"Sun Yat-sen Statue on HKU Campus"
Eighty years ago, on a sunny morning in the Spring of 1923, Dr Sun Yat-sen visited The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and had a close encounter with students of HKU. It was on this historic occasion that he remarked, "Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong are my intellectual birthplace."
This statement underlines the events and endeavours that Sun Yat-sen, Hong Kong and the University have gone through in the past eighty years.
Sun Yat-sen received a modern education in Hong Kong. He was among the first graduates of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, which was the predecessor of the HKU Faculty of Medicine.
HKU was founded in 1911, bringing higher education in Hong Kong into a new era. In the same year, the great Chinese Revolution broke out. The feudal imperial monarchy in China, with a history of two thousand years, was overthrown. Sun Yat-sen led China into a new epoch.
The historical giant, trailing his slender shadow, strode past the age of heroic events, and also brushed past every brick and stone of the Main Building. The Main Building symbolises the cultural interflow between China and the West, witnesses the progress of history, and preserves that 1923 visit as part of the University's perpetual memory, guarding the University's mission: "The University of Hong Kong for China".
The tradition has to be sustained and the story should continue. We have always wished to erect a statue of Sun Yat-sen on campus, so that this great man could stay at HKU and students could follow this historic footprints.
The founding of the Sun Yat-sen memorial statue has now completed. The statue will sit beside the Lily Pond, surrounded by green lawns fragrant with lily blossoms, situated at the heart of the campus. The statue will add new meaning to the campus.
The statue shows Sun Yat-sen as he looked when he visited HKU in 1923, at the age of 56. He made a public lecture in the Great Hall (now Loke Yew Hall) at the invitation of the HKU Students' Union. Dressed in Chinese long gown and mandarin jacket, he looked vigorous and personable, with the air of a senior scholar. Therefore, Sun Yat-sen will be seen as an elderly gentleman strolling on the University campus, carrying a walking stick, as if telling those around him, "This is my campus."