Elsie Tu

Veteran Hong Kong politician Elsie Tu: a life in pictures

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2015, 3:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 December, 2015, 9:06am

Elsie Tu was born and grew up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England on June 2, 1913 before the First World War. Her father played a major role influencing her life and passion to serve the society.

After leaving the church in 1954, she founded and worked in Mu Kuang English School for poor children in the squatter area near Kai Tak. It is now situated on Kung Lok Road in Kwun Tong, serving 1,300 children of Hong Kong's low-income families.

She was an elected member of the Urban Council for thirty-two years from 1963 to 1995 until she lost to Hong Kong late democratic icon Szeto Wah. She was a member of the Kwun Tong District Board from 1981 to 1986, member of the HKSAR Basic Law Consultative Committee from 1985 to 1990, member of the Legislative Council from 1988 to 1995 and the House Committee chair of the Legislative Council from 1991 to1995. 

In 1985, she got married to Andrew Tu Hsueh-kwei, who came from Inner Mongolia and helped set up the school. They wrote a book called Shouting at the Mountain: A Hong Kong story of love and commitment, telling the couple’s lives dedicated to the society. It was completed after Andrew Tu’s death in 2001 and published in 2005.

She was regarded as pro-Beijing by the pan-democrats and was a vigorous and vocal participant in Hong Kong politics and society, fighting for the underprivileged and against 'rich men with no conscience'.  

Elsie Tu was a huge contributor in the drive to establish the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) and was honoured with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her work against corruption.

She celebrated her 100th birthday in 2013. Each year she made the same very public wish: “We can have a world at peace instead of all wanting to fight.”