Candidate Profile

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Anthropology & Cultural Studies
Destinations & Ports
History - General
Shanghai born, Evelyn has spent the major part of her life living and working in Asia and Australia. She is the 4th generation of a family who ‘went East’ in the days of the East India Company when Britain traded Tea and other commodities with China. She is bi-lingual in Chinese and has a reasonable grasp of Thai.

Despite reading History at Trinity College Dublin, Evelyn’s career was in Advertising where she became a Creative Director at the world’s No. 1 Ad. Agency, Ogilvy & Mather.

Evelyn was in Hong Kong for 26 years but lived and worked in Sydney, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and had short secondments in Tokyo, Beijing and Jakarta. Her work took her to Bombay, Delhi, Ho Chi Minh and Chittagong too.

Adventure has been a big part of her life and she has held a Private Pilot’s License for many years. She was involved in the Motor Sports Club of Hong Kong, played competitive hockey in Singapore and was a member of the Manila Boat Club when she rowed in a Ladies’ Four.

On retirement, she and her husband moved to England and Evelyn rekindled her interest in Colonial History and Exploration. Today, she is a member of several Asian groups including the Royal Society of Asian Affairs and lectures on topics of that era at Summer Schools and Charity Events.

Evelyn is widowed but has two sons who live in France and Australia which gives her the added incentive to indulge her love of travelling and researching history from 1600 which has impacted on all our lives.

1. Tea, Espionage and The Empire.
The story of Robert Fortune, employee of the East India Company and how he stole tea from under the noses of the Chinese and transported it to India.

2. The Thistle and The Jade.
The story of Jardine, Matheson & Co. The only trading company that was set up in Canton in 1823, survived the Opium Wars and is still in operation today.

3. The Journey of Blue & White Porcelain
How porcelain travelled the perilous route from remote Jingdezhen in China to the country homes of Britain’s aristocracy.

4. Conflict over China.
During the 19th century, Britain forced China to open its doors to trade and foreign influence. But other foreign powers wanted their share too. This is the story.

5. The Flamboyant Mr. Chinnery.
George Chinnery was Artist to the Colonies and his work on Hong Kong and Macau is long celebrated in those territories. His story began in Bombay and Calcutta where he fled from England to escape both his wife and his debtors. Little known by those who do not have an association with the area, Chinnery’s work deserves greater recognition and his story greater airing.

6. The Shanghai Bund. -NEW!
An introduction and explanation of the extraordinary collection of buildings which sprung up on Shanghai’s riverfront from the early 1900’s, the people who commissioned them and the history that surrounds them. A useful insight to those visiting the city who will, all, inevitably walk along the Bund.

7. Beijing’s Forbidden City.
An introduction to its history and its beautiful art collections. A talk about its construction more than 500 years ago and the role it played as both home and prison to 25 successive Chinese Emperors.

8. The History of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank. - NEW!
The story of how the bank was established and how it developed through India, Southeast Asia and China.
Chinese Inventions & Discoveries. Everything from paper and the plough to porcelain and mining ventilation. A fascinating journey through the ages.


1. Visas for Life.
The amazing life story of Chiune Sugihara. Japan’s Consul in Lithuania during 1938 and how he saved the lives of thousands of Jews who ended up in Shanghai. A little-known story about a man who made a real difference, in terrible times.

2. Japan & its Neighbours.
The history of Japan and its relationship with its closest neighbours – China and Korea.

3. The Story of Dutch Dejima.
How the Dutch East India Company – the VOC – established a base on the man-made island of Dejima in Nagasaki Bay from which they traded, in isolation, with Japan for 218 years.

4. A Brief History of the Samurai Warrior.
A historical and cultural look at the Samurai and its impact on Japan’s social structure.

5. The Battle of Okinawa.
The defining Battle of the 2nd World War which led to the end of the War and the dropping of the 2 Nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


1. The Dutch & The British is Southeast Asia.
The background story of the Dutch and the British in the region, how they ruled and traded in the region and how their ‘reign’ ended after World War 11.

2. The Tale of the White Rajahs,
The story of the 3 generation os the Brooke family who controlled Sarawak on Borneo for 100 years before ceding it back to a reluctant Britain.

3. The History of Oil Palm and Rubber.
How rubber seeds were taken from Brazil by a British man, sent to Malaya via Kew Gardens and grown on as an important economic crop. Also, how Oil Palm has overtaken its position and why.

4. Our Red Relatives.
Everything there is to know about Orangutans, their plight and fight to keep them from extinction in our life time.

5. Sir Stamford Raffles & the founding of Singapore.
His story wound in with background on the British East India Company and how Britain acquired Singapore.

6. Singapore’s History through its Buildings.
Although a comparatively new country, Singapore has a wealth of history which can be told through its buildings.

7. The Land of Smiles and the King who Never Smiled. - NEW!
How the Thai royal family defied the confines of the 1932 coup and martial law to regain their place in the hearts and minds of the Thai people. However, since King Bhumipol’s death some months ago, his son has not been crowned. We look at the reasons why and what might transpire if and when he does.

8. Jim Thompson.
The story of the American soldier who returned to Thailand post-war and resurrected the Thai Silk Industry.

9. Buddhism in Burma.
An introduction to Buddhism which makes visits to temples and shrines more relevant. *with accompanying handout notes.

10. The End of the Burmese Royal Family.
How Britain banished the Burmese King and his family to India where he died in exile.

11. This Imperious Company - NEW!
The story of the British East India Company. How it impacted on Britain and its legacy.


1. The Wallace Line.
An explanation of the extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna north to South East Asia and south to Australia as discovered by Alfred Russel Wallace – a contemporary of Charles Darwin – who discovered a line which stretches between the islands of Bali and Lombok and Borneo and Suliwesi.

2. Joseph Banks and the Endeavour Voyage.
The extraordinary story of Captain Cook and Joseph Banks and the discover of Botany Bay, Australia.

3. Matthew Flinders & Terra Australis.
The story of the first circumnavigation and mapping of Australia.

4. Bound for Botany Bay.
The story of the thousands of convicts sent out to Australia as a punishment. What they had to endure and how they overcame the many hardships to establish a great nation..


1. The Spice Trail.
The hunt for hugely lucrative spices by the Portuguese, Spanish, British and Dutch. How they overcame all manner of adversity in the pursuit of riches.

2. The Last Mughals of India.
The first European Explorer to land on Tasmania and New Zealand. Abel Tasman.
2011 P & O’s Arcadia – Hong Kong to Port Klang, Malaysia via Vietnamese Ports and Singapore 26 Feb – 7 Mar
2012 Seabourn Pride SIN to HKG 18 Jan – 01 Feb via Thailand and Vietnam
2012 Mv Aurora P&O Darwin to Singapore via Komodo, Bali and Bangkok 21 Feb – 9 Mar
2012 Orion II Discovery Ship - Kobe, Japan to Tawau, Sabah, East Malaysia (2 voyages – back-to-back)30 Jun – 25 Jul
2013 Aggean Odyssey – Voyages to Antiquity – Bangkok to Bali via Sihanoukville, Vietnamese Ports, Singapore, Sandakan and Suliwesi 01 Jan – 25 Jan
2013 MS Balmoral – Fred Olsen Cruises - - Sydney to Ho Chi Minh via Australian Ports, Komodo and Singapore. 24 Feb – 16 Mar
2014 Crystal Serenity – Crystal Cruises – Los Angeles to Yokohama via Oahu, Hawaii, Guam and Okinawa 18 Jan – 9 Feb
2015 Silver Wind – Silversea Cruises – Singapore to Singapore to Hong Kong (2 cruises back to back) to Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma 24 Jan – 16 Feb
2015 Queen Mary – Cunard – Hong Kong to Sydney via Kota Kinabalu, North Suliwesi, Darwin and other Australian ports 22 Feb – 03 Mar
2015 Silver Shadow – Silversea Cruises – Singapore to Singapore (Voyage 3535 and 3600) 20 Dec - 18 Jan
2016 Queen Victoria – Cunard Sydney to Darwin via Australian ports 08 Mar – 17 Mar
2016 Queen Mary – Cunard – Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia to Shanghai and Hong Kong 24 Mar – 02 Apr
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Queen Victoria V702-711 World Cruise 2017 120 Southampton Thursday, January 5, 2017
Queen Mary 2 M603 World Cruise 2016 121 Southampton Sunday, January 10, 2016
Queen Victoria V603 World Cruise 2016 121 Southampton Sunday, January 10, 2016