The Development Bureau (DEVB) has been proactively promoting heritage conservation and has made some achievements. My colleagues and I submitted a regular report on the progress of the implementation of various heritage conservation initiatives to the Panel on Development of the Legislative Council on 12 July. Among such initiatives, The Pokfulam Farm, revitalised from the Old Dairy Farm Senior Staff Quarters (SSQ) with Grade 1 status under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (Revitalisation Scheme) launched by the DEVB, has come into trial operation after restoration. This time, I have invited the representatives of Caritas–Hong Kong and The Pokfulam Farm, who are responsible for taking forward this revitalisation project, to brief us on the farm’s new look after its revitalisation.
Eleven revitalisation projects in operation
The Government has all along been striving to make Hong Kong a more liveable and charming city, striking a balance between development and conservation. In order to enhance heritage conservation, the Revitalisation Scheme was launched in 2008 with six batches successfully implemented so far, involving a total of 22 government-owned declared monuments and historic buildings. Of which, 11 projects have commenced operation, including The Pokfulam Farm.
Naming the project by using the ancient written form of the Chinese name of Pok Fu Lam
The Pokfulam Farm is converted from the SSQ. The Dairy Farm Co. Ltd. established a dairy farm in Pok Fu Lam in 1886. In the following year, the quarters comprising the Main Building, Servants’ Quarters and Garage Block were constructed. The three buildings were accorded a Grade 1 status by the Antiquities Advisory Board in December 2009. In June 2015, Caritas-Hong Kong was successfully selected to revitalise the old quarters, it named the project “The Pokfulam Farm” by using the ancient written form of the Chinese name of Pok Fu Lam so as to highlight its long history.
Well received by the public during the trial operation
The trial operation of the farm commenced on 21 April this year, and a preview of a small exhibition with part of the collections displayed has been staged in the farm. Although the farm is only open to persons with reservations during the trial operation, an attendance of more than 14 000 visitors has been recorded so far, indicating the revitalisation project is well received by the public. The farm is expected to be fully open to the public by the fourth quarter this year when it has run smoothly.
Senior Social Work Supervisor of Caritas-Hong Kong, Mr Benjamin SIN, says that the revitalisation project of The Pokfulam Farm is planned and operated by the Caritas-Hong Kong and Pokfulam Village Cultural Landscape Conservation Limited. They hope that visitors will gain an understanding of the rich history of the Pokfulam Farm, the pioneering spirit of people at that time and the history of the area surrounding Pok Fu Lam through exhibitions, dairy product workshops, guided tours, etc.
Quarters revitalised into “museum”
Heritage & Business Development Manager of The Pokfulam Farm, Ms Hazyl LAM, says that the Main Building is used for displaying the history of the old Dairy Farm and farm operations in the old days through showcasing related artefacts such as dairy product containers, posters, staff cards, photographs, etc. Upon the farm’s official opening, archived photographs will be displayed in different themes, hoping to provide new experience for visitors during their every visit. In addition, the farm has ordered a milk cow model at a scale of 1:1 from Scotland to enable visitors to have a more specific picture about milking in the past.
Another room in the Main Building will be used as a multi-purpose room. After its official opening, apart from various kinds of workshops to be held by villagers of Pok Fu Lam village, the farm will collaborate with arts and cultural organisations in Hong Kong to introduce the history of Pok Fu Lam and promote various cultural and historical stories of Hong Kong.
Organising guided tours and workshops
A villager of Pok Fu Lam village, Ms Ann SO, now working for The Pokfulam Farm, says that villagers have been working closely with Caritas-Hong Kong through active participation in planning, information gathering and operation. They will connect the old Dairy Farm with the culture and history of Pok Fu Lam village through organising guided tours and workshops in the farm.
Access ramp serving as lookout point
As regards the restoration and architectural features of The Pokfulam Farm, besides the historical architectural features such as the double-layered Chinese pan-and-roll tile roofs, bull’s eye windows on the walls and extra-thick granite walls, you may take a look at a new access ramp. The ramp, linking to the first floor of the Main Building, not only complies with the requirements on barrier-free access, but also serves as a lookout point for visitors to enjoy the panoramic sea view of the Southern District on their way to the Main Building.
Injecting new life into old buildings
With the joint efforts of the Government and the community under the Revitalisation Scheme, declared monuments or historic buildings have been transformed into unique cultural landmarks one after another, injecting new life into such old buildings and bringing economic and social benefits to society. I am pleased to learn that The Pokfulam Farm has turned into another living museum under the Revitalisation Scheme to shoulder the mission of preserving Hong Kong’s culture and keeping its history alive. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our departments’ colleagues, the non-profit-making organisations running various revitalisation projects and the public for their proactive participation in the Revitalisation Scheme so as to enable more historic buildings to undergo revitalisation and discover more unique and diversified aspects of Hong Kong’s culture in the years to come.
24 July, 2022Back