Chairmen's Forewords

Hong Kong Chronicles Chairmen's Forewords

Message from Council Chairman

Tung Chee Hwa

Vice Chairman, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Chairman, Our Hong Kong Foundation
Chairman, Hong Kong Chronicles Institute

Preservation of Our History Through Hong Kong Chronicles

It is said that “A mighty tree grows from its roots just as a great river flows from its source.” As part of human civilisation and of Chinese tradition, we in Hong Kong have long aspired to trace our roots and preserve our history.

Since ancient times, our ancestors have lived and thrived on the land of Hong Kong, leaving behind traces of their lives and of an evolution spanning thousands of years. However, for over 200 years since the compilation of Chronicles of Xin’an County in 1819, no other Chinese local chronicles with reference to Hong Kong had been published.

Yet, these two centuries were a significant period witnessing the remarkable growth of Hong Kong into a cosmopolitan city through the hard work and dedication of its people. During the same period, the unbroken bond and a shared future with China were manifest. The British occupation of Hong Kong since 1841 ushered in 150 years of dramatic ups and downs. The return of Hong Kong in 1997 set the stage for a new era of rejuvenation alongside the motherland.

Hong Kong, frequently looked askance as a “borrowed place” on “borrowed time” in the past, has transformed since 1997 into a Special Administrative Region within the framework of “One Country, Two Systems.” We, the people of Hong Kong, should no longer see ourselves as transients but should strive to deepen our understanding and strengthen our ties with the Mainland. That way, we shall be able to take on the responsibility as masters of our own house and find the right direction toward building a brighter future.

Local chronicles have the important functions of preserving history, informing those who govern and educating the people. Through the compilation of local chronicles, it serves to seek out, preserve and promote the stories of people, their socio-economic development and way of life as well as political structure. It plays an important role of cultural significance in driving the future by reflecting on the past.

At Hong Kong Chronicles Institute, our goal is to compile a comprehensive record of Hong Kong’s past, with detailed materials on its natural environment, politics, economy, society, culture and people. We hope Hong Kong Chronicles as a book series will become an enduring body of information and a source of wisdom in support of Hong Kong’s continued development.

Message from Executive Committee Chairman

Mr Bernard Charnwut CHAN

Mr Bernard Charnwut CHAN
Convenor, HKSAR Executive Council

For the Story of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a story of complexity and can be hard to understand without a detailed picture of what Hong Kong is about. One challenge in driving a full understanding lies in the broad range of views and perspectives as different people see things differently.

It is even more challenging to put the story of Hong Kong in a series of local chronicles. The making of Hong Kong Chronicles by sorting out the historical context from volumes upon volumes of files and archives at a time of social complication is a bold undertaking and a story on its own.

No matter how difficult it is to understand and tell the story of Hong Kong, it is important to remember what a great story Hong Kong already is…for its rich, awe-inspiring and thought-provoking history. What’s more are the collective memories of Hong Kong throughout the book series, written by all the people of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is one of a kind with a unique history and culture; it is mixed with elements of the East and the West in an open, inclusive society. Here, people of different races, origins, religions and customs can live and work together. The rise of Hong Kong in modern times reflects not only an economic “miracle” but a “sophistication” in overcoming any challenge.

Hong Kong Chronicles will be a comprehensive record of local history and development by tracing, transcribing and passing down historical information from past and present documents, giving people of the world a full understanding about Hong Kong and how it achieved its “miracle” and “sophistication.”

We live in changing times, and we must change with our times and prepare ourselves in the right direction. With Hong Kong Chronicles, we’ll be able to show a sophisticated record of history and see what economic, political and social policies were made in different time periods. Mostly importantly, we’ll be able to learn from our predecessors, enrich our lives with their wisdom and stand confidently about change for a greater future by reflecting on the past.