Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 December, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1928

In Shanghai's Provisional Court, Judge Kuh jailed a shop assistant for four months for using washed postage stamps, cheating the Chinese government. The Postal Commissioner was the complainant.

On January 4, Yokohama was treated to a spectacle of undraped feminine beauty as extensive as the New York Follies when a series of explosions drove scores of bathers from a public bath-house. The bathers, largely women from a nearby amusement district, swarmed into a brightly lit street when the blasts began. The trouble was caused by a box of rifle cartridges that had been lost in sawdust used as fuel.

A new enemy to domestic peace has appeared in the US. Men calling monthly to read the gas, electric and water meters have been transformed into 'drink spies' at the instigation of the Prohibition authorities, who have instructed them to report violations of the liquor laws they detect in houses.

Hongkong saw the new year in with time-honoured ceremony and a great deal of enthusiasm. The threat of heavy rain on New Year's Day did not materialise and there was fine weather for New Year's Eve. The explosions of bombs and crackers heralded the coming of 1928, with all hotels and restaurants well patronised. The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Company held two grand carnival dances at the roof garden of the Hongkong Hotel and at Repulse Bay. The hotel interior was festooned with coloured streamers, floral ropes and multicoloured lights into an effective pattern, while above the grandstand, an illuminated horseshoe flashed out its cheery message: 'Good Luck 1928.' A throng of 350 European and Chinese danced until 1am. The spirit of conviviality held sway in conjunction with Art Smith and his orchestra at the Repulse Bay where up to 500 celebrated until 1am. The King Edward Hotel held a dinner dance and Lane Crawford's dance carnival fancy dress was the order of the evening. The cafe orchestra played Auld Lang Syne after a fanfare of lights and the peal of bells in the darkness as midnight struck. The Kowloon Hotel dinner-dance attracted 160 guests, including a party of Royal Air Force men from Kai Tak who were also saying farewell to some colleagues. Some 200 attended the Peak Club's first New Year's Eve fancy dress ball, with the venue decked out in decorations including fir trees, and realistic snow and frost effects.

In New York, hundreds of thousands congregated in the streets and out-whooped and out-rattled the whistling and howling hosts indoors. Some 500 policemen stationed in Broadway's theatre district could not control the crowds. Demand was so great that hotels thought nothing of charging 48 shillings for a meal. Despite previous warnings by the director of Prohibition enforcement that two federal agents would be present at each nightclub, liquor flowed freely, and there were only four raids.

Topical film Canton Under the Reds and feature Back to God's Country, which is on the new programme at the World Theatre today and tomorrow, will arouse much interest. The Canton film, depicting events in the recent reign of terror, was secured at great personal risk. Owing to the conditions, it is scrappy but it shows troops going into action, the damage done by fires and captured Russians being marched through the streets under heavy guard. The feature is the screen version of the stirring tale of the same name by James Oliver Curwood. Renee Adoree is delightful in the leading role. Robert Frazer is handsome and manly in the lead.

The 'beam wireless' between England and the Dominions is beating the old-style ocean bed telegraph cables. The success of the beam system has far exceeded expectations of the General Post Office engineers, as it carries more traffic every day.