Message fro the Chairman
In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the need for the preservation of cultural heritage and historic buildings all over the world. Hong Kong is no exception. The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, under the purview of the HKSAR Home Affairs Bureau, has been actively promoting the conservation of local heritage for many years. The Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government, under the leadership of Ms Carrie Lam, has also been vigorously promoting the restoration and revitalisation of historical buildings in Hong Kong. These efforts are helping to open up many historic buildings for use by the general public, strengthening our sense of history, enriching our collective memory and enhancing our cultural life. Therefore, the ‘Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme’ of the Development Bureau is a much welcomed initiative and has received a great deal of positive response from all circles of society. It has successfully pioneered a new path in conservation work: “let the past serve the present, and let resources be shared by all.” Under this Scheme, the site of the former Lai Chi Kok Hospital was revitalised and has become a hub for promoting Chinese culture. With the approval of Mr. Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, it was renamed the Jao Tsung-I Academy, in honour of the master of Chinese culture, Professor Jao Tsung-I, for his extraordinary academic contributions.
The revitalised site of the Academy not only retains its original architectural style but is also graced with an elegant Chinese courtyard and garden. It is a picturesque venue suitable for hosting all kinds of cultural and artistic events. As pointed out by Professor Jao, “The 21st century is an era of renaissance for Chinese culture in the world arena”. It is our hope that the Jao Tsung-I Academy will make much contribution in this respect, and at the same time help enrich the cultural life of the people in Hong Kong.
Professor Lee Chack-fan, GBS, SBS, JP
(Acknowledgement speech delivered on behalf of Professor Jao Tsung-I at the Jao Tsung-I Academy Revitalisation Commencement Ceremony on 14 December 2010)