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  • “Tracking Winds and Clouds: A Century of Archived Stories of the Observatory” exhibition to open to the public tomorrow

  • Monday, 5th February 2018

The exhibition “Tracking Winds and Clouds: A Century of Archived Stories of the Observatory”, co-organised by the Public Records Office (PRO) of the Government Records Service (GRS) and the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), will open to the public tomorrow (February 6). More than 40 items from archival holdings will be displayed to review the early establishment and operation of the HKO from different angles, giving visitors a glimpse of precious meteorological records, including those on the calamities of four destructive typhoons on record in Hong Kong.

The Director of Administration, Ms Kitty Choi, and the Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Shun Chi-ming, officiated at the opening ceremony of the exhibition at the Hong Kong Public Records Building today (February 5).

Ms Choi said at the opening ceremony that the GRS organises for the public annual thematic exhibitions, which feature selections of precious items from the GRS’ archival holdings. As this year marks the 135th anniversary of the HKO’s establishment, the GRS has chosen a number of valuable and historical items transferred from the HKO to look back on the history of the HKO.

“Every single item in the archival holdings is a result of the many interconnected work stages of the GRS. These range from appraisal, description and accession of records to preserving and displaying them. The GRS will make continued efforts to preserve and promote the heritage of Hong Kong’s historical documents,” she said.

Mr Shun said, “The GRS’ archival collections bring back memories of the early establishment and operation of the HKO, as well as the precious meteorological records of Hong Kong. During the past century, the HKO grew and changed significantly from a unit comprising one Observatory director and one assistant in 1883 to a department with over 300 colleagues today, and from using simple apparatus for weather tracking to applying high-end technology like radar, satellites and even mobile phones and the Internet of Things for monitoring weather around the globe and in every corner of a city.”

Mr Shun expressed the hope that through the exhibition, members of the public could learn from history, raise awareness of hazard prevention and tackle climate change proactively.

“Tracking Winds and Clouds: A Century of Archived Stories of the Observatory” will run from tomorrow until December 31. The exhibition will be open to the public from 9am to 5.45pm on Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays) at the Exhibition Hall, 2/F, Hong Kong Public Records Building, 13 Tsui Ping Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon. Admission is free.

For enquiries or group visits, please contact the PRO at 2195 7700.

Details of the roving exhibitions of “Tracking Winds and Clouds: A Century of Archived Stories of the Observatory” are as follows:

Sha Tin Public Library (March 2 to 29);
Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library (April 2 to 29);
Chai Wan Public Library (August 2 to 30); and
Kowloon Public Library (September 2 to 29)

Please visit the GRS’ website (www.grs.gov.hk) for more details.

Photo 1The Director of Administration, Ms Kitty Choi (left), and the Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Shun Chi-ming (right), officiating at the opening ceremony.
Photo 2The hoisting of the Standby Signal No. 1 at the Observatory’s Headquarters in the 1930s, under the supervision of Mr G S P Heywood, who became the Director of Royal Observatory, Hong Kong from 1946 to 1956 (second right). (Photo courtesy of family of Mr. GSP Heywood)
Photo 3Observatory staff releasing a radiosonde at King’s Park Meteorological Station for measurement of the upper atmosphere in the 1950s.
Photo 4
A proposal to establish an observatory in Hong Kong by former Surveyor General Mr J M Price in 1882.
Photo 5Weather notes of the Stanley Internment Camp in 1942, 1943 and 1944.