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Overpaid Rickshaws

Heroes Remember

We used to go for rickshaw rides and, of course, the Hong Kong money we had so much of it compared to the British. We’d give a dollar, a Hong Kong dollar to a rickshaw driver and he'd be there two hours later when we came out, “You come my rickshaw, you come my rickshaw!” And the British got quite nasty about it that we were giving them too much money because they would just give them 10 cents to run 15 minutes and after a while now that I think about, after the first few days, within a week, all the rickshaws were lined up and the runners were getting out and getting drunk, I guess, and that because there was no runners. We couldn’t get a rickshaw for a while. We give them too much money.

Mr. Harrison describes the Canadians' tendency to overpay rickshaw drivers in Kowloon. Soon there seem to be no drivers around. Mr. Harrison speculates that the rickshaws were parked in favor of visits to the local bars.

George Harrison

George Harrison was born on April 4, 1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and was youngest of three children. His father died shortly after his birth, forcing his mother to place him and his siblings in an orphanage, where he was at times badly beaten. Learning this, his mother took her children back home. After completing grade 9, Mr. Harrison went to work to help support his family. Eventually, he gained employment with CPR Telegraph. On September 13, 1939, Mr. Harrison enlisted with Winnipeg Grenadiers, becoming a specialist on the Vickers machine gun. During the battle of Hong Kong, Mr. Harrison was made a sergeant, and was involved in deadly fighting. Along with the general misery and persecution suffered by all of the POWs, Mr. Harrison faced down both blindness and potential amputation of his toes.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George Harrison
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Pacific Ocean
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Section Leader

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