Message from Council Chairman
Mr C H TUNG
Vice Chairman, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Chairman, Our Hong Kong Foundation
Preservation of Our History Through Hong Kong Chronicles
It is often said that "trees grow from their roots as waters of a mountain spring must come from a source.” As part of human civilization and a cultural tradition, we are aspired to trace our roots and preserve our history. It has been an ambition for generations of people in Hong Kong.
Since ancient times, our ancestors have lived and thrived on the land of Hong Kong, leaving behind traces about their lives and of an evolution spanning thousands of years. However, since the Chronicles of Xin’an County in 1819, no other Chinese local chronicles with reference to Hong Kong had been published for 200 years.
These 200 years were a significant period reminiscent of the remarkable journey of Hong Kong becoming a cosmopolitan city from the hard work and dedication of the people. These years also reminded us of an unbroken bond and a shared future with China. The British occupation of Hong Kong since 1841 had been 150 years full of ups and downs. The return of Hong Kong in 1997 marked a new era of rejoining a rejuvenated nation.
Since returning to China, Hong Kong has transformed from the status of a “borrowed” place to a special administrative region under the framework of “One Country, Two Systems.” We as the people of Hong Kong should no longer see ourselves as passersby but should serve to deepen our understanding and ties with China. That way, we shall be able to open the door of opportunity and create a brighter future.
Local chronicles carry the important functions of history preservation, policy advisory and education. They serve by giving an understanding about the socio-economic and political structure of a place. Local chronicles are mega projects of cultural significance as they play an important role in guiding the present and driving the future.
At Hong Kong Chronicles Institute, our goal is to compile a comprehensive record with detailed information on Hong Kong’s natural environment, politics, economy, society, culture and people. We hope Hong Kong Chronicles as a book series will become an eternal treasure of culture and a source of wisdom in support of Hong Kong’s continued development.
Message from Executive Committee Chairman
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.