Red Headed Stepchild
(The Barrett family memoir of Navy Life)
by Sophie Ruth Meranski with photos


Sophie and Jack Barrett & Mr. Isemonger at New Year's Costume party Tientsin l930 CHINAchapter p 39-#945{S}{J}(9)
In back row Jack Barrett is second from left, Sophie Barrett fourth from left, - and sixth from left is Mr. Isemonger who was chief of Police in British concession Tientsin and lived at the Court Hotel where Sophie roomed and where Jack stayed when off duty. Photo was at New Year's Eve costume party at Tientsin Country Club December 31, l930 Sophie's memoir says the party was organized by canal pilots who worked near Tientsin- and their wives.--Since I arrived in Tientsin on the thirteenth of November, 1930, the holiday season was fast approaching , and a new guest registered at the Hotel just before Christmas. He was Mr. Isemonger, who was an Englishman just employed in India in charge of the Sikhs, in the police of India. He had come to Tientsin with his twenty-year-old daughter Tina to take charge of the Choinse and Sikhs police in the British concession of Tientsin where we lived. Jack informed me that it was part of his job to foster international relations. So we were friendly and were in a party with a group of British pilots and their wives at the Tinetsin Country Club New Year's Eve. When Mr. Isemonger found a nice house in Tientsin, Jack and I were frequent guests for Saturday noon dinner and for dancing later at the Country Club. Mr. Isemonger had an excellent camera and found me photogenic. He would come by the Court Hotel in the morning to invite me to ride to the Country Club with me where he was tireless and gifted in photography. He always gave me copies of the pictures without charge. He spent many hours in the Chinese city huniting for an embroidered evening coat for me- he found a white one with large white flowers. The bottom was embroiadered with exquisite silk tiny blue and black flowers - also the front of the evening coat had the same border, modeled on styles of the Empress Dowager's family. In the fall of 1952 I wore it to my son's Junior prom in West Roxbury when I was the hostess, because he was Clas president that year. We emjoyed Mr. Isemonger's hospitality for many months. Jack used his new Voightlander camera frequently to take pictures of me in our hotel room, and I took one of him, in which a red table-like paper drum is visible. Evenings he spend a lot of time studying to get ready for a promotion exam at the end of 1931.
Subject: Sophie & Jack & Mr. Isemonger costume party
Year: 1930December31