Visiting the Old China Hands Archive
Welcome to the Monday post…
I spent the day at the Old China Hands Archive at Cal State Northridge, the home of the Forjaz collection (Macanese family information and photos). There’s a wealth of information here. In the process of learning what is available, I discovered notes, manuscripts, correspondence, and photos that provide a glimpse of the Portuguese and Macanese community from the earliest days.
For example, I came across an old picture of the Club Lusitano’s board of directors, one of whom may be related to me. I also learned about Portuguese businesses in Hong Kong and Macau in the 1900’s, about Filho Macs who took flying lessons in the 1920’s, and the tradition of dressing up in costumes during religious festivals, Portuguese cultural events, and fancy dress balls.
I also learned that the Old China Hands Archive has several audio interviews of Macanese who lived as refugees in Macau during World War II. This will provide an invaluable source of eyewitness accounts for my research. Essentially, it tells us what life was like for Portuguese Macanese who were forced from their homes in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, and other parts of Asia when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. The daily routine, and the ingenuity of Macanese, in the midst of war-time intrigue, is an amazing story. Look for the next episode in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for more updates…always,