Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1958

Jamaica, December 31

Police were searching for 21-year-old Frederick Cormack, who broke out of his prison cell and into the police officers' canteen on Christmas Eve.

He loaded himself with rum and cigarettes and went back to the prison to play Santa Claus to his fellow prisoners. He then broke through the roof of the female prisoners' section and distributed more food. He finally left the party through a window in the female cell section.

Hongkong, January 1

Thousands of people lined the approaches to Queen's Pier, and hundreds of others filled windows and rooftops of buildings directly overlooking, as the retiring Governor, Sir Alexander Grantham, and Lady Grantham bade goodbye to Hongkong.

At the Pier a large gathering assembled to wish them bon voyage and a happy life ahead. Later, along the waterfronts of both Hongkong and Kowloon, thousands of people waved towards the SS Bougainville, with Sir Alexander and Lady Grantham on board, as she gracefully steamed past on her way to Lyemun Pass. At North Point, residents of the newly completed Java Road flats cheered and waved vigorously in a spirit of gratitude. These warm, spontaneous demonstrations by the people of Hongkong further showed the love and affection which they held for their beloved Governor and his gracious wife.

Austin, Minnesota, January 2

Officers of the youthful Austin Rocket Club denied charges of cruelty to animals in its 'mousenik' space experiments.

The denial came in a response to a statement by the Humane Society of the United States which said 'the use of animals in rockets of the type being fired by the Austin Boys' Club is pure cruelty, can contribute nothing to scientific knowledge and appears to us to be a violation of Minnesota law'.

Paul Germer, Gar Solus and Richard King, teenage officers of the Rocket Club, denied cruelty to animals during the experiments.

They said one mouse was killed when the foam rubber padding inside the rocket failed to provide sufficient cushioning when the rocket returned to earth. During a second attempt, a rocket without a mouse aboard exploded on takeoff. A second rocket the same day - with a mouse inside - failed to rise when the ignition system failed. The Rocket Society later sent a rocket containing a rubber mouse into the air which successfully parachuted a capsule to earth. They said the imitation was used because of the cold weather, and they did not plan further live flights until the weather was warmer.

Auckland, January 3

Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to conquer Mount Everest, reached the South Pole.

He radioed the dramatic news to Scott Base, the Ross Sea point he and his party set out from on October 15. After ploughing more than 1,200 miles across the continent, Sir Edmund radioed his base that he and his tractor party had arrived at the Pole with only one drum of gas to spare.

He said: 'We are all very tired, but we are very pleased to have arrived.'

London, January 5

A court ruled once and for all that no man has the right to beat up his wife. Herbert Bartlett, 48, was given a gaol sentence after declaring his belief in a man's prerogative to 'chastise' his better half. 'An utterly contemptible theory,' snapped the magistrate, Mr Harold Sturge. 'It belongs in the jungles of pre-civilisation.'