Spirit of Hong Kong

Spirit of Hong Kong: Time to vote for the People's Choice Award

30 finalists have been chosen from the stories of more than 100 inspirational Hongkongers. One will win the People's Choice Award

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 October, 2013, 4:53am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 December, 2013, 12:19pm

Over the past months, we have shared with you more than 100 stories of Hong Kong heroes - people who have been nominated for the Spirit of Hong Kong Awards for inspiring or empowering others; for giving selflessly within the community; for their honesty and integrity; or by showing perseverance and endurance.

Now it is time for you, our readers, and our panel of judges to decide who among our shortlist of 30 nominees should win the 11 awards. Ten of those awards will be chosen by our judges, and the 11th - the People's Choice Award - by our readers.

Among the 30 shortlisted candidates are Chan Hung, who with five children of his own, gave up his career as a headmaster to level the playing field for underprivileged kids.

Then there's Kan Yiu-kwong, who as a former telephone repairman, got together with some of his friends to raise money for one of the mainland's rural schools. His charity has now funded the building of 1,100 schools, providing a safe, modern environment in which children can learn.

There are those who have overcome adversity, such as Aaron Zweig, who, after a life-threatening disease had to have a leg amputated but went on to become a medal-winning swimmer.

Readers can vote for one of the 30 finalists at the online address at the end of this story. The closing date for voting is November 4. The winners will be announced on November 26.

Daryl Ng Win-kong, executive director of Sino Land, is on the panel of judges. "These are some of Hong Kong's unsung heroes, whose tireless work and can-do spirit have made our city a vibrant and exciting place," he said.

"It is a great honour for me to have been given the opportunity to be involved in recognising the magnificent contribution of these wonderful individuals."

Panel chairman is former colonial secretary Sir David Akers-Jones. He said: "How does one choose from among the masses a few to represent the spirit of our city in such a city of heroes?"

Author and explorer Rebecca Lee said: "I think the people of Hong Kong have the power to face all manner of difficulties and never give up."

Along with Lee, Ng and Akers-Jones, our judges are: South China Morning Post editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei; Dr David Pang Ding-jung, chairman of the SCMP Group; Ronald Arculli, the chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing; Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, the former permanent secretary for home affairs; Nelson Chow Wing-sun, professor at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong; and the former secretary for works Ronald James Blake.

"There are so many extraordinary stories to be found among the entries we have received," Wang said.

"The people nominated include young and old and come from different walks of life. Their achievements are varied; what they have in common is a desire to make a real difference to our community and the determination and dedication to see that through. Selecting the shortlisted finalists has been very difficult."

You can vote on our website until Monday, November 4: