Greetings from the Organizing Committee for HKAUW’s 60th Anniversary Celebration !
HKAUW was honoured and delighted to have the participation at our 60th Anniversary of 28 sisters representing NFAs from Australia, Egypt, Japan, Netherlands, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom and the United States along with our members and friends.
Organized under the theme Empowering Women, Embracing the World, the celebration events were designed for participants to learn about Hong Kong and what has been achieved by women. The events also aim to provide a platform for exchanging knowledge, ideas and future goals to improve the lives of women and girls through the power of education. In retrospect, we discovered that we have also provided the opportunities for our participants to get to know more about one another and about our similarities and differences.
To recall the memorable moments at our celebrations for the participants as well as for sharing with those who were not present, we present herewith brief reports of the organized events, supplemented with photos, for our 60th Anniversary celebration.
Organizing Committee for 60th Anniversary Celebration
Hong Kong Association of University Women
DAY 1 Friday, 1 December
Guided Sight-seeing Tour of Hong Kong
Peak Tram to The Peak
Visit and Lunch at Lei Yue Mun Fishing Village
Hong Kong Museum of History –
Permanent Exhibition "The Hong Kong Story"
Walking along the Avenue of Stars next to the waterfront
DAY 2 Saturday, 2 December
Guided Tour of Legislative Council and Walking Tour of Old Hong Kong
Guided Tour at Legislative Council
Guided Walking Tour of Old Hong Kong –
Sai Ying Pun Heritage Trail
Chinese Dim-Sum Lunch (Ho Choi Seafood Restaurant)
Gala Dinner at The Helena May
The Helena May(THM) was established in 1916 by Lady Helena May who was the wife of the Governor, Sir Henry May, with object of promoting the welfare of women and girls in Hong Kong. Apart from Club facilities THM also offers accommodation and it is centrally located in a gracious heritage building on Hong Kong Island. Today, the beautiful colonial building stands out as a superb example of Hong Kong’s architectural heritage. THM’s community outreach programme focuses on the needs of women and girls living in Hong Kong. (www.helenamay.com)
DAY 3 Sunday, 3 December
60th Anniversary Conference
on ‘Empowering Women, Embracing the World ’
Organized in collaboration with City University of Hong Kong
(Department of Linguistics and Translation)
The conference was attended by participants including friends from different NFAs, members of HKAUW as well as staff and students from local universities.
Evening Screening of ‘Golden Gate Girls’,
An award-winning documentary on Hong Kong’s First Woman Director + Discussion with Director S. Louisa Wei
DAY 4 monday, 5 December
Visit at NGO and Farewell Dinner
Food Angel, founded by a woman, is a food rescue and food assistance programme launched in 2011 with the mission of "WASTE NOT, HUNGER NOT, WITH LOVE." The programme rescues edible surplus food from different sectors of the food industry that would otherwise be disposed of as waste. Following strict safety protocols, the rescued food items are prepared as nutritious hot meals in the central kitchen and redistributed to serve the underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. (http://www.foodangel.org.hk/)
Benji’s Centre, founded in 2004, is the first and only charitable organization providing specialized professional speech therapy to children and teenagers with communication problems, especially those from low-income families. The Centre is providing over 400 children with intensive individual therapies and has helped more than 2,500 children since its establishment.(http://www.benjiscentre.org.hk)
French Lunch at La Parole
La Parole is the first restaurant in Hong Kong merging the concept of high-class French cuisine and Social Enterprise. La Parole is opened by Confiserie Benji Limited which is a Social Enterprise recognized by the Hong Kong SAR Government. The revenue generated from the restaurant after deducting the necessary expenses, are contributed to Benji’s Centre.
Guided Tour at Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware
Specializing in the collection, study and display of teaware, the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware features at its core the generous donations of Dr K.S. Lo (1910-1995), which include many fine examples of the famous Yixing teaware. With the history of over 170 years, the Flagstaff House originally served as the office and residence of the Commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong. It was converted to the Museum of Teaware in 1984, with a new wing, the K.S. Lo Gallery, added in 1995. Alongside its exhibitions, the Museum holds regular demonstrations, tea gatherings and lecture programmes to promote ceramic art and Chinese tea drinking culture. (http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Arts/en_US/web/ma/tea-ware.html)
Farewell Dinner of Chinese vegetarian dim-sum at LockCha Tea House w/ demonstration of tea preparation and performance of Chinese music
The LockCha Tea House provides an elegant place for tea in the heart of downtown Hong Kong. Whether you are a tea lover or not, you will be captivated by its soothing atmosphere and cultured environment. Aimed at reviving the traditional canton-style teahouses, the LockCha Tea House provides not only a selection of more than a hundred teas but also vegetarian dim-sum that are made fresh daily.
Optional Guangxi Travel Tour (5-9 December)
Tuesday, 5 December
Direct flight from Hong Kong to Nanning, Guangxi, China
Wednesday, 6 December
Whole-day visit at Guangxi University of Foreign Languages
Thursday, 7 December
Guangxi Museum of Nationalities
Dinner at Zhuangxiang Tea House
High-speed train to Guilin at night
Friday, 8 December
Cruise on scenic Li River (Guangxi)
Outdoor evening performance of Yangshuo Impression Sanjie Liu
Saturday, 9 December
Morning flight from Guilin to Xiamen
Direct flight from Xiamen to Hong Kong in late afternoon
Video show prepared by
Guangxi University of Foreign Languages
Thoughts for sharing from Susan Miles of
British Federation of University Women
of her participation at 60th Anniversary celebrations
Having been very impressed by the enthusiasm of the representatives of the HKAUW whom I met at the GWI conference in Cape Town I was determined to take up the offer of joining them for their 60th anniversary celebrations, and the prospect of a post-celebration visit to Guangxi Province added to the attraction.
This was my first visit to both Hong Kong and mainland China, so I could write at great length about all the vivid impressions, some expected, others not: the famous sky-line of Hong Kong, familiar from TV; the spectacular scenery of the Lijiang river, also familiar from pictures, but far exceeding in real life any reproduction; wonderful Chinese food; sitting at a café in Yangshuo, drinking excellent if very expensive coffee, watching what looked like a Deliveroo courier deliver a McDonald’s to the shop opposite; the view from my hotel window of the rush hour in Nanning, consisting largely it seemed of electric scooters. Above all, I could write about the great warmth, friendship and laughter shared with a wonderful group of women both in Hong Kong and in Guangxi.
However, we are university women and I spent all of my working life in academic libraries, so I would like to make a few remarks about my impressions of the universities with which we came into contact. Having worked for over thirty years in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, home to great collections of Chinese material, I knew from conversations with my colleagues working on these collections that the university scene in China had changed enormously in recent decades. It was wonderful, therefore, to be able to go and see a bit of it for myself.
It is worth noting that Hong Kong has four universities in the top 50 of the QS World University Rankings (more, incidentally, than the whole of the EU, excluding the UK). I was not aware of the extent of interchange and cross—fertilisation between universities in Hong Kong and mainland China. From conversations with academics in Hong Kong and during our visit to the Guangxi University of Foreign Languages I gained an impression of an outward-looking dynamism that is paying dividends. We were told that all children in China are now learning English from the age of six, and that Chinese students, in order to gain entrance to university, have to pass exams in Chinese, English and maths. It was clear from the students that we met at the GUFL that Chinese parents are very aware of the aforementioned university rankings, in that they want their children to study in the US or the UK. As Julia Woo pointed out, this may lead to a rather limited view of the rest of the world, and they should perhaps be encouraged to study in a wider range of countries.
Having revealed my university library background, I was somewhat embarrassed to be given a short personal tour of their library by our hosts at GUFL. We had already been told that the Chinese government sets a standard by which universities must have twenty books per student; my inquiries revealed that these are conventional printed books, and the government is not yet persuaded to abandon them for e-books. In the library it was clear that many students shared this view, as a lot of books and periodicals were in use or waiting to be re-shelved. I spoke to the deputy librarian who told me that all students in China have access to, if I remember rightly, a million and a half e-books, and he also showed me the library catalogue, which as we might expect is available via an app.
Throughout our visits both to Hong Kong and to Giangxi, we were very privileged to gain insights into the life of those places that are not available to the tourist, for which I am very grateful to our hosts, especially Julia and Bella. They accomplished very well the mission described on the website of the Chinese University of Hong Kong: “to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.” I hope that we may be able to help with this aim, within GWI, and look forward to further opportunities to do so.
British Federation of University Women