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To review the Council's historical development and accomplishments, a thematic exhibition entitled "The Urban Council: Growing with Hong Kong" is being staged at the Exhibition Hall, 1/F, Low Block, Hong Kong City Hall, Central, from today (Tuesday) to January 9, 2000.
Speaking at the opening ceremony this morning, the Chairman of the Urban Council (PUC) Dr Ronald Leung Ding-bong said that Hong Kong had been provided with municipal services ever since its earliest days.
"The predecessor of the Urban Council was the Sanitary Board, which was established in 1883," Dr Leung said, "the Sanitary Board was renamed the Urban Council in 1935 and there was a shift to the provision of diversified municipal services," he noted.
"The Urban Council began to commit itself to cultural and recreational services with the opening of the City Hall in 1962," Dr Leung said.
"It became a financially autonomous corporate body when the new 'Urban Council Ordinance' came into effect in 1973. Since then, the municipal services developed by leaps and bounds. Marked achievements have been made in the fields of environmental hygiene, leisure and sports, and culture and art to tremendously raise the living standard of the people of Hong Kong,"
"In the long history of the Urban Council, it witnessed the crises and scares of Hong Kong in her early days and shared the happiness of the people of Hong Kong in the post-war period when they all worked hard to rebuild the city. The efforts of the Urban Council and the political, social, economic and cultural development of Hong Kong are inseparably interconnected," he said.
"In welcoming the new millennium, we specially present this exhibition on the history of the Urban Council as a millennium activity to review the past and look forward to the future with the public," Dr Leung added.
The exhibition hall is divided into six sections, namely: "The Period of Epidemics (1843-1882)", "The Period of the Sanitary Board (1883-1934)", "The Initial Stage of the Urban Council(1935-1945)", "The Post-war Period before the Re-organization (1946-1972)", "The Period of Re-organization and Financial Autonomy (1973-1982)" and "The Period of Comprehensive Development (1983-1999)".
The exhibition features over 100 significant artefacts, historical documents and photographs.
Key exhibits include the gazette notice of the formation of the Sanitary Board, the 1894 Hong Kong plague (Silver) medal, 1960s pamphlet featuring "Miss Ping On" (Miss Good Health), the commemorative scroll at the opening of the City Hall in 1962, the meeting of the Urban Council in 1973, the Chain of Office worn by the Chairman of the Urban Council, the Centenary Silver Medallion in 1983 and a series of posters on the Clean Hong Kong Campaign.
The exhibition also features replicas of cartoon characters used in various public campaigns to improve cleanliness and hygiene, such as the "Dragon of Cleanliness", "Litterbug" and "Miss Ping On".
Through a number of computer games and audio-visual programmes, members of the public can learn more about the services and facilities provided by the Council.