architect and Yu Chang Tai (裕昌泰營造廠) as contractor.  The next year, Shell’s Asiatic Petroleum rented out every floor of the building except for second and third and the building became known as the Asiatic Petroleum Building (亞細亞大樓). Other tenants in the early years include the shipping firm of Moller & Co, the Shanghai branch of the Philippine National Bank and stockbroker Harry Ollerdessen. [xiv]

In 1918, RSF, Burkill and Welch registered two companies in Hong Kong – Shanghai Exploration and Development (上海興利墾殖公司) which was formed to manage the coal mine in Mentoukou (門頭溝) near Peking that he acquired in 1915 and Shanghai Loan & Investment (上海銀公司). The same year, RSF, Burkill, Welch, Elmore and Prentice’s names could also be found in the list of initial share subscribers in the articles of association for Wheelock & Co. [xv]

According to the probate records at the British Supreme Court for China at Shanghai, Cecile-Marie died in 1924 at the age of 54. [xvi] It is unclear when exactly R.S.F. passed on – his name last appeared in the Comacrib directory in 1925 but by the 1920s, many of the McBain children had returned to Shanghai and taken over the family businesses. In 1924, HK & Shanghai Hotels acquired the McBain family residence at the junction of Bubbling Well Road and Gordon Road from the family and with the help of the Spanish architect Abelardo Lafuente converted it to the 300 room Majestic Hotel (大華飯店), which quickly overtook the Astor House Hotel and Palace Hotel as the grandest hotel in town with the largest ballroom in Shanghai when it opened in 1925. Although the hotel was the venue of the highly publicized Chinese wedding ceremony for Chiang Kai-shek and Soong May-ling in 1927 and the annual Russian Ball, it did not generate enough business to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Depression and was demolished in 1931.[xvii]

The Heirs and Heiresses – the Nine McBain Children


William McBain as a WWI soldier (Source: Tripod)

George and Cecile-Marie McBain had 9 children which included five sons (in order of age) – George, William, Cecil, Neville and Edward and four daughters (not in any order) – Vera, Daisy, Maisie and Cecile. Despite the large number Cecile-Marie often took them places as a group when they were young, whether it was locally in Shanghai in a small omnibus or to Europe in an ocean liner as shown in passenger records in Japan.

Four of the five sons went to Cambridge – George and William both graduated in 1910, Neville in 1913 and Edward in 1919. George Brown Sievwright McBain (1890-1918) as the eldest and his father’s namesake was the original heir to lead the McBain enterprises but sadly he was killed during World War I in 1918 while serving in the 27th Squadron of the Royal Air Force [xviii]. His Swedish widow Elva Alysh Linghard (1892-1973) did not return to Shanghai and raised their son George Basil McBain (1917-1944) in Europe.  George Basil attended private schools in Switzerland and during WWII worked as a Special Operations Executive agent until he was caught by the Germans and executed in France in 1944. [xix]


William McBain in his Delage racing car at a Brooklands race in 1912 (Source: The Auto, 1912)

Born in 1891, William Robert Brown McBain (aka “W.R. McBain” or Willie) was educated at the St Francis Xavier College in Shanghai before going to Cambridge and shared with his older brother a passion for auto racing. Together, they raced a blue Delage racing car that was registered under RSF’s name at the Brooklands racetrack in Surrey in 1912-13 and took home trophies. [xx] William served with distinction in WWI where he commanded the 150th Squadron of the Royal Field Artillery and served as a pilot with the Royal Air Force during which he shot down 13 German planes in France.

In 1918, he was demobilized with the rank of Major and decorated with medals from the British, French and Greek governments and in July 1918, he married Vera Winifred Kathleen Davis, the only daughter of the late Major JWH Davis at St Peter’s Church in Eaton Square, London with his RAF colleague and racing buddy, the 5th Viscount Exmouth serving as the best man.  [xxi]

Shortly afterwards, he returned to Shanghai with his new bride and joined the family business, George McBain & Co, as a partner.  Gradually he took over from RSF and became the chairman of the 4 main family companies – Langkat, Shanghai Loan & Investment, Shanghai Exploration and Shanghai Sumatra Rubber Estates.

In addition, his biography in 1933 shows that he was involved in a dozen other companies controlled by his family friends as a director – Yangtze Finance (formed in 1930 by the Sassoons and the Arnholds), Commercial Finance (formed in 1931 but renamed Commercial Investment in 1934), Huangpoo Investment, Cathay Hotels (formed in 1928 by the Sassoons to operate Cathay Hotel, now North Building of the Peace Hotel), China General Omnibus (formed in 1923 by H.E. Arnhold to provide bus services in Shanghai and surrounding areas), China Deep Well Drilling, Auto Palace (acquired by the Sassoons in 1928, dealer of Austin and Chevrolet automobiles), Anglo-Java Estates (related to the Wattie Group), Tanah Merah Estates (formed in 1916 by AW Burkill), Ziangbe Rubber and Gande Price (wine merchant).

In 1926, William was elected to the SMC board – an appointment that signified the 35 year old had assumed his father and stepfather’s place in the old Shanghai hierarchy. [xxii]

For all his business and civic titles, William McBain was probably better known in old Shanghai for two organizations he formed that were connected with his personal interests in aviation and racing. The first group was the Aero Club of Shanghai of which he was the founding vice president in 1920 (the founding chairman was Tong Shao-yi, the first premier of the Republic). The same year, he ordered Shanghai’s first privately owned airplane, a large Armstrong-Whitworth, two-seater and also built his own private landing field at Hongqiao with a hanger to house the plane. [xxiii]

The second organization McBain started was Greyhound Association of China (GCA), the group behind Luna Park (明園跑狗場), the first greyhound track in China.  William and his wife Vera were both active members of the Shanghai Race Club and Vera co-owned the “We-Two” horse stable with Billie Coutts Liddell, wife of the last SMC chairman Jack Liddell (who was later a major horse owner in post-War HK). Vera was also a dog lover who served as a judge of the second annual Shanghai Dog Show in 1924 and combining their love of dogs and racing, they incorporated GCA in September 1927 with capital of $250,000 to develop Luna Park in the eastern edge of the International Settlement with an illustrious board that included SMC chairman HE Arnold, the assistant commissioner of Shanghai Municipal Police Maurice Osborn Springfield, the prominent stockbroker Ellis Hayim, lawyer M. Reader Harris and NL Sparke, general manager of Shanghai Land.

The venture was an instant success when it opened in May 1928 and soon as many as 70,000 people were turning up on a typical Saturday. Two competitors started by the French and the British – Canidrome (逸園) and Stadium (申園)- opened shortly afterwards in the same year and the Shanghainese population was betting on dog races six nights a week. The annual report of GCA in 1930 showed profits of $322,000 but its success also led to social issues related to gambling and under pressure from the KMT regime, the SMC ordered Luna Park and Stadium to close by the end of March 1931 while the Canidrome which operated out of the French concession prospered as a result since they became the only game in town.[xxiv]


Left: Promotional fan of the Luna Park greyhound racetrack organized by WR McBain; Right: A double-decker bus operated by China General Omnibus in old Shanghai, which WR McBain was a director of.

The third McBain brother – Cecil Russich O. McBain ran the import department of Geo McBain, which was later re-organized as McBain Imports Co Ltd in 1932. It had a warehouse on Kiangse Road in Shanghai and in addition to oil, rubber and tobacco from Sumatra, it also imported all kinds of consumer goods ranging from Cadbury’s Bournville cocoa, Sharp’s Super Kreem Toffee, cognac wine to Goodwin’s toilet soaps.

The fourth McBain brother Neville Sievwright McBain (1895-1952) lived in Peking after he returned where he managed the Mentoukou Coal Mine. The mine was on paper an Anglo-Chinese joint venture between a Chinese merchant by the name of Chou Feng-chang (周奉璋, who some Chinese sources claimed was formerly a chef for the McBains) and Shanghai Exploration to meet a regulatory requirement but in reality was controlled by the McBains.

In 1925, the mine reported a loss as its operations was affected by flood and civil war and was forced to shut down for 5 months. [xxv] However, by 1934 it was producing 438,000 tons of coal, which represented 39 percent of coal production in the area and making it the largest in Peking and one of the largest coal mines in China with 2000 coal workers.

The McBains were doing so well that when the Chinese coal industry was in trouble in 1935, they had the means to provide relief to the whole industry via a 10 million yuan loan to the Ministry of Industry in Nanking. The Minister of Industry signing the agreement was Chen Kung-po (陳公博, later the last head of the Japanese puppet regime in Nanking) and responsible for appropriation to the various mines was a committee chaired by CT Wang, the famous diplomat and chairman of the Liu Ho Kou Mines.[xxvi]

Three weeks after the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937, the Japanese occupied the Mentoukou mine and in August 1941, William McBain signed over the ownership of the mine to the Japanese.

The McBain daughters were relatively low key compared to their brothers. Maisie Sievwright McBain was engaged to marry Philip Lowry Gaussen of Shanghai Nanking Railway in 1914 but he died the same year at the age of 26; Cecile Marguerite “Daisy” McBain (1902-1989 London) was married in 1927 to Hugh “Buffy” Maitland (1903-1961 in Hong Kong), a prominent jockey who had ridden for Vera McBain’s We-Two stable and Lambert Dunbar’s Bay stable and the son of Anthony Maitland, Chief Accountant of HSBC. [xxvii] 

War and Revolution

After the Pacific War broke out in December 1941, all British subjects in Japanese occupied China were thrown into concentration camps and the records show, the McBain family members who were interned included Cecil, Edward, Neville and his son George. [xxviii]

After the War, the Executive Yuan ordered the ownership of the Mentoukou Mine to be restored to the McBains but certain Chinese parties protested accusing the McBains of collaborating with the Japanese and also suggesting that Mentoukou Mine as one of the largest in North China should remain in Chinese hands. [xxix]


Left: The Kadoorie brothers – Lawrence (first from the right) and Horace (first from the left) – with members of the McBain family (Vera, Daisy, Teddy and Dick) on vacation in Japan in 1916. Source: Shanghai Daily, Right: 1949 Shanghai Exploration & Development stock certificate signed by N.S. McBain (on the left)

After the Communists came to power in China in 1949, William decided to stay in Shanghai while the youngest brother Edward Basil McBain (“E.B. McBain” or Teddy) moved to Hong Kong. In post War Hong Kong, Geo McBain operated out of the South China Morning Post Building in Central and the primary operations were HK Clay & Kaolin Co (incorporated in 1933) and HK Quarries Ltd (incorporated in 1949 and dissolved in 1962).

According to a description in a 1956 report, the products of HK Clay & Kaolin “is used in making ceramics locally and there is a flourishing export trade to Japan for the manufacture of high-grade porcelain ware, dinner sets and high voltage insulators. More recently there has been a big demand for this clay for fire bricks and fire clay.” [xxx]

According to the 1977 Minerals Yearbook, the firm also produced 3378 tons of feldspar that year from its Cha Kwo Ling mine.

Not only was Edward hands on with the kaolin mine, he was active in the affairs of the neighborhood community. In 1959 he was elected chairman of the Cha Kwo Ling Kaifong Welfare Association, the first and only non-Chinese individual to hold this position in similar groups in Hong Kong.  In addition to HK Clay & Kaolin (which was later sold to Jardines then to Wu Won-hoi and to Ko Ming-fan, see article), he also served on the board of Amalgamated Rubber Estates, (incorporated 1953, dissolved 1999), a listed company on the HK Stock Exchange in the 1960s alongside Horace Kadoorie, Jack Liddell and D.W. Skinner (chairman of AR Burkill & Sons which was the manager of the firm Amalgamated Rubber Estates), longtime business partners and family friends from old Shanghai.

Mcbain (2)

Ad for HK Quarries and HK Clays & Kaolin Co Ltd, both managed by the McBains in the 1950s (HKBCA yearbook) 

Meanwhile back in Shanghai, the McBain properties were confiscated and William went into retirement but for some reason chose not to leave China. On October 23, 1969 in the midst of the Cultural Revolution, the 78 year old William who had a heart condition, was arrested by the authorities in Shanghai alongside Constance Martin, a 72 year old woman who had worked for HSBC for many years.  In an effort to save his older brother, Edward made a special flight to London where he met with Chinese diplomats at the Chinese Embassy and the British Foreign Office. After pressure from the British government, William was finally released in February 1970 and was wheeled across the Lo Wu border into Hong Kong on a baggage trolley, a rather dramatic exit for someone who was once a leading business and social figure in old Shanghai. He was subsequently admitted to a hospital where his condition was described as fair. [xxxi]

This article was first posted on 12th December 2016.


[i] “Shanghai: Crucible” – Betty Wei p 107-109
[ii] The Old Shanghai A-Z, by Paul French, 2010. HKU Press
[iii] Thomas, William Arthur, Western Capitalism in China: A History of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Ashgate, 2001
[iv] “The Petroleum Trade in the Far East”, The Petroleum Review, Dec 7, 1904, p 451; History of the Royal Dutch, Volume III, 1958, Americans in Sumatra, James Gould, 2012
[v] Twentieth century impressions of Hongkong, Shanghai, and other treaty ports of China: their history, people, commerce, industries, and resources, Volume 1, 1908; Lloyd’s Register of Shipping
[vi] Wray, William, “Mitsubishi and the N.Y.K., 1870-1914: Business Strategy in the Japanese Shipping Industry”, Harvard Asia Center, 1984; Treaty Ports in Modern China: Law, Land and Power, Routledge 2016.
[vii] The Straits Times, 17 February 1904, Page 4
[viii] Timely Topics, Volume 5, edited by Henry Romaine Pattengill, 1900
[ix] Sergeant, Harriet, Shanghai: collision point of cultures, 1918-1939, Crown, 1990
[x] The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Netherlands India, Borneo, the Philippines; Hongkong Daily Press Office, 1894
[xii] The Straits Times, 28 May 1909, Page 7
[xiii] North China Herald Dec 7 1912
[xiv] China Who’s Who 1922 compiled by Carroll Lunt. Kelly & Walsh
[xvii] Shanghai’s Dancing World: Cabaret Culture and Urban Politics, 1919-1954, CUHK Press, 2001
[xxi] Aeroplane, Volume 15, 1918
[xxii] 1933 Men of Shanghai and North China: A Standard Biographical Reference Work (Shanghai: The Oriental Press, 1933). Edited by George Nellist; Universal Dictionary of Foreign Business in Modern China, Szechuan People’s Publishing House, 1995
[xxiii] The Far Eastern Review, Feb 1920; The Oriental Motor, 1920
[xxiv] Wakeman Jr, Frederick, Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937, University of California Press, 1995; Creating Chinese Modernity: Knowledge and Everyday Life, 1900-1940 by Peter Zarrow, 2006
[xxv] Chinese Economic Bulletin, Issues 202-253, 1925
[xxvi] The China Monthly Review, 1935
[xxviii] Captives of Empire: The Japanese Internment of Allied Civilians in China, 1941-1945 by Greg Leck, Shandy Press, 2006
[xxix] Kung Sheung Daily News, 1947-4-2
[xxx] Stericker, John and Veronica, “Hong Kong in Picture and Story”, Tai Wah Press & Company, 1956

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Quarry Maps then and now – Jordan Valley, Anderson Road, Diamond Hill, Kwai Chung and Cha Kwo Ling
  2. Four Hills Elementary School, Cha Kwo Ling – Four Kowloon quarries?
  3. Asiatic Petroleum Company – Shanghai building – the McBain building
  4. Asiatic Petroleum Company – contemporary photographs of its Shanghai building


  • York Lo

    Additional info about Cecile Marie McBain:
    She was married on Dec 22, 1887 at the St Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore to George McBain (North China Herald, Jan 20, 1888) and her full name was listed as Cecile-Marie May Russich
    She died in Weihaiwai at the age of 55 on August 16, 1924 according to North China Herald (Aug 23, 1924)

  • York Lo

    William McBain died of a stroke in April 1971 in Hong Kong at the age of 81 (Washington Post, April 24, 1971)

  • Tim Maitland

    My grandmother Cecile Marguerite McBain was known as Daisy.
    Vera McBain remained unmarried and by the early 1970s was living in Berkshire where she remained until her death. The We-Two stable was with her friend Billie Liddell. Some details are available here:

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