Percy Hobson Holyoak

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Percy Hobson Holyoak
P. H. Holyoak.png
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
In office
6 May 1920 – 1920
Appointed by Sir R. E. Stubbs
Preceded by C. P. Chater
Succeeded by C. P. Chater
In office
29 June 1921 – 30 October 1921
Appointed by Sir R. E. Stubbs
Preceded by E. H. Sharp
Succeeded by E. H. Sharp
In office
2 April 1924 – 1924
Appointed by Sir R. E. Stubbs
Preceded by C. P. Chater
Succeeded by C. P. Chater
In office
29 August 1924 – 1926
Appointed by Sir F. H. May
Preceded by A. G. Stephen
Succeeded by A. O. Lang
Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
In office
16 December 1915 – 18 March 1926
Appointed by Sir F. H. May
Preceded by E. A. Hewett
Succeeded by D. G. M. Bernard
Chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
In office
February 1918 – February 1919
Preceded by S. H. Dodwell
Succeeded by J. A. Plummer
Personal details
Born 1874
Chesham-Bois, Buckinghamshire, England
Died (1926-05-25)25 May 1926
London, England
Spouse(s) Neilie Gertude Cowper

Percy Hobson Holyoak (1874 – 25 May 1926) was a British businessman in Hong Kong and member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council of Hong Kong.

Background and business career[edit]

Percy Hobson Holyoak was the son of the Rev. T. H. Holyoak of Chesham-Bois, Buckinghamshire, England.[1] He first arrived in Far East as a member of the Reiss & Co., a well-known Manchester trading firm in Hong Kong since 1864. He moved to Hong Kong in 1899 and was in charge of the Hong Kong office as a managing partner.[2] He subsequently took over the firm with P. W. Massey when it suffered in the commercial slump in 1921 and 1922 and altered the name to Holyoak, Massey, & Co. with Holyoak as the senior partner.[3]

Holyoak also held positions in many leading public companies. Among others, he was the chairman of the board of directors of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation for three times, chairman of the board of directors of the Hongkong, Canton, and Macao Steamboat Company, Ltd., chairman of the Union Insurance Society of Canton, and director of the Hongkong Telephone Company.[1]

Public services[edit]

Holyoak was the chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in from 1917 to 1918 and 1920 to 1921.[3][4] He was nominated as unofficial member of the Legislative Council as a representative of the chamber on the death of E. A. Hewett in 1915 and later on was appointed to the Executive Council for various times. Despite being a large contributor to the raising funds during the First World War, in early 1917 Holyoak moved in the Legislative Council to exclude German merchants from the colony for ten years, mandated by the Chamber of Commerce.[5] In 1919, he and Henry Pollock formed the Constitutional Reform Association of Hong Kong to demand London for a further representation in the colonial legislature.

He also associated with the Chinese community in public work such as his chairmanship of the Joint Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce which supervised the arrangements for the Hong Kong section of the Wembley Exhibition.[1]

Among other public offices he was chairman of the Hong Kong Club and Alice Memorial Hospital, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Y.M.C.A., president of the Scout Association of Hong Kong, member of the Court of the University of Hong Kong and Justice of Peace from March 1909. He was also a Freemason and was appointed the District Grand Master of English Freemasonry in Hong Kong and South China by the Duke of Connaught.[1]

Death and family[edit]

Holyoak suffered from serious kidney illness for some years. On 7 April 1926, He left Hong Kong and went back to England with his wife and two daughters by the Blue Funnel Liner, Sarpedon when he was very ill.[2] The purpose of the trip of mainly reporting to L. S. Amery, the Secretary of State for the Colonies on Chinese political and commercial issues.[6] He died on 25 May in London shortly after his arrival.[6][3] The funeral took place at Yardley Wood Church on Friday 28 May in Moseley, Birmingham where his wife's family was from. The funeral service was read by the Archdeacon of Birmingham Cannon C. E. Hopton.[6] There was also a memorial services held at St. John's Cathedral on 31 May, attended by many leading figures in the colony including Governor Cecil Clementi.[7]

Holyoak married Neilie Gertude Cowper, daughter of the late William Cowper of Moseley. They had two daughters named Joyce and Dorothy.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "THE LATE MR. P. H. HOLYOAK". Hong Kong Telegraph. 26 May 1926. p. 7. 
  2. ^ a b "DEATH OF HON. MR. P. H. HOLYOAK". Hong Kong Telegraph. 26 May 1926. p. 1. 
  3. ^ a b c Bard, Solomon, ed. (2002). Voices from the Past: Hong Kong, 1842–1918. Hong Kong University Press. p. 248. 
  4. ^ Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Report for the Year 1952 (PDF). Hong Kong: Ye Olde Printerie, Ltd. 1953. pp. 66–67. 
  5. ^ Sayer, G.R.; Evans, D.M.E. (1985). Hong Kong 1862–1919: Years of Discretion. Hong Kong University Press. p. 121. 
  6. ^ a b c d "LATE MR. P. H. HOLYOAK". The China Mail. 9 July 1926. p. 7. 
  7. ^ "THE LATE MR. P. H. HOLYOAK". Hong Kong Telegraph. 1 June 1926. p. 5. 
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Edbert Ansgar Hewett
Unofficial Member
Representative for Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
1915–1926
Succeeded by
Dallas Gerald Mercer Bernard
Political offices
Preceded by
Catchick Paul Chater
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
1920
Succeeded by
Catchick Paul Chater
Preceded by
Charles Stewart Sharp
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
1921
Succeeded by
Charles Stewart Sharp
Preceded by
Catchick Paul Chater
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
1924
Succeeded by
Catchick Paul Chater
Preceded by
Alexander Gordon Stephen
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
1924–1926
Succeeded by
Archibald Orr Lang
Business positions
Preceded by
Stanley Hudson Dodwell
Chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
1918–1919
Succeeded by
J. A. Plummer