V C Labrum, Proprietor of Ye Olde Printerie, founded in 1923

IDJ has sent the following newspaper article…

HF: I have retyped the original article to aid clarity and searches. I would welcome any information about (or images of) Ye Olde Printerie.

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped version.

Hong Kong Personalities

V C Labrum


This is the ninety-second of the exclusive series of sketches of leading Colony residents by Mr. A.S. Konya, the talented Hungarian artist.

Our Personality this week is Mr. Victor Charles Labrum, proprietor of “Ye Olde Printerie,” which was founded by him some 13 years ago, in 1923.

Ye Old Printerie Picture Book 1931

Mr Labrun was born at Shaftesbury, Dorset on June 14, 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, and received his early education at the Shaftesbury Grammar School. Having served his apprenticeship to the printing business at Warminster, he joined the great firm of Eyre and Spottiswoode, the King’s printers, leaving them in 1909 to take the post of Assistant Manager of Messrs. Kelly and Walsh’s printing works in Singapore.

In 1913 he was transferred to Hong Kong as Manager of their local printing works, remaining with them until the works were destroyed by fire on July 31, 1922. He founded the business of “Ye Olde Printerie” the following year.

War Charity Organiser

While in Singapore Mr Labrum, who was a keen Volunteer, served with the Singapore Royal Engineer Volunteers, in which he attained the rank of sergeant. He was during this time secretary of the Engineers’ Rifle Club, of which he was a prominent member, holding the “Skilled Rifle Shot” certificate of the National Rifle Association. On coming to Hong Kong je joined the local Volunteers as an artilleryman. During the early part of the war he did much good work with the late Sir (then Mr) Claud Severn, raising money for war charities by means of auction sales, where his amusing patter was instrumental in producing some record results in cash. Later, feeling impelled to follow the example of so many to serve in the army, he joined up and served, as a private in the Hampshire Regiment, in the 79th Brigade at Silistra, Bulgaria, before being finally demobilised on February 2, 1919. After a period of leave in England he then returned to Hong Kong to resume his post as Manager of Messrs. Kelly and Walsh’s printing works.

Keen Musician

Always interested in music, and possessing a turn for acting, Mr Labrum has long been a member of the Philharmonic Society of which he is now a Vice-President. He played the comedy lead in two of their productions , “Miss Hook of Holland” and “The Fountain of Youth.” He is also on the General Committee of the Hong Kong St. George’s Society, of which is a founding member.

Mr Labrum’s principal recreation is golf, and he has served both as President and Vive-President of the Kowloon Golf Club. He has recently been elected Secretary of the Kowloon Cricket Club, and has decided to take another turn at Volunteering, being one of the latest recruits to the Engineers’ Company of the H.K.V.D.C.

Ye Olde Printerie Source Sevenroads.org

Courtesy: sevenroads.org

Source: The Hong Kong Sunday Herald 10th May 1936.

This article was first posted on 27th December 2022.

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. Hong Kong Note Printing Ltd – over 320 million HK banknotes printed annually
  4. Delfino Noronha – HK Government printer and operator of the first HK Island-Kowloon ‘Ferry’
  5. Star Envelopes & Printing Co. (福星信封印刷)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *