Bruce Lee was a Chinese American martial arts expert and movie star best known for films including Enter The Dragon and Game Of Death. Born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco, he was the son of Cantonese opera singer Lee Hoi-Chuen. Lee returned to Hong Kong at three months old and was raised in Kowloon, where as a child he appeared in several films. In his late teens he moved to the United States where he began teaching martial arts, eventually moving into films. Lee is widely credited with changing the perceptions of Asians in Hollywood movies, as well as founding the martial art of Jeet Kune Do. Lee died in Kowloon Tong on July 20, 1973 aged 32 from acute cerebral edema.
Fans can follow the 'Bruce Lee Way' with Hong Kong memorial trail
A memorial trail taking in six spots across the city makes its debut on Saturday, along with a special party at one of the icon's old schools
A memorial trail covering movie star Bruce Lee's connection to Hong Kong will kick off this weekend, as part of a series of events marking the 40th anniversary of his death this year.
"The Bruce Lee Way" will take fans and tourists to six locations, including the Tai Kok Tsui school toilet where his fighting skills were first recognised.
"We use the word 'way' because we want to show, through the trail, how Hong Kong society, where East meets West, nurtured Lee and eventually made him an international success," Wong Yiu-keung, chairman of the Bruce Lee Club, said yesterday.
The club has erected a signboard on each of the trail locations, which comes with photos and an introductory text by writer Chip Tsao.
In a speech he gave to his alma mater, St Francis Xavier's College, in 1973, Lee told the story of a key moment early in his life that led to his joining the school's boxing team.
A German teacher caught him fighting in a toilet stall "but the teacher did not punish him", Wong said. "Instead he saw the potential in Lee and arranged for him to join a boxing class. Subsequently he won the championship in an interschool competition. That's the only boxing contest in which he ever participated.
The club has secured special, once-off access to the school for the Saturday night opening of the trail. "I am sure the toilet will be a popular photo spot that night at the party," Wong said.
The trail will also include the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, where the club has erected a bronze statue of Lee; Ocean Terminal, where Lee posed for a set of photos for movie company Golden Harvest; two other missionary schools, Tak Sun School and La Salle Primary School, where he was educated; and Tsing Shan Monastery, a filming location for Enter The Dragon.
The Film Development Fund supplied HK$1 million to the club to support the trail.
However, Lee's former home, a two-storey house at 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong, will not be part of the trail. "It is our stance the residence should be preserved as a permanent museum. Unfortunately the landlord cannot reach an agreement with the government," Wong said.
Landlord Yu Panglin has given up the idea of donating the house since officials would not agree to his conditions.
A second phase of the trail is being planned, Wong said, which could include more spots like the pier at Tai Tam, another shooting spot for Enter The Dragon.
The club will hold an opening ceremony for the trail at the Avenue of Stars on Saturday morning for fans and tourists to join. They expect 500 people for the party at St Francis Xavier's.