Saturday, March 10, 2012

City Hall and Sir Robert Black

March 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the Hong Kong City Hall. There are series of celebrations including exhibitions and free dancing shows.

Last Saturday I went to see the exhibition of the history of City Hall and found something interesting.  As we all know, Hong Kong became a British colony since 1842.  Since then English became the official language here.  Today we seldom have chances to read some really formally written English or Chinese.  I just found one at the exhibition and have decided to share with you here.  Mind you, the name of the then governor of Hong Kong was three lines long.  Here you go:

On the occasion of the formal opening of the City Hall on 2nd March 1962 His Excellency Sir Robert Black Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael & St. George, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Governor & Commander in Chief of the Colony of Hong Kong, presented this scroll to the Urban Council upon whom the management of the City Hall had been vested by Ordinance on Wednesday, 29th March 1961.  It was received on behalf of the Urban Council by the Chairman the Honourable Kenneth Strathmore Kinghorn, Justice of the Peace.


You may notice that there are no punctuation marks in the Chinese version.  Yes the original was written that way.  In fact, ancient formal Chinese was written without punctuations.  The use of punctuation marks were only introduced in the recent 100 years or so.
The Higher Block of The Hong Kong City Hall and it's garden.  The building next to it was the Mandarin Oriental which was also built in the 60's.  Thought the building built at that period were similarly tall.  City Hall used to be a giant building at the waterfront of Central when it was built.  Nowadays it becomes a tiny little building surrounded by skyscrapers in Central.
There were several venues in the City Hall presenting various kinds of dances which recaps a short history of all the cultural performances being held here in the past half a century.

Hong Kong Travel Blog - City Hall 50th Anniversary