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Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands visits Central and Western District (with photos)

The Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, visited Central and Western District today (October 17) to gain a better understanding of the latest developments there.

Accompanied by the District Officer, Miss Eliza Yau, Mr Suen stopped at the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong's Bridges Street Centre.

The Bridges Street Centre, the first to have various indoor sports facilities, assembly hall, canteen and hostel for guests in Hong Kong, was opened in 1918 and was named as "Central Building". Lu Xun, one of the most renowned writers in contemporary China, delivered a speech at the centre in 1927.

Mr Suen appreciated the work of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong in providing hostel and rehabilitation services for the mentally disabled and recreation and sports facilities for youngsters at the Bridges Street Centre. Mr Suen took the opportunity to chat with some mentally disabled people who worked at the sheltered workshop inside the centre, and was pleased to learn that their earnings could also help to meet some of their living expenses.

Mr Suen also visited the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences. Established in 1996, the museum was formerly the Pathological Institute set up in 1905 and where the first bacteriological laboratory in Hong Kong was located. The building drew references from the architectural design of the British Edwardian period and was listed a declared monument in 1990.

The museum now houses 11 exhibition galleries to let the public know more about health and diseases, including past successes, current developments and future challenge of special relevance to Hong Kong. The displays include the institute's history, the operating equipment of the old laboratory and an autopsy room.

The funding for the museum is mainly sourced from donations, while the Government is responsible for repairs to the building¡¦s outer walls and structures. Mr Suen was glad that a public and private sector partnership approach was adopted to turn the building of historical significance into a museum.

Before ending his visit, Mr Suen went up to the 5th floor of Smithfield Sports Centre in the Western district for a bird's eye view of the location of the MTR West Island Line Kennedy Road Station. He was briefed on the MTR Corporation's latest plans for the future West Island Line and its proposal for the Kennedy Town Station including location of the station, entrances, works areas and reprovisioning plans for affected community facilities.

Ends/Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Issued at HKT 18:57

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