Slice of Life
From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1975
Kowloon police were left to search for a gang of cheeky burglars who told them in a message left at the scene that they should face a firing squad. The burglary occurred at the San Fung China Product Emporium in Fung Tak Street, Tsz Wan Shan. The burglars took HK$1,950 from a safe in the manager's office, HK$500 worth of clothing and herbs valued at more than HK$10,000.
Before leaving the emporium, the burglars wrote two messages for the police. The second message read: 'Detectives of Kowloon Headquarters are too exhausted. Good morning to you all.' They also pasted a photograph of the manager's daughter on the wall, circled her head with chalk and wrote 'a very beautiful lady'.
A former Lord Chancellor disclosed that ministers in the previous Conservative cabinet had made an unwritten death pact in case one of them was kidnapped by guerillas.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC, Lord Hailsham said ministers of Edward Heath's government - in power from 1970 to 1974 - agreed that each one of them was expendable and was to be 'expended' rather than to give in to demands from kidnappers.
The pact was made in 1971 after the home of employment secretary Robert Carr was bombed.
The Post ran the following story as its lead sports item; sadly for fans in Hong Kong, it wasn't to happen: 'World heavyweight champion Muhummad Ali's final fight in an incredible career that made him a legend will take place in April or June 1975 in Hongkong or Iran.
'Deeply involved in the HK$35 to HK$50 million deal is Macau multimillionaire Mr Stanley Ho, while likely to be included in the deal if the fight, against either George Foreman or Ken Norton, goes on in Hongkong is the movie magnate Mr Run Run Shaw.
'This was revealed by American boxing promoter extraordinary Mr Don King at a packed press conference at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Mr King, an ex-convict and number operator, is now boxing's top promoter, having put together three fantastic Ali extravaganzas in Kinshasa, Zaire, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. And now Hongkong is right on the line for a fight which would make world sporting history ... the last time Muhummad Ali, rightly considered by boxing experts as the greatest heavyweight of all time, defends his world title.'
The Preventative Service declared an all-out war on 'moonshiners' following the death of six people who drank adulterated liquor. All six died of methyl alcohol poisoning over a period of 10 days.
The Preventative Service raided at least eight shops selling Chinese liquor in Kwun Tong and Lyemun and seized more than 1,000 gallons of suspected adulterated liquor. Three people were arrested, two allegedly selling liquor contaminated with methyl alcohol. The other was allegedly found in possession of Chinese liquor containing traces of pyridine, a chemical used to 'disguise' methyl alcohol.
It was learned that the adulterated liquor in question is usually locally brewed 'shueng ching' rice wine ... The wine, according to the Post, was 'very popular among the lower-income class'.
A 29-year-old restaurant captain escaped death when a shot fired at him by a robber was deflected by a fountain pen in his left breast pocket. The captain chased the robber, who had taken HK$600 from the Yaumatei restaurant, but had to give up after he sprained an ankle.