Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1981

A bomb attack on the Hong Kong headquarters of the Shell Oil Company in Central resulted in an office messenger being injured and debris scattered across a substantial portion of the 16th floor of Shell House in Queen's Road.

Glass, wood splinters, chunks of wood and twisted metal from air-conditioning units showered the narrow lane where the main entrance to the building was located.

The force of the blast, travelling through vents and along ducts, also damaged Shell-occupied floors above and below. Hong Kong's business centre was cordoned off to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Reports that a second bomb had been planted in one of the oil company's offices, installations or depots throughout the colony led to precautionary police searches. Nothing suspicious was found.

The Shell House explosion ripped through the top floors of the building soon after a hand-delivered note demanding HK$500,000 was received by the company. The bomb attack appeared to be the first case of terrorism directed against a foreign company based in Hong Kong.

The chairman of the Urban Council, A. de O. Sales, resigned as an appointed member on the eve of the council's meeting to elect a new chairman.

He timed it to coincide with the expiry of his term as chairman and brought the curtain down on 24 years of service to the council - eight as chairman. The resignation took effect one year before his term as a member of the council ended.

The next day, Hilton Cheong-leen, the first elected member of the council to be chosen as chairman, appealed for internal unity and harmony to improve the council's work.

The new chairman was swept into office on 21 votes, compared to his closest rival who polled seven. There were two abstentions.

The plea for unity came amid allegations of rifts between elected and appointed members.

Bar history was made in the High Court with the admission of the first barrister from a Commonwealth country to practise in Hong Kong following an amendment in the Legal Practitioners' Ordinance.

The newcomer was Valerie Ann Penlington of New Zealand, wife of Mr Justice Penlington, a judge of the Supreme Court. Before the amendment, the law did not permit barristers from Commonwealth countries to practise in Hong Kong.

World leaders wished US president Ronald Reagan a speedy recovery after the attempt on his life. They were dismayed at the implications of the attack.

Heads of state and governments cabled expressions of shock and outrage to Washington.

A high-spirited Reagan was out of the intensive care unit, walking around and conducting 'business as usual' in a suite at George Washington University Hospital just two days after being shot in the chest.

His assailant, John Hinckley, 22, entered no plea and did not speak when he appeared in court charged with shooting the president and a Secret Service agent. He was expected to be charged later with shooting the president's press secretary and a Washington policeman.

The People's Daily appointed two correspondents to open a new bureau in Hong Kong. It was the first time the official Chinese newspaper had made such a move, by submitting an application to the British embassy in Beijing for the new bureau.

The two correspondents were believed to be covering events in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

A Versailles court was not amused by an unemployed actor's decision to drop his pants over a parking ticket. He lost his licence for three months and was fined 500 francs. The actor said he was drunk when he exposed his posterior to a meter maid when she gave him a parking ticket.