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Southern District Officer Reports

Islands and Villages in Rural Hong Kong, 1910-60

Edited by John Strickland

Publication Year: 2010

This is a collection of administrative dispatches from the 1910s through the early 1960s which illuminate not only rural life in Hong Kong but also Hong Kong government policies during the post-World War II period. The authors of the reports include such notable figures as Eric Hamilton, Walter Schofield, S. H. Peplow, Paul Tsui, Austin Coates, and James Hayes. The volume is another important addition to the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies series, which has played a vital role in reviving and sustaining local history.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Series: Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies


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pp. v-vii


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pp. ix-xi

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book, the tenth in our series, is unique in that it is a compilation of largely unpublished material from a number of different sources. The title of the book is deliberately misleading. The south of today’s Hong Kong, in the middle of which sits Hong Kong Island, can in no way be described as remote...

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1-6

This book comprises the reports written about the rural areas of Hong Kong in the 1910–20 and 1950–60 periods by district officers responsible for the Southern Administrative District, Eric Hamilton, Walter Schofield, S. H. Peplow, Paul Tsui, Austin Coates and James Hayes.

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2 - Author Introductions

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pp. 7-32

I took over as Assistant District Officer and District Officer Southern District in 1917 and served until 1923. ADO/S and DO/S were interchangeable. It made absolutely no change in the work of the job, as from my earliest incumbency I dealt directly with the Colonial Secretary. I took over from Arthur Dyer Ball, son of the sinologue and former interpreter in the Supreme Court....

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3 - Lantao Island

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pp. 33-130

There were biggish patches of cultivation around Tung Chung and Tai O. My own view in those days was that the chief importance of Lantao Island vis-

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4 - Lamma Island

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pp. 131-158

Off the coast to the southwest of Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island was Lamma Island. There the late Fr Finn, a Jesuit historian, first discovered and dug up some prehistoric relics some years before the Second World War. Ever since then, the island began to attract visitors, not a few of them were Kwai Los....

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5 - The Lesser Islands

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pp. 159-210

Lesser in size, not in importance, for the Lesser Islands include two of the District’s largest centres of population, Cheung Chau, with a population of 18,500, and Ping Chau, the population of which varies between 3,500 and 3,800, depending on the number of workers being employed by the Great China Match Factory, which is situated there....

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6 - Sai Kung Peninsula

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pp. 211-282

Prior to the Second World War, Sai Kung was virtually inaccessible. There was one small ferry boat running only once a day, between Shaukiwan and Sai Kung market. The ferry had to take the route via Lyemun, Fat Tong Mun, crossed the open sea by Clear Water Bay, through Port Shelter to Sai Kung Market....

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7 - The Islands of Port Shelter

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pp. 283-294

An island in Port Shelter. Population 283. A Catholic village with church and school. Surname: Chan. The Village Representative here is dim-witted, but there are some energetic men available, working in Hong Kong, who give advice when needed. A village of some natural beauty, frequented by artists. 40 minutes by motor sampan from Sai Kung....

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8 - The Hang Hau (Clear Water Bay) Peninsula

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pp. 295-324

One of the quietest parts of the District was the area of the Lyemun and Hang Hau peninsulas, where the traditional ways of life were kept going, and people rarely dealt in land, or to me. Hang Hau peninsula was served by only two good lines ofcommunication: the Hang Hau ferry from Shaukiwan, connecting with a launch that ran from the east side of the Hang Hau isthmus to Saikung, and a solidly built Chinese paved road running along the ridge north and south down the peninsula...

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9 - Author Biographies

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pp. 325-338

Walter Schofield (1888–1968) was a cadet officer in the Hong Kong civil service from 1911 to 1938. After serving in various posts, including that of district officer, South, he was first police magistrate in 1931–33, and again in 1934–37, it being customary for such posts to be filled by cadets up to 1941...


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pp. 339-343

E-ISBN-13: 9789882205819
Print-ISBN-13: 9789888028382

Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies
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OCLC Number: 711004412
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Southern District Officer Reports

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Islands -- Government policy -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Local government -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Villages -- Government policy -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong (China) -- Rural conditions.
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