The Hong Kong Printing Press – Pedro D’Alcantara Xavier (1886-1952)

New Information

HF: The Hong Kong Printing Press seems to have operated from 1888 to 1980 according to the website linked below dedicated to the company. The site appears to have been researched by descendants of family members who were involved in the company for several generations.

I would like to hear from anyone contributing to the website linked below. I have had difficulty leaving a comment indicating that I am extracting material to be used in this article.
Please contact me: Hugh Farmer indhhk{at}gmail[dot]com 

I thought the company could be introduced through this extract:-

Pedro d’Alcantara Xavier was born in Hong Kong on the 19th October 1886. He was the eldest of 5 children from Lisbelo and Estephania Xavier. Pedro left school at the age of 16 in 1902 and worked in the Booking Department at Carlowitz & Co at a commencing salary of $50 per month.

He quit and joined his father’s Printing Press in June 1904 until 1906. Whereby he again quit and joined the Kowloon Canton Railways as an Assistant Bookkeeper where he was promoted to Head Correspondence Clerk. He resigned from this position later that same year and re-joined the family owned Hong Kong Printing Press for the rest of his working life.

Hoito Wong adds: I checked my database from Directory and Chronicles and found many entries, the earliest from Directory 1895 (located in D’ Aguilar St. and later Wyndham Street, the printing industry hub of HK). So the printing press must have started the business since 1894.

Before starting his own business, National Printing Press, L. Xavier worked for the two renowned Macanese printing presses De Souza & Co. and Noronha. I think it explains many Noronha decendents in his family tree. Certainly the Macanese community back then was quite small. He briefly worked for the famous Kelly & Walsh in the 1880s too. 

I do not have P.A. Xavier tomb stone’s photo in the Happy Valley Catholic cemetery in my photo gallery. I hope I can find it in my next visit. Noronha’s can easily be found.

Xavier died on the 31st May 1952 and is buried at the St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley, HK.

Pedro D'Alcantara Xavier - The HK Printing Press

Pedro & Amelia Maria Xavier

This article was first posted on 7th July 2015.

See: The History of the Hong Kong Printing Press website

Apparently, The Authors of this website have deleted it.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Lee Yat-Ngok, the Local Printing Press Company and the Development of the Hong Kong Printing Industry
  2. The Rise and Fall of Letterpress printing in Hong Kong
  3. Kwong Wah Printing Company – traditional letterpress printing – vanishing HK trades


  • Geraldo de Jose

    Lisbelo Xavier was my Granndfather. I am Geraldo de Jose, the son of his daughter Geraldine Socorro Xavier. My email is If you have any more information about my grandfather, I would like to know. Thank you.

    • Hello Geraldo

      The only information we have about Lisbelo Xavier and this side of your family came from which I note is now however marked private by its owner and only accessible by those invited. Plus the information in the article added by Hoito Wong.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

      Hugh Farmer

    • Tony Corbett

      Hi Geraldo, I tried to email you but the emails was returned undelivered. Please could you let me have your email address.

      Tony Corbett (

  • Adrian Xavier

    Pedro Xavier is my grandfather.
    I am Adrian Maria Xavier, son of Arturo Maria Sarazolla Xavier, the youngest child of Pedro and Amelia.
    My email is
    I live in Australia with my family.

  • Manuel Jose da Rosa

    Hello Geraldo

    My name is Manuel Jose da Rosa a Macanese living in Macau for 63 years. I am collector and dealer of Macau Bank notes. I am building a collection of Macau bank notes from the years of 1920 to 1953, and will be on display by the end of this year, during the Macau Numismatic Association, annual celebration, and many of these banks were printed in Hong Kong printing press.
    I have some bank notes printed by HKprinting press, have watermarks. I have tried to read those watermarks, but due to those bank notes are too old, only some alphabet can be seen: R O N or M orW.
    I hope Geraldo can help me a little. If you still have the information about these printings, please tell me something.
    All information will be only used to be writing in my bank notes collection.
    I guess these alphabet could be related with Noronha or Hong or Kong or …..
    Whatever you have or not these information, I am happy to know the Macanese in Hong Kong had such successful business and hope a soon reply.
    Muito Obrigado.
    Manuel Rosa

  • Tony Corbett

    Pedro de Alcantara Xavier is my 1st Cousin, 2x removed. My maternal grandfather was Julio Augusto dos Santos, who was a 1st Cousin of Pedro, and before WW2 my grandfather worked for Pedro in the HK Printing Press. As a little girl my mother used to call Pedro, uncle Pedro.

    My main hobby is family history and this would include learning more about the history of the HK Printing Press. I have no idea as to the size of the company or if the company still exists.

    Through my hobby I made contact with one of Pedro’s grandsons and he sent me a copy of the newspaper clippings with Pedro’s obituary, which of course includes reference to his running the HK Printing Press.

    It was interesting to learn that the company was established by Pedro’s father, plus I did not know that the company printed bank notes.

    My email is and would be especially interested to hear from any family members so I can grow my family tree.

    I look forward to learning more about the history of the HK Printing Press in due course.

    Tony Corbett

  • Information sent to you Tony.

    Kindest regards,


  • Information sent to you Tony.

    Kindest regards,


  • Roy Eric Xavier

    Hello Friends and Family Members of Lisbello Xavier,

    My name is Roy Xavier, a researcher at the University of California Berkeley, directing “The Portuguese and Macanese Studies Project”. I am the great-grandson of Lisbello de Jesus Xavier: his youngest son Paulo de Maria Xavier was my grandfather and an early shareholder of the Hongkong Printing Press, Ltd.

    I have been in contact with Hugh Farmer in recent weeks, and recently subscribed to this site. For those who may be interested, I am currently writing a case study on Lisbello Xavier’s press and its development in Hong Kong and southern China under his eldest son, Pedro. I have already posted an introductory essay on my research site: at: Part II on Pedro Xavier’s leadership of the press will appear shortly.

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to correspond. I am also interested in obtaining any photos and digitized material on the Xavier family, Hong Kong, or Macau.

    Best regards,

  • Anthony/Tony Corbett

    Hello Roy,

    You and I are 3rd Cousins.

    I very much enjoyed reading Part 1 of the history up to the death of Lisbello (my 2nd Great Uncle) and eagerly looking forward to reading Part 2 when it comes out.

    You may have seen above that my maternal Grandfather, Julio Augusti dos Santos, worked for Pedro before the outbreak of WW2. They were first cousins. My mother talked about Pedro to me but sadly passed away almost 20 years ago.

    Regrettably I do not have any material that I can share with you other than a scan of a newspaper clipping containing Pedro’s obituary. This was sent to my by another cousin of ours Fernando in Australia.

    I am very much entrenched in researching my family history and in building my family tree, hence would very much appreciate the opportunity to correspond directly with you in the event that I have one or two questions that I might like to pose to you. I hope that will be acceptable to you.

    Kind regards

    Tony Corbett

  • Anthony/Tony Corbett

    My email address is

  • Roy Eric Xavier

    Dear Tony,

    Thanks for your response. I’m cc’ing this message to other relatives who have responded to the site or may otherwise be interested.

    I am very glad you enjoyed the article. There will be more information on Pedro coming soon. In researching, I found Pedro’s moves after his father’s death to be quite fascinating given developments in China during the period. I hope I can do the story of our family justice.

    If you wouldn’t mind, please send the copy of Pedro’s obituary. I’m interested in reading it. Also, I have been in touch with Pedro’s relatives in Queensland Australia over the last few years, and am using the information they collected for the article.


    Roy Eric Xavier, Ph.D.
    Director, Portuguese and Macanese Studies Project
    Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, ISSI
    Mobile # (U.S.) +1-310-963-6983
    Skype ID: Roy Eric Xavier

  • Roy Eric Xavier

    Dear Readers,

    Part II of the history of the Hongkong Printing Press (focusing on Pedro Xavier) is now available on-line at:

    I appreciate any comments and suggested corrections.

    Best regards,
    Roy Eric Xavier
    University of California, Berkeley

  • Anthony Corbett

    Dear Roy,

    Firstly I hope you received the scan of the obituary for Pedro Xavier that I sent sent out.

    Congratulations once ago on the release of Part II. It was a very illuminating read, full of information that would I guess have been very difficult to find anywhere else. I am really looking forward to reading Part III because it I think it will help me to understand aspects of my own family history at the time of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong and what happened to the company during the occupation. My grandparents, my mother and her brother were repatriated to Macau.

    I was particularly interested to see mention of Sir Paul Chater. i would refer you to www., where he is described as a British businessman born in India of Armenian parents. He too is a remarkable man and well worthy of study by those interested in the development and rise of Hong Kong. My wife is Armenian and this has caused me to expand my sphere of interests to include various matters Armenian and was deeply interested when the paths of my interests in matters Armenian/Hong Kong/Portuguese/Macanese/Indian (I have strong business connections with India) all came together.

    Kind regards

    Tony Corbett

  • Deborah Lockett


    I have been reading your articles as I’m the great, great grand daughter of Pedro Xavier. My grand father was Armando Xavier. We lost contact when my grand parents passed away and would love to make contact so I can learn more about the Xavier history and family.


  • Not sure if those who replied have seen it, but a new article on Pedro Xavier, Lisbello’s son and heir, was recently published on this site at:

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Roy Eric Xavier

  • Lisa Duarte

    Hello all,

    My name is Lisa. I am working on my family tree, My great grandmother was Emilia Maria Xavier, daughter of Lisbello. My grandmother, Betty, is 95 years young this month and she remembers so many stories of her aunts and uncles (and some of their kids) before leaving for Manila PI with her family and then later to the USA.

    Anyone interested in contacting me about the tree (or helping with pics, documents, etc) please contact me at The tree is private at this time, but I will add family. Any scans of items produced by the HK Printing Press would be nice to add for future generations to see.

    Roy has been a great help with the history and it all lines up with my grandmother’s stories. I am looking for info on the shooting incident that Justina was involved in. Any help there would be appreciated.

  • Alicia Zaklan

    Hi to all, I’m Alicia Zaklan, 1st cousin to Lisa Duarte, another great-great-grandchild of Lisbello via his daughter Emilia Maria Xavier. Lisa and I’s grandmother, Betty (Beatrice) just recently turned 99.

    My grandmother was one of 6 daughters, all of whom ended up in Southern California, along with their parents, Emilia and Fernando, after being rescued from the Japanese occupation of the Philippines by American soldiers in 1945. All six sisters had multiple children, and that continued in the next generation, so there are quite a few of us. We are all quite curious about our cultural roots, and most of us are eager to learn more and help piece together a history we can continue to share with successive generations.

    I realize this board hasn’t been active for quite some time, but I hope some of you see this. Though it seems like a lot of information has been transacted via individuals, I have yet to find where those individual pieces have been sewn together into a tapestry that represents are familial history that we can collectively share and continue to build upon. It would be my dream if we could work together to make that happen.

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