For 110 years, come November, this newspaper will have been chronicling the transformation of Hong Kong from a "barren rock" and its evolution into one of the world's most vibrant commercial centres, through war, occupation, industrialisation, financial crises and social unrest. It is a story of human resilience and renewal and how people overcame the uncertainties about the future surrounding the city's reunification with China.
Sixteen years after the handover, our uniqueness as a Chinese society where East meets West, a gateway to the mainland that thrives on its historical legacy of cultural diversity and the spirit of enterprise, remains intact. It is the heritage of all our people - especially those who will write the next chapter of the Hong Kong story. The Post's 110th anniversary will be a mere footnote to that story. But it comes as the city once again stands at the crossroads of change. So we are marking it with a programme of activities to honour Hong Kong's history and spirit and inspire a vision of how to grasp opportunities that lie ahead. We have called it Celebrating Hong Kong - the place, its people, their institutions, culture and traditions, their magnificent past, the present and the future. Celebrating Hong Kong was launched last night in the presence of participants and corporate partners, who include some household names.
But this is not a VIP event. Rather it is a movement that will continue for the rest of the year and be driven by the people, supported by influential individuals and institutions who join us in saying we love and believe in Hong Kong. The true spirit of Hong Kong is to be found, after all, in the hearts of the people who make us proud to call ourselves Hongkongers through selfless acts and contributions to society, and achievements against the odds. They will be recognised through Spirit of Hong Kong awards in which readers can participate by contributing stories that touch them deeply.
Such anecdotes personalise in an inspirational way the challenges facing us all. These will be the subjects of a core element of Celebrating Hong Kong - a series of debates redefining the city's role and challenges as China expands its global influence. The topics include our future as a financial centre and gateway to China; pollution and our quality of life; entrenching our cherished freedoms with universal suffrage; and how to close a growing wealth gap. The Post is committing itself to the theme and initiatives of Celebrating Hong Kong. We are proud to invite everyone to join us in owning it.