Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 November, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1975

Fleet of foot but not so hot on directions, Eartha Kitt went five miles in the wrong direction on the Association of Round Tables Walkathon, a 20-mile course on The Peak on November 16. Miss Kitt was abandoned on Tai Hang Road by her companions - one ran ahead and the other hitched a ride in a car. She realised too late that they had the maps of the route. Therese Thomas, who was driving from Butler Road towards the checkpoint, discovered the singer five miles off course. 'I recognised her immediately and wondered what she was doing running in the wrong direction.' Although she got help from Mrs Thomas, Miss Kitt was declared the first woman to finish the race. About $40,000 was raised.

A 38-year-old garage owner, John MacDonald, savours victory in the 22nd Macau Grand Prix - his fourth win since 1965. MacDonald, driving the Rothmans-Cathay Pacific Ralt, finished the 40-lap race at an average speed of 86.92mph, ahead of Australia's Kevin Bartlett in a Brabham and New Zealander Steve Millen in a Chevron. Dubbed Hongkong's 'King of Asian motor racing', MacDonald capitalised on mechanical troubles that knocked out the top contenders to rack up a time of one hour, 44 minutes and 55.04 seconds.

A green grocer found a wedding ring in a tray of grapes in London on November 17 - while 2,500 miles away Greek Cypriot bride Marina Andreou of Limassol mourned its loss. After Kathleen Mole found the ring, Britain's Fruit Trade Federation and the Cypriot Trade Centre in London started to trace its owner. The only clues were the name of the grape-exporting firm and the name inscribed on the ring. They were enough to return the ring to an overjoyed Marina a week before her first wedding anniversary.

A total of 217,230 people attended the five meetings that evangelist Billy Graham held at the Hongkong Stadium. Of this total, 20,522 had either decided to follow Christ or wanted assurance of salvation, said a spokesman for the crusade team. About 68,500 people packed the stadium and the nearby South China Football Stadium for Dr Graham's last meeting on Sunday.

In Madrid, 30 days of national mourning began for General Francisco Franco, who died early on November 20 after a month-long battle for life. Heads of West European governments expressed hope that the death of the man who ruled Spain with an iron hand for 36 years will mean the rebirth of democracy in the nation. General Franco would be given a state funeral in two days and the successor he designated, Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon, would be installed on Saturday as Spain's first king in 44 years.

The 37-year-old prince was educated and trained under General Franco's supervision from the age of 11. The dictator designated him successor in 1969.

The Hongkong Soya Bean Products Co is the first to use the Tetra Pak packaging system in the colony. The manufacturer of the famous soyabean milk Vitasoy is now using a Tetra Pak brick machine to put its product in a 'keep fresh package', which is ideally suited to local climatic and living conditions.

The first post-war free flight by hot-air balloon in Hongkong gets a champagne send-off by acting Governor Sir Denys Roberts on November 22. It marked the 192nd anniversary of the world's first manned hot-air balloon flight by two Frenchmen over Paris in 1783. About 40 well-wishers watched as the balloon took off from a field near Sai Kung village. It landed near Pik Uk village on Clearwater Bay Road, covering seven miles in 40 minutes.