Dr Sun's grandson in history call to young
The 91-year-old grandson of Chinese revolutionary Dr Sun Yat-sen hopes Hong Kong youth will take steps to enhance their national identity and knowledge of China's modern history.
Most Chinese people in Hong Kong, especially the young generation, are not fully aware of their national identity, Sun said.
"The youth generation lacks knowledge of modern Chinese history. They don't fully understand the background of why my grandfather (Dr Sun) organized the 1911 Revolution to overthrow the Qing Dynasty in the early 20th century," he said.
"This can be related to our education system, which does not emphasize the teaching of modern Chinese history among young people. Our education has not given students enough knowledge about my grandfather's ideology in the revolution," Sun said.
After Kom Tong Hall is converted into a museum on Dr Sun, he hoped it would help enrich people's historic knowledge and cultivate a sense of national identity.
At the media conference, Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho Chi-ping said Hong Kong had played a significant role in the course of the 1911 Revolution led by Dr Sun.
"As the bridge between the Chinese and Western cultures, Hong Kong nurtured the revolutionary ideas of Dr Sun - a fact he once remarked on at the University of Hong Kong in the 1920s."
During his stay in Hong Kong, Dr Sun developed his revolutionary concepts by reading widely on the political and military theories of the West.
Ho said Dr Sun had used Hong Kong as a base for monitoring revolutionary efforts in Guangzhou when the territory was under British rule at that time.
With its deep harbour and ease of transportation, Hong Kong helped in the shipment of armaments and supplies to the revolutionary forces in the 1911 Revolution period.
Ho urged the public to support the collection campaign organized by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to donate any artefacts related to Dr Sun and the 1911 Revolution, which will be displayed at the new museum. So far the public has donated nearly 300 artefacts.
The Hong Kong Museum of History will open an exhibition of artefacts related to Dr Sun during the collection period that ends in August.
The displayed articles include Dr Sun's calligraphy of "bo-ai", meaning "fraternity", and some glass negatives of the great historic figure and his revolutionary counterparts.
The government announced the acquisition of Kom Tong Hall from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at HK$53 million in February.
The building, located at 7 Castle Road, was built in 1914 as the residence of the affluent Ho Kom-tong family.
The government plans to convert Kom Tong Hall into a Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum with a budget of HK$91 million, to introduce Dr Sun's life and his revolutionary activities in Hong Kong. It is anticipated that the museum will be open to the public in November 2006 to commemorate Dr Sun's 140th birthday.
Kom Tong Hall was built in the classical style architecture of the Edwardian period. The building is lavishly decorated with stained glass windows, teakwood staircases and panels, most of which are well-preserved and in their original state.
The government hailed the conversion plan as a "win-win solution" that will preserve a Hong Kong heritage site and find a suitable home for the great revolutionary's museum.