Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1960

Taipei, January 12

A Chinese Communist MIG jet fighter was reported to have crashed and burned while trying to land on Formosa. Reports from the scene said the pilot died in the flames - burned beyond recognition - after his plane hit a rock after coming down on a beach. It was the first reported defection of a Communist plane to the Nationalists since the Nationalists were driven off the mainland in 1949. Nationalist radio stations have broadcast defection appeals to the mainland with instructions on how to fly safely to Formosa.

Hongkong, January 14

Leung Wai-lam, 33, a radio operator, was sentenced to 18 months' gaol by Judge BJ Jennings at the Victoria District Court for operating an unlicensed radio communication station in a village in Shaukiwan.

Chief Inspector L.C. Smith, prosecuting, said that towards the end of December, a Government monitoring officer picked up a radio signal on a certain wave length. He listened to it for several days before pinpointing the source to be a stone hut in Holy Cross Village, Shaukiwan. At 3.35p.m. on New Year's Eve the signal stopped. Police who had been standing by broke into the hut and arrested the accused. They found a radio transmitter and receiver with a morse key and a pair of earphones. The set was still warm and had a range of 2,000 miles. Lying about were paper pads with coded messages.

Stations of this kind usually relayed messages about black market prices of gold and silver. The monitoring officer was able to recognise the 'touch of the morse signal' as that of one man just as a handwriting expert was able to identify the handwriting of a particular person.

Hongkong January 15

The shrill jangling of a telephone at 7 a.m. jolted beautiful ex-airline hostess Ann Law from the wonderful world of dreamland. Sleepily, she reached across and lifted the receiver. Sleepily, she said 'Hello'. But when the drawling American voice crackled 'Hi darling' through the static, she squealed in ecstasy and was wide awake. The voice continued: 'Okay honey, you win. We get married on the third.'

Ann Law, shapely runner-up in the Miss Hongkong beauty contest, sighed with relief - the seal was set on her fairy-tale romance with clothing buyer Tom Brogan. She had met the tall American on a flight to Japan - her consolation prize in the beauty contest. He persuaded his pretty new companion to let him 'show her the town'. Two weeks later he proposed. Ann accepted and they became engaged. But then came the snag. Tom wanted to fly to Hongkong on January 20 and marry her four days later. Ann, more cautious and practical, plugged for early February. In the end, Tom agreed.

Hongkong January 13

'The World of Suzie Wong' film company thanked hospitable Hongkong for the 'magnificent unstinting co-operation' it received from people, the press, officials, the police and Chinese motion picture crewmen and extras working in the Paramount British production, and predicted a prosperous future for both Chinese and English films made here.

The company also revealed that the US$3,000,000 William Holden-France Nuyen* film will perform a gigantic job of public relations for the area by 'showing Hongkong's gorgeous scenery to the world in widescreen Technicolour'. The producer, Hugh Percival, said: 'Hongkong has proved it can supply everything a motion picture company could need... no wonder so many film companies have come to Hongkong. It is my humble opinion that they are only the beginning. Because film making is no longer centred in Hollywood, London and Rome, I believe Hongkong could capture much more of the world's motion picture production.'

*France Nuyen, who also played Suzie Wong in a 1958 theatrical production of the book, was replaced by Nancy Kwan.