History comes home: Late FCC member Walter Kent bequeaths memorabilia
When longtime FCC member Walter Kent saw a selection of illustrations, cartoons and posters of his long-time friend and FCC combatant the late Arthur Hacker hanging to be sold on the FCC Wall in 2015 he was apoplectic, writes John Batten. Walter repeatedly muttered, “These shouldn’t be sold, they are part of FCC history.” He duly bought some of the items, protecting them from the hands of non-believers and any hopeful speculators of Arthur’s work.
After Walter died in 2016, his executors decided his large collection of vintage maps and travel and military posters would be donated to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, complementing the university library’s map collection and as a memorial to Walter. Walter’s estate donated some of Arthur’s posters to the design collection holdings of the West Kowloon Cultural District’s new M+ Museum.
Two of Arthur Hacker’s graphic designs, previously featured in The Correspondent, will be donated to the FCC. Arthur’s rendition of the chaos of “zoo night”, the FCC’s weekly Friday drinks night, shows an assortment of raconteurs, bellicose fly-ins and bar-hugger members slowing sliding off their Main Bar stools. Walter was rarely one of them: he usually arrived later in the night to more-quietly chat with the (ma)lingerers.
Unseen by some members, as it is prominently hung above the FCC male urinals, is a film still from the movie version of John le Carré’s The Honourable Schoolboy, filmed in the club’s former Sutherland House premises with its famous waterfront view. Arthur Hacker’s version may soon feature in the more public areas of the club, although the final position is still being discussed.
As his friends and FCC staff knew, Walter was a stickler for good time-keeping. Appropriately, Walter’s Jaeger-LeCoultre clock, a 25th anniversary gift for working at Chase Manhattan Bank, will be displayed near Walter’s Ice House Street-end Main Bar drinking spot. Unlike Walter, this perpetual time-piece will never require winding-up – nor need anything more liquid than the surrounding atmosphere in which to run. It is a fitting memorial for one of the FCC’s most loyal recent members.