Lady Southorn’s hop shovel – Hongkong Brewers & Distillers 1934 – new images
In 1965 Mary Esther Parker bought a sterling silver “hops shovel” at an antique shop in Fort Walton, Florida.
On the back is inscribed:
Hongkong Brewers & Distillers Ltd
First Lager Brew
This Hop Shovel with which she put
the first hops into the brew is presented
with grateful thanks to Lady Southorn
The front, scooping side:
Mary says, “Dej Buh Stesti” is Czech for “May God grant luck and joy” and is known as a brewery greeting.
HF: Very many thanks to Mary for contacting the group and sending photos, sketches and a video of the shovel. It adds a lovely human touch to the somewhat dry world of industrial facts and figures.
However, in early December 1935, it was announced that the brewery was going into voluntary liquidation. The following year, Ruttonjee incorporated a new firm under a similar name – the Hong Kong Brewery and Distillery – and bought the Sham Tseng brewery from the liquidators, again taking up the post of managing director.
I can find no record of the ceremony at which Lady Southorn would no doubt graciously have thrown in the first lager hops. Indeed, did this event actually take place? Or was the shovel made, inscribed, never used and somehow made its way half way round the world to Florida and into Mary’s hands thirty one years later?
Can someone take this story further?
This article was first posted on 15th May 2015.
See: Mary Esther Parker’s Hongkong Brewers & Distillers hop shovel video
Related Indhhk articles:
- Hong Kong Brewers & Distillers – the opening of the Sham Tseng Brewery
- Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers – The Sham Tseng Brewery 1930-1935
- Beer in Hong Kong – the early days up to the planned opening of its first brewery
- The Oriental Brewery- “The beer that’s brewed to suit the climate”