Unveiling of the Statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen at HKU Strengthens the Centenary Connection between the Father of the Nation and the University
20 Dec 2010
With the generous donation of a statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen from his granddaughter Dr. Lily Sun Sui-fong, President of Dr. Sun Yat-sen Foundation for Peace and Education, the Father of the Nation once again set his footprints in The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, where he studied and received the professional qualification as a doctor over a hundred years ago. The Statute is placed at the Foyer of Cheung Kung Hai Conference Centre at the medical campus of HKU. To thank Dr. Lily Sun for her staunch support and mark this memorable occasion, an unveiling ceremony for the statue was held at the Faculty today (Dec 20, 2010).
Dr. Lily Sun Sui-fong, President of Dr. Sun Yat-sen Foundation for Peace and Education; Dr. Leong Che-hung, Council Chairman of HKU; Professor Paul Tam, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of HKU; Professor Lee Sum-ping, Dean, The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine; and Professor Leung Nai-kong, President, HKU Medical Alumni Association officiated at the unveiling ceremony. Medical students presented a flower bouquet to Dr. Lily Sun in appreciation of her generous donation.
In 1887, Dr. Sun Yat-sen started to study at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, the predecessor of the HKU medical faculty. In 1892, Dr. Sun completed the medical course with distinguished results and became the first batch of graduates of the college. During his five-year study at the college, Dr. Sun not only turned into a professional medical doctor, but also got exposure to the ideals of British liberty and freedom. These prevailing values nurtured his revolutionary ideas to change the nation and save the miserable people in his motherland. He later decided to launch the revolutionary movement. In 1911, with the continuous efforts of Dr. Sun and his fellows, the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, which marked the milestone in the history of modern China.
The bondage of Dr. Sun and HKU never ceased upon his graduation. Invited by the HKU Students' Union, Dr. Sun came back to the university and gave an address titled "Why I Became a Revolutionist?" at the Great Hall (present-day Loke Yew Hall) in 1923. At the beginning of the address, Dr. Sun sincerely expressed his feelings towards the university, "I felt as though I had returned home, because Hong Kong and this university were my intellectual birthplace." This earned him loud applause from the audience. At the end of his address, Dr. Sun reminded the HKU students to "learn the English examples of good government and carry them to every part of China."
In commemoration of the outstanding alumnus and with great pride, HKU had erected statues of Dr. Sun at the University's Lily Pond and named the area in front of the Main Library as "Sun Yat-sen Place". Artifacts related to Dr. Sun's life in the college are also displayed at the medical campus and the medical library, which include the replicas of his admission record, answer sheets, examination results, photos of Dr. Sun and his classmates as well as the copy of the medical dictionary that Dr. Sun used.
Dr. Lily Sun's donation symbolised the "return" of Dr. Sun Yat-sen to HKU, strengthening the close ties between the great man and the university established over a century ago. Professor Lee Sum-ping, Dean of The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, thanked Dr. Lily Sun for the donation. He said that Dr. Sun had set an excellent example for the staff and students that they should always excel in the endeavours and contribute to the community and the nation, like the forerunner did.
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