This book focuses on Lam Woo, a well-known, highly successful building contractor whose company was based in Hong Kong at the beginning of the twentieth century. At a time when Hong Kong was expanding rapidly, Lam Woo contributed significantly to the building of its infrastructure such as land reclamation, and the construction of dockyards and roads. Using in-depth historical studies on Anglican Christianity in Hong Kong and China, rich archival sources, and historical photographs, this book illustrates the life of a man, who was a pioneer builder of majestic heritage buildings throughout Hong Kong such as St. Paul’s Church, St. Paul’s Coeducational College, the Diocesan Boys’ School, and St. Stephen’s College, all of which remain in use today. Lam Woo was more than a builder—his selfless support of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s revolution earned him the title of the“Perfect Revolutionary”. As one of the founders of St. Paul’s Girls’ School, known today as St. Paul’s Coeducational College, Lam Woo promoted the establishment of the Hong Kong YMCA and left a lasting legacy for Hong Kong and his native Guangzhou through his philanthropist activities in education.
While I have never met Mr. Lam Woo, I respectfully regarded him as the father of the brothers Lam Chik Ho and Lam Chik Suen, who were my seniors at the schools I attended in Guangzhou—Lingnan Primary School, Lingnan Secondary School, and Lingnan College. During my studies in Lingnan, I discovered through learning history that Mr. Lam Woo was one of the council members of Lingnan (University) College. Later, when working in Hong Kong, I knew him to be a giant in Hong Kong’s architecture industry who influenced the city’s development far and wide. Mr. Lam Woo also cared greatly for the community. As a devoted Christian, he had a deep passion for the church and was the builder of HKSKH St. Paul’s Church, a project he personally supervised. His family members have attended school in Lingnan and subsequently established the Lam Woo Hall at Lingnan (University) College to commemorate his great legacy. This book describes in detail Mr. Lam Woo’s life of striving achievements and social contributions, which should be seen as an exemplary model that future generations can learn from.
—Dr James Wu
Co-founder, Maxim’s Group
Mr. Lam Woo was a real builder, not just in terms of physical buildings and structures in Hong Kong, but in the development of culture and education beyond the city. By bringing Lam’s story to life in this book, Professor Moira Chan shines a heart-warming light on a man whose lifelong dedication to improving the lives of others has left a legacy of philanthropy for generations to come.
—Professor Lap-Chee Tsui
President, Victor and William Fung Foundation
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