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Commemorative plaque on former Volunteers' site unveiled

A commemorative plaque on the previous site of the headquarters compound of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) at Sport Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, was unveiled today (November 10) to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Volunteers.

Officiating party included the Chairman of the Education and Publicity Committee, Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB), Dr Chan Wai-kwan, the Chairman of the RHKR The Volunteers Association, Major (Ret'd) Ronald Taylor, and the Chairman of the New South Wales Branch of the RHKR The Volunteers Association and Honorary Colonel of the RHKR The Volunteers, Dr Solomon Bard.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Dr Chan detailed the Volunteers' distinguished service to Hong Kong since its establishment in 1854.

"This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Volunteers. It was on this ground that the headquarters compound of the Regiment once stood. With the establishment of the commemorative plaque, visitors to Hong Kong and those from overseas will be able to reminisce and appreciate the contribution of the Volunteers to Hong Kong," Dr Chan said.

"The setting up of this commemorative plaque is under the Commemorative Plaque Scheme of the AAB's Education and Publicity Committee. The scheme is dedicated to honour significant historical sites, events and figures in Hong Kong. Through the scheme, we hope to arouse public understanding of the importance of preserving our heritage and culture."

The Volunteers was essentially a part-time volunteer force which contributed greatly to the defence of Hong Kong against the Japanese army in 1941. The Volunteers' headquarters compound, comprising a two-storey headquarters building and a parade ground, was built in 1951. The Regiment was disbanded in 1995 and the headquarters compound was demolished the same year.

Ends/Wednesday, November 10, 2004
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