Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala, baker, hotelier and founder of the first cross-harbour ferry service (later the Star Ferry Company)

Star Ferry, Golden Star, Commons Wikipedia

This article about Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala was written by Sooni Shroff-Gander and first published in the Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography, edited by May Holdsworth and Christopher Munn. The publisher, HK University Press, has kindly granted permission for it to be posted here, but retains copyright over this material from 2012. HF: Regrettably I have been unable to find any image of […]

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Yates and Thom, Blackburn, UK – Makers of the original Peak Tram engines

HF:  Yates and Thom, (formerly W and J Yates), 9 Canal Ironworks, Blackburn, UK, were makers of engines for mills, collieries and waterworks. And the original engine for the Peak Tram which was opened for public service on 28 May 1888. Construction had begun іn September 1885. Initially a static steam engine was used to power the haulage cable “built […]

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Chevalier R Pescio – Tunnelling the Peak – proposed tramway 1906-1910

Chevalier Pescio Map Article

HF:  Chavalier R Pescio was a man with vision. Especially when it came to trams and tunnels in Hong Kong. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 11 August 1909 contains this article which notes “rents in the Colony of Hongkong are abnormally so, more than in any part of the world in proportion to the accomodation offered”. Even then […]

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On the slow boat – Sai Wan Ho, Kwun Tong, Sam Ka Tsuen ferries – part one..

HF:  I  was told many years ago that Hong Kong had the most ferry routes of any city in the world. And that Sydney was second and Seattle third. If that was true back in the 1980s it may not be so in 2014. During this period I have seen several routes vanish, including Jordan Road to Central, a wonderful […]

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Far East Flying Training School Ltd, Part 2

IDJ: After the war the school was re-established catering for up to two-hundred pupils at a time. In 1952, the school was absorbed into the Wheelock Marden group of companies. One result of Typhoon Wanda in 1962 was that the school’s hangars housing its training facilities were destroyed, along with a number of its aircraft. Flying instruction then ceased to […]

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Far East Flying Training School Ltd, Part 1

IDJ: Probably ‘the first’ formal engineering training school in Hong Kong was the Far East Flying Training School Ltd established as a private venture in November 1933 at Kai Tak Airport. Pupils from Hong Kong, China, Macao and many countries in Asia attended class-room courses on aeroplane structures, engine technology, as well as the use of hand-tools and workshop machine […]

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Dragages Hong Kong – first HK projects, Kai Tak runway extension and Shek Pik reservoir

James Chan: Dragages Hong Kong, is a very familiar company name on signs at major construction projects around  Hong Kong. It’s parent company is Bouygues Construction The company was founded in Vietnam in 1902 as Société Française Industrielle D’Extreme-Orient. It undertook its first project, the dredging and maintenance of a 2,000 kilometre canal system in the Mekong Delta. In 1910 […]

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The Aircraft Maintenance Industry in Hong Kong – post WW2

c1949

IDJ: Before HAECO came into existence, three companies offered aircraft maintenance services at Kai Tak. JAMCO and PAMAS merged to become HAECO  (Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company) on 1 November 1950. CNAC disappeared from the scene in 1949 when the government in China changed hands and CNAC’s assets were then subjected to a long drawn out legal battle in the […]

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