Carnival to raise awareness of history

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2006, 12:00am

Did you know that the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex was once a mental hospital? Or that the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences was the Pathology Institute?

Or that only the governor could sit in the first two seats of the Peak Tram?

The 'Central and Western District - A Century of Historical Charisma' carnival will tell you the stories of 20 heritage sites in the Central and Western districts this Sunday.

The free carnival, organised by the Central and Western District Council, will be held at Sheung Wan Fong from 11am to 6pm. Its aim is to raise people's awareness of the importance of preserving our heritage and learning the history of Hong Kong.

All the 20 heritage sites in the programme are 100 years old or more. They include both Chinese and western-style buildings, characteristic streets and old local transportation, reflecting a unique colonial history on the island.

Some of the highlights are Western Market, the former mental hospital on High Street, Man Mo Temple, St Stephen's Girls' College, Duddell Street Steps and Gas Lamps, and The Peak Tram.

A total of 40 display boards with valuable photos will be set up during the carnival to introduce their history.

Some relics lent out by local museums will be on display. The boards will be on an exhibition tour in the district to further promote heritage in the next two months.

There will also be two free tours with a professional guide, who will lead people to visit the different resorts in the district. The tours, each of 20 people, will set off at 2.30pm and 4pm from the carnival. People interested can register at 11am on that day on a first-come first-served basis. Included in the day's lineup will be the stage appearance of special guests, who will explain various aspects of the district's history.

'Many people know that the Central and Western districts are full of historical landmarks, but not many know much about the background of these sites.

So we hope the programme, which accounts for $210,000, will help people gain a clearer picture of the district's precious history,' said the district councillor Kam Nai-wai.

For details of the carnival, go to