Remember A Day

A Hong Kong soccer star’s indiscretions and a World Cup widow’s rage: headlines from four decades ago

A journey back through time to look at significant news and events reported by the South China Morning Post from this week in history

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 June, 2018, 3:55pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 June, 2018, 10:37pm

A Hong Kong soccer star fired for excessive nocturnal activities and a British woman who smashed a television set out of frustration at her World Cup-obsessed husband made the headlines four decades ago this week.

June 25, 1978

• An Iranian woman who said she had gambled away £3 million “to forget the time” denied stealing diamonds and emeralds from Cartier when she appeared in a London court. Kitty Milinaire, married to the Duchess of Bedford’s son, Didier Milinaire, was charged with theft.

• An 18-year-old woman shot and killed her fiancé after he forcibly tried to kiss her, police in Islamabad said. The teenager told police the marriage had been arranged by her parents two years ago and that she detested her intended.

Flogged Britons, trousers for horses and a burning woman: past headlines

• Hong Kong soccer star Eddie Loyden had his contract terminated after he was accused of having too many “late-night love activities”. The Caroline Hill striker fell foul of team boss Veronica Chiu when she made a late-night visit to his flat and found Loyden’s (other) girlfriend in the bedroom.

June 26, 1978

• A young calf was born to Dribbles the female giraffe, fathered by its partner, Victor, who had made headlines the year before when it died after accidentally doing the splits. The bull, who once resided at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, Britain, had slipped into the unfortunate position and was unable to get up, even after dockyard workers in nearby Portsmouth constructed a sling to hoist the spread-eagled giraffe to its feet.

• Cambodia said it had thwarted a plan for a coup against its leadership organised by Vietnam. Phnom Penh Radio, quoting an information ministry spokesman, said the alleged plot and infiltration plans were the work of saboteurs in Hanoi who were collaborating with the US Central Intelligence Agency.

June 27, 1978

• A homeless man taken to a whites-only Johannesburg hospital had to be scrubbed before admission because he was so dirty no one could tell what his skin colour was. Newspaper reports said he turned out to be white and was subsequently admitted.

• The Hong Kong Immigration Department was experimenting with a new passport that would make the city a world leader in fighting travel document forgery. The tests involved state-of-the-art photo-engraving technology for passport pages – a new measure to stop forgers from substituting passport photographs.

June 28, 1978

• China, through its commercial vehicle Kiu Kwong Investment Corporation, had begun an aggressive property development programme in Hong Kong which was likely to cost HK$1 billion or more. Kiu Kwong was also involved in a joint venture with a local developer to build 4,000 flats at the Mass Transit Railway’s Tsuen Wan depot in 1981.

• A housewife who had had enough of her husband’s obsession with sports on television took the set out into the garden of her London home and smashed it with a sledgehammer. Hong Kong-born Suzy Harris reached her breaking point just as her husband, after watching World Cup football non-stop for the past two weeks, was getting warmed up for another two weeks of tennis at Wimbledon.

Flying saucers and a serial bus sign thief: past headlines

• Postal workers went on strike in Dijon, in eastern France, when an inspector penalised two postmen for singing while they sorted letters.

June 29, 1978

• Hong Kong refused entry to 35,000 out of 43,000 Vietnamese applicants, most of whom were ethnic Chinese and had requested to live in the city after the end of the Vietnam war in 1975. Entry was restricted to immediate family members of “Hong Kong belongers”, defined as people born in China, naturalised in Hong Kong, or Chinese residents who had lived continuously in Hong Kong for seven years, whether past or present.

June 30, 1978

• Hong Kong police admitted they were powerless to help the growing number of victims of controversial pyramid selling organisations. The authorities were also unable to act against the companies, which were enticing young students into their “get rich quick” sales schemes.

• Seventy tourist guides wore masks to protest against the unsatisfactory working environment at Kai Tak Airport. They were angered at not being allowed to meet arriving tourists inside the airport building after the extension block was opened.

July 1, 1978

• Chinese vice-premier Li Xiannian told British members of parliament visiting Beijing that China intended to start borrowing money from British banks, according to a Financial Times report. Such loans would help China finance the acquisition of “big orders of equipment” that the country’s delegations had apparently been shopping for abroad.

Remember A Day looks at significant news and events reported by the Post during this week in history