George Parks ~ Hong Kong

After the war, dad was still conducting his orchestra at the various HK & Shanghai Hotels and Jenny was singing with them but he realised that it was not the most stable of occupations to have with a wife and two children.

I found a couple of photos of him wearing what looked like a naval uniform, but I’m sure he wasn’t in the Naval Reserves.  How very odd – so many questions and no one to ask 🙁

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In 1947 he saw an ad in the SCMP (South China Morning Post) for European inspectors for HK Tramways so applied and got the job. He started work on January 15, 1948.

This photo would have been taken two months after he started work and I must say he looked very dashing in it 🙂

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Tramways

Photos of my parents at the Tramways Christmas Party in 1949 …

Since he was working from the head office in Happy Valley, my parents decided it was time to move to Hong Kong in 1950.

Balia stayed at 23 Cameron Road and we moved to a 3 bedroom flat in Happy Valley at 45 Morrison Hill Road.

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The red pins show where 45 Morrison Hill Road was and the blue pin, on the right hand photo, shows the Police Club, across the road 🙂

The map below – although older than the photos – shows all the relevant spots to give you a better idea of the area we lived in, and where my father’s office was.  Red pin is our house, blue for the PRC and green shows where dad’s office was.  Pretty close to home, eh wot?

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When he was an inspector, dad told me a story about how he was standing at a tram stop one day and a Chinese guy sitting in the first class (top) section of the tram hoiked a big oyster of phlegm from deep within his throat and it landed on dad’s head!  Eeeuuuwwwwww!!!  😛

He almost had a heart attack when he felt it splatter on his head so rushed immediately to a barber’s shop to get his hair washed 😀

Daddy still played the piano in the evening, occasionally played on HK Radio and also provided music for the models at the various fashion shows which mom organised. He also had a couple of grown up pupils that he taught, like Ira Smirnoff.

I don’t know the date of this photo but it’s of mom and dad, Victor and Sonia Cherikoff and their son, Vitaly, and daughter-in-law, Ludmila.  Whoever wrote in that card was obviously making fun of dad’s choice of his Anglicised name, judging from the parking sign!  LOL!

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He and mom had a very social life and, since there were still lots of Russian families living in HK during those years, they used to have people around to our house for dinner or would go out to their friends’ houses.

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With the worry of the communists in Korea and other tensions in the world, the government enacted a new Compulsory Service Ordinance applicable to all citizens of the UK & Colonies over the age of 18 for men and 21 for women.

Many, including Chinese British subjects, were called up and were allocated to the HK Regiment, HK Auxiliary Air Force, HK Auxiliary Police Force or the Essential Services Corps.

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[Source: League of Nations Statistical and Disarmament Documents]

Since he was now a «Hong Kong Belonger», dad was in the Police Auxiliary and I still remember the feel of the rough serge of his uniform when he used to hug me to say goodbye at nights when he was going on duty.

I also remember that a couple of times, when I was really, really naughty, daddy spanked my bottom with his Sam Browne belt – the wide belt which went around his waist and not the narrow one over his shoulder 😮

Two occasions was enough to ensure that I never misbehaved enough to deserve another smack!!!  Eeek!

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During 1951 and 1952 we had a couple of away weeks in Cheung Chau and Macau!

Don’t know if dad got a couple of weeks’ vacation every year in his job before his long leave in 1953 but I do have hazy but warm memories of those two occasions 🙂

 

LEAVES

1953

Dad’s first leave (with mom and us two kiddies) happened in 1953 — from March 29 until November 28 😮

1957

1961

1965

This was the last leave I had with my folks as I turned 18 that year!  I left HK on February 28 but mom and dad didn’t leave until the end of April.

1967

The leaves were reduced to 4 months every two years so mom and dad went to Australia for that year’s holiday.  The ship went to Port Morseby en route to Brisbane then Sydney.  Mom cut her holiday short because of the riots which took place in HK during the summer but she told dad to continue as she didn’t want him stressing at work with all the protests and stop-work things that were going on with Tramways workers during that time.

1969

Mom and dad went down to Australia again and since I was working at the Bank at the time, I only had a few weeks when I could join them. Met them in Sydney and we went to Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth by train.

1971

This was the last leave mom and dad had before dad’s retirement. They went to Europe and again, I only had a few weeks off work so met them in Italy and came back on the Asia with them.

1974 ~ January

Mom and dad left HK with Balia to settle in Perth.

 

 

 

 

Interesting article about those days

“Protect Our Borders:” Immigration and Identity in Post-War Hong Kong by Michael Houf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home » George Parks ~ Hong Kong » 1948-1953 ~ George Parks

1948-1953 ~ George Parks

Photos of daddy, together with scans of his concerts, etc, during this time in Hong Kong before our first leave
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