Your Timless Memories at The Helena May – By Rosslyn Carthy

Your timeless memories at the helena may - by Rosslyn Carthy

Among my many happy memories is the afternoon Sir Michael and late Lady Betty Kadoorie officially opened the beautiful ‘green’ wall at the back of the garden.  They had provided it to complete the privacy within the garden.

Sir Michael and I recalled old friends and acquaintances.  One was Dick Siegel (previous Director of Civil Aviation) who moved the airport from Kai Tak to Chek Lap Kok, and who still loves vintage cars.  He and Sir Michael would sometimes “meet” in their vintage models along roads in the New Territories!  Another mutual acquaintance was a young man whom I taught, whose grandfather (Frank Whittle) invented the jet engine, and whose father was one of the first pilots for Cathay Pacific when it began.  We also talked about the time Sir Michael asked permission to park under the huge old tree in the loading bay when he had very urgent business in the area, and how a story was built around that tree – “The Last Nut”.  Yes, happy memories mean such a lot.

Rosslyn Carthy



Your Timless Memories at The Helena May – By Pak Kay Lai

Your timeless memories at the helena may - by pak kay Lai

I am a new Helena May member. Literally. I have to confess that I have frequented the restaurant and the Blue Room a little bit more than I should. I like to be surrounded by the history, sophistication and generosity. And later, I found out that it is in the library where everything comes together.

This is the record card of the first book I borrowed. I am the twenty-ninth borrower and there were 31 years of history in front of me. The book was a sensation in the early 90s. It has been borrowed twice by the same member. Perhaps she did not have time to finish it the first time. But she showed courtesy to return it, waited, borrowed it again and enjoyed the rest of the story.

If there was a time travel machine, I would go to meet Member 3260. Have a little chat with her about how the book has inspired the later “code-breaking novels”. Then ask her about Helena May in the last century over a cup of tea and delicious biscuits.

I am not a nostalgic person. However, I think I know the place where I can integrate the past into my present and future.

Pak Kay Lai


timeless memories

Reading in The Garden

Reading in The Garden

Perhaps it was finishing reading Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden last month with my daughter that inspired me but I have found myself inventing excuses to spend more and more of my time enjoying our newly landscaped garden. The weather has finally cooled and on the last few Saturdays I have enjoyed the privilege of taking a break from the working week in what has felt like my own private garden, enjoying the newspapers and library new editions under the shade of an umbrella. Surprisingly, for the most part, my only company has been the library cat and, very occasionally, my daughter. It has felt like a secret oasis.   

For many of us living in Hong Kong, spending time in a private garden is something to be cherished. With our tiny flats and postage sized balconies (for those of us lucky enough to have a balcony at all), a garden is a luxury we can only enjoy on visits to friends and family overseas. At The Helena May we are privileged to have our own beautiful garden to enjoy at our leisure and, unlike Mary Lennox and Colin Craven, we need not first find a hidden door beneath the ivy to access it. So as much as I have enjoyed my solitude, I am letting you in on my secret. Please come outside and enjoy the garden. The weather is lovely and the librarian will even let you take your books outside to read, just be sure to check them out first.

Now if only I could arrange for the dining room to bring me down a regular afternoon gin and tonic!

Amanda Whitfort