4. A Year in Hong Kong 1937.10-1938.10
The Hong Kong Office of the Ordnance Industry Department was established immediately after Fang Zhaohao arrived in Hong Kong. Kai served as the secretary, and the organization publicly was called the Mainland China Company. There were already several people engaged in delivery work in Hong Kong, so they expanded the establishment of departments. Kai arranged me to do report work in the business department. When I was in Baishuiqiao, I had a salary of 18 yuan. I didn’t spend any money because I lived in my brother’s house, so I sent a little money to my family. After arriving in Hong Kong, the salary was approved by Fang Zhaohao to be 60 yuan, which was increased by more than three times. The Exchange rate difference was not much. Except for food and other uses, accommodation did not cost money, so I bought good suits and coats with extra money in the first few months.
Remembering Nianzhou, Xuezhou fled with Uncle Hesheng, once lived in Hong Kong temporarily, and then returned to China for business. When Uncle Hesheng escaped from Maoyan, he brought Helin from the West Village and Huanfa to flee with luggage. After arriving in Hong Kong, Helin originally worked as a cook at Wu Zhongxin’s house, but he was not used to living there and wanted to go back. I once sent him on a boat to Shanghai to transfer to his hometown. Huanfa took care of a villa in Jinsheng, New Territories, and did not return home, but Huanfa has no news so far, and it is unknown whether he is still alive in Hong Kong. There was no news even after publishing a notice of the missing person in the newspaper.
In May 1938, the exact date is no longer in my memory. One day after dinner, I received a letter from uncle Jingxiang. After opening it, I was surprised to learn that my father had a stroke on April 13th(lunar calendar). The treatment was ineffective, he passed away on the same day. I couldn’t stop crying at that time, so I immediately went to brother Kai. He had gone home for dinner. I first called to inform him of urgent matters. After rushing to his house, both Kai and his wife were also in deep grief. I felt the pain of “The tree wants to remain quiet, but the wind will not stop; the son wants to serve his parents but they are no longer there”. At that time, the way for private transferring money home with Jinsheng Uncle’s help had been opened up. Gradually, more transfers could be made to ensure the life of the family, but my father suddenly passed away. Brother kai led me to the highest point of Leighton Hill in Hong Kong, and mourned and bowed to the north as a funeral for my father’s death. This is the saddest thing when we were in Hong Kong.
I had two classmates at Nanyang Middle School, one named Cai Wende and the other named Chen Qingyun, who happened to meet on the road and temporarily stayed in our dormitory on Leighton Hill Road. Brother Kai came to visit someday and talked with Chen, and learned that Chen knew Shen Dingsan. At that time, Kai and Dingsan had lost contact and their addresses were unknown. After Chen informed him, Dingsan got in touch with Kai (I didn’t know the matter, but Dingsan told me when we met in 1979). Soon after, Dingsan came to work in Hong Kong. Cai graduated from the Central Military Academy and he was in Taiwan. Chen Qingyun met in Shanghai the year before last. He went to Thailand to visit relatives and has returned to Shanghai.
Image by Emslichter from Pixabay
Zhiguo arrived in Hong Kong before us, and he was assigned to manage the Seven Sisters Warehouse. There was an old car in stock. In the evening, Chengjian and I went there to drive that car several times. I was able to drive a car from then on.
Once I went to see Mei Lanfang’s “Farewell My Concubine” at Lee Theatre near the dormitory with Zhiguo. The mother and daughter happened to sit next to us, talking and meeting each other. They lived in Yuyuan. The daughter’s name was Huang Shuying, from Daxing County, Hebei Province. her father worked in Kowloon Customs. I was 23 years old and wanted to have a girlfriend, so we went to each other later, watched movies, and went boating at Nanhua Swimming Pool. It lasted only a few months. I transferred to Singapore and Myanmar. We kept communicating, and also talked about marriage. I reported to my brother, and my sister-in-law Fang met and talked with their mother and daughter. Seemed to be a dancer because of their family situation. After I heard about it, I felt sad. Soon the Pacific War broke out. I fled and returned to China. Since then, the news had been cut off and the matter ended. This was also the only episode in my life that was sweet and bitter!
When I was in Hong Kong, I liked watching football the most. I had to go to Nanhua Stadium or Yunyuan Stadium almost every week, and must watch every game. For the basketball game initiated by the YMCA, it seemed that colleagues in the office had also organized a basketball team to participate in the game.
I recalled that kai and I went to Kowloon to visit Uncle Jinsheng once, and sat and talked for about an hour. At that time, we did not know his French wife whether she was in Beijing or back to France. Another uncle Hesheng was not there and went to the mainland. I haven’t heard of the uncle Jinsheng since then. Uncle Hesheng died in Beijing around 1960.
When my sister-in-law Fang brought my nephew Ning to Hong Kong from Shanghai, I also went to the Kowloon Wharf to greet them. At that time, it seemed to be a German mail ship. It was probably due to the current situation. There were many ships from Germany, Italy and other countries between Shanghai, Hong Kong and Western Europe.
After a year in Hong Kong, one regret was that I had never taken a cable car up the mountain.