Former Hong Kong chief secretary Akers-Jones celebrates 90th birthday

Chief executive lauds ‘immense contribution to Hong Kong’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 March, 2017, 10:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 March, 2017, 11:27pm

The city’s great and good gathered at a Kowloon hotel on Friday night to mark the 90th birthday of former chief secretary David Akers-Jones, the British colonial official who arrived in the city 60 years ago, rose to the highest ranks, and was acting governor briefly in the 1980s.

They included Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who said: “In his inimitable way, Sir David Akers-Jones has made an immense contribution to Hong Kong and the country.

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“As I speak, my mind is filled with fond memories of the many dinner discussions Sir David hosted.”

Also in attendance were New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-Yee and chief executive candidates Woo Kwok-hing and John Tsang Chun-wah.

Tsang said: “When I first started as an administrative officer... [Akers-Jones] was secretary for district administration. He’s a great guy, I worked with him until he retired from the civil service, and we kept in touch.”

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Akers-Jones supported Leung in the 2012 chief executive election. Last December, before Leung announced he would not seek re-election, Akers-Jones was among the first to back Ip’s bid for the top job. Ip dropped out of the election this month due to insufficient nominations.

Akers-Jones, who will turn 90 on April 17, arrived in Hong Kong to serve in the British colonial government in 1957. In the three decades that followed, he filled various posts, such as secretary for the New Territories, secretary for home affairs and chief secretary.

In 1986, after Hong Kong was shocked by the sudden death of governor Edward Youde, Akers-Jones was acting governor until 1987.

Before the handover, he chaired the Housing Authority and was a Hong Kong affairs adviser to Beijing.