In this issue of Urban Diary, we continue our walk along the Main Streets of Ap Lei Chau. Stories include the colored history of the island’s ship-building factories, groceries, and metal shops. As an outlying island on the corner of Hong Kong, an unique identity has emerged from Ap Lei Chau. The traditional industries have witnessed the recent transformation of the island, and act as a communal node for kaifong. Perhaps this is why residents on Main Street still see themselves as proud descendants of Ap Lei Chau.
With the South Island MTR Line set to go, Ap Lei Chau faces a new round of urbanization. The traditional shops on Main Street face increased pressure. But most shop owners are keen on defending their businesses for as long as they could. Likewise, Urban Diary resist the loss of memories, traditional craft, and communal networks by words, pictures, and recordings.
“Tales of Aberdeen” is kindly supported by the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust. But the project is also possible because of the unwavering support of people who care about Aberdeen. We must thank the friends who provided photos and research materials. Special thanks go to district councilors of the Southern District CHAN Fu-ming and TSUI Yuen-wa for their introduction to Aberdeen's ship-building industry; Dr. Stephen DAVIES for his articles and research on pre-1842 Aberdeen; and Loretta HO for her initial research for "Tales of Aberdeen". We must also thank every single one of our interviewees. Their stories have made “Tales of Aberdeen” much more engaging.
Urban Diary believes that seemingly insignificant stories are invaluable resources in community planning. These stories help pass on our intangible heritage in Hong Kong. We end the last issue of “Tales of Aberdeen” with a quote from Saisai’s My City:
"The world is no good. We are ashamed. We brought you to this world, but didn't provide an ideal environment. But you've seen, you've known, and you're young; you can construct a brave new world based on your ideals."
Supported by: The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust
Photography: TAI Ngai Lung
Water Colour: Eleanor FU
Photos provided by: KO Tim Keung, Information Services Department, Public Records Office
Special Thanks to: CHAN Fu-ming, Frankie CHU, Stephen DAVIES, Loretta HO, TSUI Yuen-wa
Interviewees: John BATTEN, David BOYCE, Edward CHAN, Gladys CHENG, Palita CHENG, James CHOW, Mimi CHUN, Stephen DAVIES, Eleanor FU, Roy HUI, KWOK Siu Wing, LAI Tai, LEE Ah Mui, Fanny LEE, Joey LEUNG, LO Kam Kwan, Teresa LO, Encore SIN, TANG Kwok Ming, WONG Wai Ling, Ray YIU