John Henry Bremridge

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Sir John Henry Bremridge
Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
In office
10 June 1981 – 28 May 1986
Preceded by Sir Philip Haddon-Cave
Succeeded by Sir Piers Jacobs
Personal details
Born (1925-07-12)12 July 1925
Transvaal, South Africa
Died 6 May 1994(1994-05-06) (aged 68)
Father Godfrey Bremridge

Sir John Henry Bremridge (彭勵治爵士), KBE, JP, MA[1] (12 July 1925 – 6 May 1994) was Financial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1981 to 1986. He was the first Financial Secretary who was not a civil servant.

Early Years[edit]

Bremridge was born in 1925 in Transvaal, South Africa to British parents (Godfrey Bremridge) on an orange farm, but left in 1933 for Britain where he grew up.[2]


He served in the British Army (Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)) during World War II (1943-1947), read law at Oxford before joining Swire in 1949 where he rose as was a senior member of staff in the John Swire and Sons (Hong Kong) (Swire Group) and held various corporate boards:[3]

  • Chairman, Swire Pacific Limited 1973-1980
  • Chairman, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited 1973-1980
  • Non-executive Director, Schroders plc 1987-1989
  • Director, John Swire and Sons 1987

Hong Kong Government[edit]

In the 1980s he left the private sector to become Financial Secretary and remained until 1986 to return to the corporate world. During his tenure, he experienced the economic uncertainties that stemmed from the Sino-British negotiations that led to the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. In order to stabilise the economy, he pegged the Hong Kong dollar to the United States dollar at a rate of HK$1 to US$7.8, thus instituting the linked exchange rate system in Hong Kong. Both Bremridge and his successor Piers Jacobs considered introducing a Sales Tax but had failed.

Later Years and Death[edit]

Bremridge's health suffered after a fall in 1987 and never fully recovered, dying in 1994 in London.[4] He was survived by his wife and children (Anne, Elizabeth, Charles and Henry.[5]


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Philip Haddon-Cave
Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Sir Piers Jacobs