Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1963

Hongkong, April 8

An eight-year-old girl was severely burned when a flaming kerosene stove, hurled from a police van, set her clothes on fire. She was taken to Queen Mary Hospital with burns to 30 per cent of her body. Her condition was described as 'fair'.

The accident happened when one of two stoves impounded by police when they arrested two unlicensed cooked-food sellers burst into flames in the back of the police van. Police had blown on both wicks to extinguish them, but when flames began to leap inside the van, a corporal picked up the stove and hurled it into the roadway.

Canberra, April 8

Australia will switch to decimal coinage in February 1966. Mr Harold Holt, the Federal Treasurer, said the major unit would equal 10 present shillings and would be divided into 100 parts, each equal to 1.2 pence. An authority would be set up later this year to examine questions such as the denomination of major monetary units, the size of banknotes and the metallic content of the coinage. The present currency would cease to be legal tender at the end of 1967.

Nassau, April 8

Nine anti-Castro Cuban refugees were arrested on Andros Island after an unarmed British officer wearing only flippers, swimming trunks and his red paratrooper beret waded ashore and asked them to surrender. Lieutenant Colonel John Pine-Coffin of the Joint Services Headquarters, Nassau, flew to Andros Island, midway between Florida and Cuba, in a Widgeon seaplane. He crossed 200 yards of waist-deep mud to reach a mangrove swamp. He walked a mile inland to a group of huts where he found the Cubans. 'I had a few dicey moments,' he said. 'But finally I enjoyed a meal of rice, onions, tomatoes and Spam that the men prepared.'

Taipei, April 8

Police arrested a fruit vendor described as a founder of a sect that eats duck eggs to ward off death. The vendor was Lin Kang-hamm, father of seven children and a member of the four-year-old outlawed Duck Egg Sect. Police said sect members, estimated to total 100,000, were convinced the end of the Earth was approaching and the only way to avoid death was to eat duck eggs. The sect believed the eggs would save them from being injured in a nuclear war.

Augusta, April 9

Jack Nicklaus, the 23-year-old professional from Ohio, won the American Masters Golf Tournament by a stroke. His 72-hole total was 286. Nicklaus, who had also led after three rounds, finished with a par-72. Nicklaus, last man on the course, needed a two-foot putt for his par-four at the 18th to win. He almost missed it. The ball curved towards the cup, hit the rim and dropped in as the large crowd let out a roar. Defending champion Arnold Palmer had a final round of 71, one under par, to finish on 291 - five strokes behind Nicklaus. His victory was worth US$20,000.

London, April 9

Two small volumes in a tin box found in a blitzed London warehouse are throwing light on the origins of a multimillion-pound business - organised tours. In them a 'Miss Jemima' recounts the first organised tour 100 years ago, through Switzerland, led by evangelist and champion of the temperance movement Thomas Cook. His love of travel was so great that he journeyed 2,692 miles in 1829, walking 2,106 of them. On June 26, the centenary of Cook's first organised tour will be celebrated by a 12-day re-enactment led by his great-great grandson.

Hongkong, April 10

The Hongkong Chinese Engineers' Institute decided to compromise and accept a wage increase of 30 cents, instead of 40 cents as originally asked. The basic wage is 80 cents an hour.