Memorial trail considered for Bruce Lee

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 November, 2010, 12:00am

Fans are getting their nunchakus ready to celebrate the 70th anniversary today of the birth of legendary kung fu star Bruce Lee.

But it will take more than a few swings of the deadly hinged weapons wielded by the star in his movies to break a deadlock over plans for a museum at his final home in Kowloon Tong.

Enthusiasts do, however, have something to look forward to, as the government is planning an exhibition featuring memorabilia of the star at the Heritage Museum, and is considering a Bruce Lee memorial trail.

Commissioner for Tourism Philip Yung Wai-hung said a Bruce Lee memorial path linking the star's former homes, schools and film locations was being discussed. The authority had exchanged views with the Bruce Lee Club and the two had similar ideas about the trail, he said.

Club chairman Wong Yiu-keung said the fan club proposed 10 locations for the memorial path. 'I hope it will become a new tourist attraction ... it'll also be a birthday present for Bruce Lee,' he said.

Starting from the Bruce Lee sculpture at the Avenue of Stars, the trail would run to the car park at Ocean Terminal where the star had a well known set of photographs taken. It would continue along Nathan Road and Waterloo Road, including stops at schools he attended: Tak Sun School, the former site of La Salle College and St Francis Xavier's College.

Locations of his former homes are also included, but new buildings have already replaced the ones Lee lived in. The last stop would be at Tuen Mun's Tsing Shan Monastery where Lee filmed scenes for Enter the Dragon in 1972. It may take fans half a day to travel along the Kowloon part of the path, and another half a day to reach Tuen Mun.

Yung said yesterday the government had yet to reach agreement on the design of the Kowloon Tong home with billionaire philanthropist Yu Panglin, who offered to donate the 5,000 square foot villa. Yu wants three basement levels, but only one such floor is possible under the current plot ratio, the formula that determines building density.

'Due to city planning concerns, the possibility of fulfilling Yu's requirements is very low ... Kowloon Tong is a low density area and any big development needs to be approved,' Yung said.

The commission has collected about 100 items related to the star and they could be exhibited in the Heritage Museum by 2012, he said. 'The exhibition may feature duplicates of movie scenes.'

Born in San Francisco, Lee was educated in Hong Kong before he moved to the United States. He returned to the city and filmed trademark works Fist of Fury, Game of Death and Enter the Dragon.

Lee died in 1973 aged 32.

A cinema at the Hong Kong Film Archive today will show four of his early films: The Kid (1950), A Son is Born (1953), Thunderstorm (1957) and The Orphan (1960).