The main entrance of Yau Ma Tei Police Station, a listed historic building. (PHOTO / HKSAR INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT)

News of the 25th anniversary celebrations of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland continued to raise spirits in the city, with the Hong Kong Police Force announcing a series of open-door events on Monday, and the government committed to spreading the festive atmosphere among the grassroots and the underprivileged.

Kenneth Kwok Ka-chuen, assistant commissioner of police (special duty) (support), told a media briefing that the force hoped to promote public understanding of its work and demonstrate its determination to protect Hong Kong through close interaction with residents. 

On Aug 6, 7, 13 and 14, residents can visit the time-honored Yau Ma Tei Police Station. The Grade II historic building, an iconic scene in Hong Kong movies and TV series, will be opened to the public for the first time in its 100-year existence.

During the tour, residents can learn about the Police Force’s mission and history through an exhibition focusing on national security education and anti-terrorism efforts. They can also see the historic police uniforms and a World War II bomb that was uncovered in Woosung Street, Kowloon, in 2000. 

In September, a drill parade will be jointly staged by the Hong Kong Police Force, the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison and other disciplined services of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to mark both Hong Kong’s return anniversary and National Day, Oct 1.

Other highlights of the force’s celebrations include two charity concerts and a documentary in July, as well as a photo contest in August. All proceeds from the charity concerts will be donated to local beneficiary organizations, said Kwok.

Community outreach

The HKSAR government on Saturday started a campaign named Celebrations for All, which strives to spread the festive mood among residents, especially the less privileged. 

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced at the launch ceremony that the government will show its care for the underprivileged by inviting around 80,000 residents to visit the newly built Hong Kong Palace Museum and theme parks. Another 120,000 people from underprivileged groups will be offered opportunities to participate in other local celebrations. Their transportation costs and meals for the events will also be covered. 

In the upcoming two weeks, Lam will lead principal officials and community leaders to reach out to 300,000 grassroots families and give them anniversary-related gift packs. 

Over 200 youth-related events, covering artistic performances, cross-border exchanges, sports, and volunteer work, are in the pipeline to celebrate the anniversary. They will be co-hosted by 120 youth groups, the city’s Home Affairs Bureau and the Department of Youth Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR.

Roxanne Li contributed to the story.