The Heritage of Mei Ho House museum, established and operated by the Hong Kong Youth Hostels Association, re-opened today (1 November) with the launch of a new exhibition “Memories of Our Days”. Its renovation was facilitated by a donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club through its Charities Trust, which will also support a series of community outreach activities. The museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Mei Ho House, which was built in 1954 to provide housing for squatters after a devastating fire. Its construction marked the beginning of Hong Kong’s public housing policy. The Grade II historic building is the first and only remaining Mark I H-shaped resettlement block in Sham Shui Po. About 150,000 visitors are expected to visit the renovated museum annually.
HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee, Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn, Under Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Clarence Leung, Club Deputy Chairman Dr Eric Li, Club Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chairman of Hong Kong Youth Hostels Association Terry Liu, Chairman of Sham Shui Po District Council Chum Tak-shing and other guests officiated at the launching ceremony for the “Memories of Our Days” exhibition today. Also in attendance was the Club’s Executive Director of Charities and Community Dr Gabriel Leung.
Club Deputy Chairman Dr Eric Li said, “The Club is dedicated to building a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, not least through helping to conserve and revitalise its built heritage. It is a great honour to support the renovation of the Heritage of Mei Ho House, enhancing both the visitor experience and the museum’s educational value. Through a wide range of activities, such as guided and cultural tours, participants, especially our younger generation, can better understand the importance of heritage and cultural conservation. These activities will also serve to strengthen community cohesion and intergenerational communication.”
The reopened Heritage of Mei Ho House museum features a two-floor themed exhibition, named “Memories of Our Days”. The exhibition hall on the ground floor includes ten nostalgic zones, taking visitors back to the 1950s and 1960s. The exhibition hall on the first floor displays residential units and public spaces at Mei Ho House in the early days. Together with interactive and multimedia elements, such as sound effects, and motion-sensor games, visitors can vividly experience the living conditions back then. The new exhibition zones also include a rooftop school, family factory and a mural on the exterior wall designed by local illustrator Don Mak.
The “Jockey Club Cultural Heritage Programme@Mei Ho House”, arranging nearly 130 community outreach activities, promotes younger generations’ sense of belonging and enables the public to better understand the history of public housing in Hong Kong. There will also be various cultural and educational activities for people from different sectors. The producer of the film “A Simple Life”, Roger Lee upon whom the protagonist of the story was based, will be a speaker in one of the oral history sharing sessions and thematic lectures.
“Jockey Club Mei Ho House Hong Kong Spirit Learning Programme” was first initiated in 2014 to help younger generations better understand Hong Kong’s history and its spirit of resilience and solidarity. Additionally, the Club is dedicated to building a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, enriching lives and promoting creative industries through different revitalisation projects. The Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre was transformed from a factory building in Shek Kip Mei, while Tai Kwun – Centre of Heritage and Arts was revitalised from the Central Police Station compound. Since its opening in 2018, Tai Kwun has welcomed more than ten million visitors.
The Club’s support for these projects, like all of its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate tax and charity support for the community. As one of the world's top ten charity donors, the Club is committed to acting for the betterment of society.