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Shek Kip Mei fire

On Christmas Eve 1953, the Shek Kip Mei fire made nearly 6 thousands of residents in the area homeless. The Shek Kip Mei disaster catalyzed a growing public awareness that the housing situation was running out of control in Hong Kong. To provide accommodation to such a large number of people in a short time, Shek Kip Mei Estate was built with a functionalistic approach, using the simplest structure to maximize the utilization of space. Being the first public housing estate, Shek Kip Mei Estate represents a milestone in the history of housing development in Hong Kong. With our recommendation of video/audio programmes, photos and old newspapers…etc. from the Multimedia Information System in the Hong Kong Public Libraries, you will know well, the history of public housing in Hong Kong began as a Christmas tale.

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  • Water Supply in Hong Kong
    Water Supply in Hong Kong
    The history of water supply in Hong Kong can be traced back to 1851, when the Government set aside funding in its budget for sinking wells to provide water to the public for free. In 1863, Hong Kong's first impounding reservoir was constructed in the Pok Fu Lam valley. From the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, the incomplete water supply facilities could not cater for the needs of Hong Kong's increasing population. When droughts occured, we had to face the water shortage problem. Since 1841, Hong Kong had gone through a number of severe droughts, and the Government was forced to exercise water rationing. The drought in 1963 was the most severest. Water could only be supplied to the public for 4 hours every 4 days. In 1965, Hong Kong began to receive water from Dongjiang and the problem of water shortage was solved. Through the following resources selected from the Multimedia Information System, including articles from journal and newspapers, audio visual materials and photos, we can review the history of water supply in Hong Kong and understand the difficulties faced by our predecessors.
  • Hong Kong in World War II
    Hong Kong in World War II
    During World War II (1939-1945), Japan started the Pacific War in December 1941. On December 8, 1941, the Japanese launched an assault on Hong Kong. After eighteen days of fighting, the then Governor of Hong Kong, Mark Young, surrendered Hong Kong to Japan on December 25 and it marked the beginning of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. On August 15, 1945, Japan declared its unconditional surrender and the World War II ended. Britain restored its control over Hong Kong, ending the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong which lasted for three years and eight months. Through the following resources selected from the Multimedia Information System, including articles from newspapers, audio visual materials and photos, we can understand the history and social conditions of Hong Kong during World War II.