Under-resourced, under-supervised and ill-prepared, the three constables at the squalid Police Station on Cheung Chau stood no chance against the ruthless pirate gang in 1912. Five more policemen lost their lives in a bloodbath in Wanchai that might have been averted by better coordination and information. But travel forward just a little and the outcome at the hold-up in Canton Road is very different.
These three incidents, spread over eleven years in the early part of the last century, were some of the most significant events for the Hong Kong Police Force at the time. They also portray the journey of a force coming to terms with the new world of the early twentieth century, changing attitudes as much as developing resources.
Using material from her research for Policing Hong Kong - an Irish History and beyond (policemen in all three events had Newmarket, Co. Cork connections) Patricia O’Sullivan will revisit the (in)famous crime scenes and sketch some of the consequences and outcomes for Hong Kong’s police.
Patricia O’Sullivan has come to Hong Kong frequently since October 2009, when she first came over to discover what had happened to her great-uncle, Mortimor O’Sullivan, of Newmarket, Co. Cork, in the Gresson Street Affray of 1918. Since then her researches have uncovered the lives and careers of almost of score of Newmarketeers in the Hong Kong Police Force and Civil Service. Gradually piecing all this together, Policing Hong Kong - an Irish History was published by Blacksmith Books in April of this year, and launched at the Consulate of Ireland Árd Chonsalacht na hÉireann by invitation of Consul General Mr. Peter Ryan.
Since completion Patricia O’Sullivan has been researching, amongst other things, criminal women in pre- war Hong Kong and the Irish diaspora in the Colonial Service. Her career as a music teacher has now been laid to one side in order to spend more time on Hong Kong’s fascinating history.
Time: Reception opens 6.15pm, talk begins 7.00pm
Admission RAS members $150; non-members/guests $200
Welcome drinks/light meal/snacks at Cafe 8 are included
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to reserve your place and pay at reception.