Slice of Life
Compiled by Alex Price
From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1972
New York, January 19
The Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators convened a two-day symposium, a kind of coconut convention, in the Plaza Hotel.
Even before the keynote speaker rose, the delegates were rallied to their theme by a preliminary exhorter who urged them to 'think coconut', a thing which they were more than a little ready to do. They were treated to a review of ... the great figures in the century-old development of the product - Henry Vavasseur, Robert Heinekey Buxton, Percy Appleby, Wyndham Stopford and Howard Hick.
The word 'desiccate' is defined as 'to dry thoroughly - dry up'. A desiccator is defined as 'one who or that which desiccates'. A desiccator can therefore be a person or a thing. To reduce the matter to its simplest essentials, the sponsoring group is an association of persons - desiccators - who use things - machines called desiccators - to dry up - that is desiccate - coconut meat. This is done near the groves. The dried meat can then be shipped ... with great ease and at much lower cost than whole coconut. The product is an essential ingredient of such good things as biscuits and cakes. The delegates were treated to something a little more exotic - coconut soup - at their banquet.
Hongkong January 20
Another landmark in the Colony, the five-storey crescent-shaped Hotung Building in Queen's Road West, will soon disappear, to be replaced by a 12-storey modern commercial and office block. This was disclosed by Mr Shaw Kam-on, the Managing Director of Golden Hand Industrial Co Ltd, the new owners of the building.
The Hotung Building, also known as Hotung House, was built by the late Sir Robert Hotung in the 1920s. The ground floor is occupied by goldsmiths' shops and an art products shop, while the upper floors are occupied by trading firms, tailors, doctors' and dentists' offices.
Mr Shaw said he had not decided on a name for the new office block but did not think it a bad idea to retain the old name.
Hongkong, January 22
Hongkong's legal circles are hooting with laughter over a supplement to the Government Gazette. It gave notice of a Bill to be introduced to the Legislative Council to amend the Fatal Accidents Ordinance.
The Attorney General, Mr Denys Roberts, said in the explanatory memorandum that the Bill provided that in assessing the amount to be awarded to a widow in an action for damages brought in respect of her husband's death, the court shall disregard her remarriage or the prospect of her remarriage.
He added: 'The Bill will have the effect of reversing the decision in Foulenough v Cramp, in which Moult J. held that a widow's chance of remarriage depended less upon her culinary skills than upon the dimensions of her bust.'
Hongkong January 27
A cross-section of the community has called for a thorough review in our education system to save young students from the hazards of mental illnesses. They all agree that the stress that was driving students towards mental disorders was caused by the education system, with its high emphasis on performance in examinations from kindergarten to university level.
An Urban Councillor, Dr Denny M.H. Huang, said the Education Department should change its system. 'There are so many aspects of human life and other interests that students should be able to enjoy. But this has been made impossible by the Education Department because students are too busily occupied with textbooks. This is a Colonial system - Government doesn't want the students to have too much leisure which might enable them to stray into politics.'