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Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council and the Urban Renewal Fund Jointly Organised the “Kowloon City in Transformation: Kowloon City Themed Walking Trail Kick Off Ceremony”
2017-11-27

The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has laid a solid foundation for growth in Hong Kong over the past 170 years. 120 years ago, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui began its services in Kowloon City, where it built churches and schools, and provided welfare services to the underprivileged groups. As a social service organisation of the Sheng Kung Hui, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council (the Welfare Council) received funding from the Urban Renewal Fund (URF) to engage in the design and operation of the Kowloon City Themed Walking Trail. The project will bring residents and stakeholders in the community together to promote heritage preservation and arts and cultural development in Kowloon City. The Council hopes that the spirit of the community will be preserved in spite of redevelopments and new infrastructure.

 

The 6.5-km-long Kowloon City Walking Trial—the longest themed walking trail in Hong Kong—features five special routes. In September 2017, the Welfare Council received a fund of over HK$80 million to operate the Kowloon City Walking Trail for six years starting from 1st January, 2018 to 31st December, 2023. The walking trail is considered to be a one-of-a-kind project among similar local projects approved by the Urban Renewal Fund in terms of the amount of funding and years of operation. The Welfare Council targets to complete the third route in the first two years and the rest in the next four years.

 

In the afternoon of 27th November, 2017, the Welfare Council joined the Urban Renewal Fund to launch a kick-off ceremony at the S.K.H. Holy Trinity Cathedral to share the joy with the general public. Guests including Mr Michael Wong, Secretary of Development, Prof. Steven Ngai, Chairman of the Board of the URF, Dr Donald Li, Chairman of the Welfare Council Board of Directors, the Revd Canon Peter Douglas Koon, Honorary Secretary of the Welfare Council Board of Directors, Mr. Pun Kwok-wah, Chairman of the Kowloon City District Council, the Rt Revd Dr Timothy Kwok, Bishop of the H.K.S.K.H. Diocese of Eastern Kowloon, Miss Venus So, Assistant District Officer (Kowloon City), Ms Serena Lau, Director of the Board of the URF, and Dr Jane Lee, Director of the Welfare Council, officiated at the ceremony.

 

Speaking at the ceremony, the Revd Canon Peter Douglas Koon, Honorary Secretary of the Welfare Council Board of Directors, gave attendees an overview of the Sheng Kung Hui’s work in Kowloon City, explained the purposes of bidding the project and expressed gratitude for the participation and support of various stakeholders in the district. “Most parts of the walking trail reflects the cultural development in Kowloon City over the years. We are honoured to become part of the meaningful project. Also, we would like to give thanks to local communities and individuals, in particular the district council and Home Affairs Department. It took more than the Council and the Urban Renewal Fund’s effort to realise this goal. For everyone who made an effort, thank you, because it was with one heart and one soul that we built this trail,” he said.

 

In his speech, Prof. Steven Ngai, Chairman of the Board of the URF, noted that the Urban Renewal Fund has been committed to facilitating heritage preservation and district revitalization in urban redevelopment areas. Through the facilities built along the walking trail, he hoped to revitalize Kowloon City, To Kwa Wan and Hung Hom districts and stand out their unique features, and link up a cluster of historical architectures, amenities and open space in the neighbourhood for public enjoyment.

“We would also like to highlight the uniqueness of Kowloon City via the themed walking trail. We want our future generations and various groups in society to bring the community to life through by interacting with one another,” he added.

 

Mr. Pun Kwok-wah, Chairman of the Kowloon City District Council, said, “As a key stakeholder in Kowloon City, the district council will put great efforts to the project. We will also consider to work with the Welfare Council in various projects in the future. Community arts development and cultural heritage conservation are the main tasks of the Kowloon City District Council that we plan to beautify the external walls of government buildings, footbridge staircase and internal walls of subways. I believe that the district council’s effort will create synergy with the work of the trail, and thus promote art, revitalize the community and preserve its spirit.”

 

During the ceremony, the officiating guests put eight illustrations of the trails key elements onto the backdrop. Mr Michael Wong, Secretary of Development, placed the last piece to symbolise the government’s support to the project.

 

Together, the participants and the officiating guests conducted another ritual representing joint efforts from all sides to kick off the project.

 

The Welfare Council also introduced to guests four targets and five key implementation strategies of the project, 53 local communities and individuals participating in the projects, as well as some important features of the project: hub of vibrancy, public furniture, KC Transformers and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Participants were also treated to local delicacies after the ceremony.