Harry Kin Hong Long – New Zealand, The HK & Yaumati Ferry Company and WW2
HF: Harry Kin Hong Long divided his life between New Zealand and Hong Kong. In the latter he worked for two companies, Kung Lee Steam Ship and HK and Yaumati Ferry.
Julia Bradshaw has kindly given me permission to quote from her book Golden Prospects: Chinese on the West Coast of New Zealand. Julia is the Director of the Hokitika Museum, NZ. Her book was shown to me at the History House Museum, Greymouth. NZ.
Born and educated in New Zealand Harry got a job in in the 1920s in Hong Kong, “working for the Kung Lee Steam Ship Company as superintendent and engineer on boats taking cargo upriver from Canton. It was a dangerous job and he often had to use firearms to fend off pirates. After a year off he worked a passage back to New Zealand where he once again worked for the Blackball Coal Mine, this time as an engineer…
Early in 1932 Harry received a telegram from his friend Albert Youngsaye, [who had left Greymouth, NZ in 1915] who was secretary of the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company, asking him to come and work for the company. This was the opportunity that Harry had been waiting for and one that he was unlikely to ever get if he stayed in New Zealand.
Harry worked hard to prove himself and soon became the company’s Engineer Superintendent, a position he held until he retired to New Zealand in 1965.
During the Second World War Harry joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Force Corps (HKVDC) and in December 1941 he was busy moving ferries and boats to stop them falling into Japanese hands. On 15 December he had to scuttle many of the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company’s boats which was a hard blow. He then joined his unit in the HKVDC where he saw direct action. Several of his friends were killed and Harry himself was shot in the leg which was later amputated. Harry spent some time in the Japanese camp of Shamshuipo. After the war he worked hard to rehabilitate the ferry company’s fleet.
He returned to New Zealand pemanently in 1965 and enjoyed nearly 20 years of retirement before his death in 1984.”
HF: Julia Bradshaw put me in touch with Harry Long’s daughter, Judy Chan. Judy wrote back immediately and said she would send me information and material about Harry especially regarding his time in Hong Kong. She has……to be continued.
- Golden Prospects: Chinese on the West Coast of New Zealand, Julia Bradshaw, Shantytown, Greymouth, NZ 2009
- The Hokitika Museum, Hokitika, NZ
- History House Museum, Greymouth , NZ
This article was first posted on 22nd April 2015.
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