Kai Ho

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir Kai Ho
Sir Sai Ho.jpg
Born 21 March 1859
Hong Kong[1]
Died 21 July 1914
Hong Kong
Occupation Translator, Doctor, Barrister
Spouse(s) 1st – Alice Walkden (1881–1884)
Lily Lai Yuk-hing
Children
  • daughter with Alice Walkden
  • 10 sons and seven daughters with Lily Lai:[2]
    • Ho Wing-ching
    • Ho Wing hang
    • Ho Wing-kin
    • Ho Wing-yuen
    • Ho Wing-lee
    • Ho Wing-on
    • Ho Wing-hong
    • Ho Wing-kam
    • Ho Wing-tak
    • Ho Wing-tse
    • Ho Sui-kam
Kai Ho
Chinese 何啟
Ho Shan-kai
Traditional Chinese
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ho.

Sir Kai Ho , CMG, JP, MRCS (Chinese: 何啟; 1859–1914), born Ho Shan-kai (Chinese: ), was a Hong Kong barrister, physician and essayist in Colonial Hong Kong. He played a key role in the relationship between the Hong Kong local community and the British colonial government. He is remembered as a supporter of the Reform Movement and as a teacher of student Sun Yat-sen, who would become the founding father of the Republic of China. Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, was named after him and his son-in-law Au Tak, though he died in 1914, long before the idea of an aerodrome was first mentioned in 1925.

Early years[edit]

Kai Ho was the fourth son of the late Reverend Ho Tsun-shin of the London Missionary Society and brother of Ho Miu-ling (wife of Wu Tingfang, Hong Kong's first Chinese barrister and first Chinese member of the Legislative Council, later Chinese Consul-General to the USA). In probably the first ever Anglo-Chinese marriage, on 13 December 1881 he married Alice Walkden (3 February 1852 – 8 June 1884), eldest daughter of the late John Walkden, Esq, of Blackheath, at St Aubyn's Congregational Church, Upper Norwood, London, England. The couple returned to Hong Kong after his studies. Alice gave birth to a daughter, but died of typhoid fever in Hong Kong in 1884. The daughter was taken to England to be brought up by Alice's relatives but she died young and was never married.[2] Kai Ho later married Lily Lai Yuk-hing (d. 1945) and the couple had 17 children.[3][4]

Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital is named for his wife Alice and sister Miu-ling.

Career[edit]

In 1872, at the age of 13, Ho was sent to United Kingdom to study at Palmer House school, Margate, Kent. In September 1875, he registered at the University of Aberdeen. In 1879, he received his MBCM and went to St Thomas' Hospital to take up clinical training. He became the first Chinese qualified physician and graduated from Aberdeen University in the same year. He then studied law at Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in 1881.[1] He returned to Hong Kong in early 1882, and embarked on changing the landscape of Hong Kong's colleges and universities. The Chinese culture at that time placed a heavy emphasis on traditional Chinese medicine and the Chinese people in the late 19th century were largely sceptical about Western medicine.[1] Sir Kai not only gained the people's acceptance, but also helped the British make possible a number of health-related establishments that otherwise would have been misunderstood by the public. In 1887, the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese was opened. He made it an initiative that Chinese medicine practitioners too could benefit from an institution that focused on Western medicine. This College later became the basis from which the University of Hong Kong was established in 1910.

In 1912 Ho went into a partnership with his son-in-law Au Tak. It was a land reclamation development project of houses and recreation grounds. The project was named Kai Tak Bund, but it was a failure and was liquidated in 1924. The land was taken back by the government, and was later used by a flying school, then a flying club, then as an airfield for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and finally as the Kai Tak airport.[2]

Throughout his lifetime, he was a vocal supporter for Sun Yat-sen and his revolution to overthrow China's Manchu-led Qing dynasty. An example of this was his defence of the 1884 Praya rioters dubiously charged by the colonial administration with the offence of refusing to accept work, the riots being an event Sun Yat-sen said cemented his determination to bring about that revolution. As a minority and Unofficial member of the Legislative Council he had effected limits to legislation that were discriminatory towards Chinese. When the Summoning of Chinese Ordinance, Cap. 40 of 1899, was being read for the second time in the Council, he made the observation that it was a "class legislation", and requested that a clause added being it was being passed. The clause added by Ho and Wei A Yuk (韋玉) places a time limit on the legislation, so that "(t)his Ordinance shall continue in operation for a period of two years from the coming into operation of this Ordinance, and for such further period or periods as may from time to time be determined by resolution of the Legislative Council."[5]

Ho was made a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 1902 and was knighted in 1912.[6]

Additional role[edit]

Sir Kai was a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, a member of the Sanitary Board, and Justice of the Peace. He was a key player in many aspects of early Hong Kong development, including the Bubonic Plague Epidemic, the founding of Alice Memorial Hospital and the founding of the Po Leung Kuk.

Death[edit]

Sir Kai died in 1914 and was buried at Hong Kong Happy Valley Cemetery near his first wife Alice. Due to the failure of his various business projects and ill health he died heavily in debt, without a will, and his family destitute.[2]

See also[edit]

Through his sister Ho Miu-ling, he is the uncle of Wu Chaoshu, a Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States of the Republic of China.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wiltshire, Trea. [First published 1987] (republished & reduced 2003). Old Hong Kong – Volume Two. Central, Hong Kong: Text Form Asia books Ltd. ISBN Volume Two 962-7283-60-6
  2. ^ a b c d [1]. The life and times of Sir Kai Ho Kai, Gerald H. Choa
  3. ^ Book Review
  4. ^ A forgotten knight, SCMP, 20 July 2014
  5. ^ [2]. Hansard, 21 Dec 1899
  6. ^ London Gazette 4 June 1912 at 4036.

External links[edit]

Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Wong Shing
Chinese Unofficial Member
1890–1914
Succeeded by
Lau Chu Pak
Senior Chinese Unofficial Member
1890–1914
Succeeded by
Wei Yuk
Preceded by
Paul Chater
Senior Unofficial Member
1906–1914
Succeeded by
Wei Yuk