Colin and Alyce had their first child, Stephen, shortly after arriving in Beijing. This makes him the first Australian to be born in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after 1949. As Australia did not recognise the PRC as a country, there was no Australian embassy to register their child’s birth. So Stephen was registered at the office of the British Chargé d’Affaires.
Colin Mackerras and Stephen
Alyce with newborn in Beijing 1965. Alyce is sitting on a small terrace outside the apartment where the family lived in the Friendship Hotel (Youyi binguan 友谊宾馆）
While in Beijing, they were assigned Zhang Hanzhi, a colleague who, unknown to any but a very few people, was teaching Mao Zedong English at the time.
Colin with newborn at the Summer Palace Beijing 1965.
Colin Mackerras with baby Stephen, Beijing 1965 outside their apartment at the Friendship Hotel.
Alyce and Stephen Mackerras. Beijing 1965
Alyce and Stephen Mackerras
Alyce and Stephen 1966
As a baby in China, Stephen was looked after by an aiyi, whom we called Comrade Wang. The Mackerras family got quite fond of her, but later attempts to find out how she had fared after they left proved unsuccessful.
Links to other pages under the section ‘Life in China 1964-66’
Life in Beijing in the 1960s
Signs of Revolution
Various travels 1970s & 80s