Event #3: Causeway Bay
June 28 2014 / 11:30am – 4:30pm

Causeway Bay: Heritages in the heart of the city

After more than a century of intense development, Causeway Bay has evolved from a rural village into a world-famous metropolitan area. It is now famous as a shopping and entertainment mecca and commercial hub, but heritage buildings with historic value still remain, including Christ the King Chapel and the Tin Hau Temple, demonstrating the unique historical landscape of Causeway Bay.

Despite the fact that many of Causeway Bay’s older landmarks have disappeared over the years in the face of rapid development, the street names hint at the area’s history. Matheson Street, Yee Wo Street and Jardine’s Crescent recall Causeway Bay’s relationship with Jardine Matheson, one of the earliest and most influential companies in Hong Kong’s history. As it expanded, the group bought large pieces of land in Causeway Bay to build warehouses and factories. Names such as Sugar Street and Cotton Path are remnants of the days when these addresses were home to a sugar refinery and a cotton mill.

Causeway Bay saw an influx of Japanese department stores in the 1960s, which changed the cultural landscape of the area. Although many of these department stores have since closed, the name of one of the most famous, Daimaru, is still in use as a terminus name for minibus routes to Causeway Bay.

The Jardine Noonday Gun

The firing of the Jardine Noonday Gun is a tradition that dates back more than a century, when it was customary to give a gun salute to the head of Jardines whenever he arrived or left Hong Kong. Legend has it that this salute annoyed a senior British naval officer, however, and, as a penalty, Jardines was ordered to fire the gun as a time signal every day at noon. This practice continues to this day, making the gun a popular tourist attraction.

Victoria Park

Opened in 1955, Victoria Park was built entirely on reclaimed land from the former Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter and it is the largest town park on Hong Kong Island. One of the park’s most recognisable features is a statue of Queen Victoria, which was originally located in Statue Square. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, it was taken down and shipped to Japan. After the war the statue was brought back to Hong Kong, restored and placed in Victoria Park.

Christ The King Chapel

Founded by the Sisters of St. Paul de Charters, Christ the King Chapel had its foundation stone laid in 1928 and was consecrated in l930. The St. Paul Sisters have served Hong Kong since the early colonial days, transforming the old cotton factory buildings into a school, a hospital and a convent in 1916. These buildings continue their service to this day, nearly 100 years later, as St. Paul’s Convent School, St. Paul’s Hospital and Christ The King Chapel, respectively. Hidden from public view, Christ the King Chapel is a church that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. Inscribed under the clock above the main entrance are the Latin words “Regem Regum venite adoremus”, which means: “Let us adore the King of kings”.