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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today expressed deep sorrow over the passing of David Akers-Jones.

Mrs Lam said: “After coming to Hong Kong in the 1950s, Sir David had all along called Hong Kong his home.”

Before Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, Mr Akers-Jones served in various posts in the Government with the highest-ranking as the Chief Secretary.

After retirement, he took up work on local youth and charities in the Mainland.

“Committed to serving the community all his life with distinguished achievements, Sir David was held in high regard by people of various sectors. He was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2002,” Mrs Lam said.

She noted that Mr Akers-Jones served the Government for 30 years before Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland.

He was the Chief Secretary from 1985 to 1987 and had been acting Governor for a few months.

He took charge of work in the New Territories in earlier years, during which he served as District Officer in a few districts as well as the Secretary for the New Territories.

Mrs Lam pointed out that Mr Akers-Jones’ remarkable public service leadership and dedication laid an important foundation for Hong Kong’s long-term growth.

“Committed to advancing various developments to improve the lives of residents, he took up a vital role in the development of new towns in the New Territories.

“Meanwhile, he attached great importance to the provision of accommodation to members of the public and took an active role in implementing a wide range of housing policies across different positions.”       

Mr Akers-Jones continued to serve Hong Kong after he left the civil service in 1987.

He was the first non-official Chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Authority, and a Hong Kong Affairs Adviser, contributing to the city’s transition.

He established the Business & Professionals Federation of Hong Kong, a pioneering think tank in 1990, and offered valuable Policy Address and major social issues views to the Government over the years.

Mrs Lam said: “I often consulted him while I served in different posts. He was particularly concerned about young people.

“In addition to being a mentor to grassroots and university students, Sir David also founded the 10,000 Miles Friendship Trek exchange programme, which has been held for 17 years to this year, to provide youth exchange opportunities in the Mainland, sparing no effort in nurturing the younger generations.”

She stated that his care for the community did not stop in Hong Kong, adding he was also committed to Mainland charitable activities.

The project Wu Zhi Qiao founded by Mr Akers-Jones encourages university student volunteers from Hong Kong and the Mainland to design and build footbridges and facilities in remote and poor villages in the Mainland.

It enhances students’ understanding of the Mainland and assists them in developing integrity and a commitment to society and life.

Mr Akers-Jones’ Beam International Foundation has in the past 28 years been devoted to organising medical volunteers from around the world to provide free surgeries for underprivileged Mainland children with cleft lips and cleft palates.

“Having had the privilege to take part in the charitable activities he organised on several occasions, I hold deep respect for his devotion and passion to improve the well-being of the people in the Mainland.

“Sir David had all along been a senior whom I respected very much. The great support and sincere views given to me during the visits I paid to him in the past few weeks moved me immensely.

“His spirit in serving the community and his contributions to the Hong Kong society will stay in our hearts forever.

“On behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and in my personal capacity, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family,” Mrs Lam added.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News