A century in photographs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 12:00am

As part of its centenary celebrations, the South China Morning Post is proud to announce the launch of Post Impressions, a unique, 260-page volume spanning 1903 to 2003.

Using hundreds of photographs crisply reproduced in their original black and white, Post Impressions charts Hong Kong's evolution. From typhoons that claimed thousands of victims to severe water shortages; from the Communist riots of the 1960s to the rise of the capitalist kings of the modern era; from the building of the Supreme Court in 1910 to the topping-out of Two IFC in 2003, the South China Morning Post has captured it all.

Post Impressions, priced $380, will go on sale on November 6, the newspaper's 100th anniversary. But as a thank-you to our readers we are taking orders until November 5 at a cost of only $299. Included at that price is free delivery to Hong Kong addresses after November 6.

You may place your orders by visiting our website at www.scmp.com; or look out for details in the Review section of the newspaper.

DECEMBER 25, 1953: Christmas had begun quietly enough in the squatter-housing section of Shekkipmei, where thousands of people lived in cramped quarters that doubled as factories during the day: a harsh reality

for many struggling immigrants during the 1950s and 60s.

But inside one of the huts a bucket of molten rubber was accidentally knocked onto a kero-sene stove. In seconds the wooden walls of the hut were ablaze, resulting in a firestorm that killed two people, ravaged thousands of homes and left 53,000 squatters without shelter.

It was one of the most destructive events in Hong Kong history, but ironically the fire served as a catalyst for social change. The government, stunned by the number of homeless victims, quickly began building emergency housing blocks. It was the start of Hong Kong's progressive public housing scheme, which now accommodates two million people.