“New G.C.H. at Pokfulam” ran the headline in the South China Morning Post on September 23, 1932, detailing plans to build a hospital in place of the Government Civil Hospital.
Located on Pok Fu Lam Road, the hospital would consist of seven storeys with 500 beds, as well as quarters for staff and students.
By September 18, 1934, work was well under way. “On what only a year or two ago was part of the hill-side in Pokfulam Road, rapid progress is being made to push the new Government Civil Hospital scheme to a conclusion,” the Post reported. “Hundreds of workmen are engaged on the site, and it is expected that in two years, the hospital will be ready for occupation.”
Eight months later, on May 10, 1935, the foundation stone was laid by then governor Sir William Peel, naming the building Queen Mary Hospital.
The ceremony marked “a new epoch in the history of Medicine in this Colony,” Dr W.B.A. Moore, Director of Medical and Sanitary Services, was reported as saying in the next day’s Post. “For many years it has been obvious that the old Government Civil Hospital would need to be replaced by a modern hospital.”
Designed by the Architectural Branch of the Public Works Department, the Queen Mary would be twice the size of the previous facility, to reduce overcrowding and give students more patients to study, he said.
Two years later, the hospital was ready for its inauguration.
On April 1, 1937, the Post reported: “Hongkong’s $4,000,000 Queen Mary Hospital will be officially opened by His Excellency the Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, on Tuesday, April 13, at 4pm.”
On April 14, a headline in the Post ran, “Building Described: Luxury Hand-in-Hand with Efficiency – An Ideal Situation.” The new hospital was characterised as offering “impressiveness without ostentation”.
A story the next day noted the facility “provides the Colony with another institution in which it can take pride. It is said, with confidence, that it is the best hospital in the Far East.”