Honorary University Fellows
Mr Anthony Cheung Kee Wee joined his family business Wah Ha Realty Group as a Director in 1976, later becoming Chairman in 2000. Wah Ha Realty is an investment holding company that invests in, develops, and manages a number of properties in Hong Kong. For over four decades, Mr Cheung piloted the company through this city's ever-changing property landscape, managing and supervising the Group's property portfolio.
Mr Cheung is respected for his intergenerational contributions in philanthropy, spearheading the family's numerable charitable endeavours during his father's lifetime, and continuing these efforts into the present. The Cheung family supports numerous charities, educational institutions and medical infrastructure developments in Hong Kong and on the Mainland.
Mr Cheung is an Honorary Patron of the HKU Foundation, and through his leadership, the Cheung family has established three Endowed Professorships at the University of Hong Kong to promote a range of medical specialisations. The Anthony and Anne Cheung Professorship in Innovative and Minimally Invasive Surgery and the Cheung Kung-Hai Professorship in Gastrointestinal Surgery were both established in 2012, and the Chin Lan-Hong Professorship in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery was established in 2005, in honour of his mother Madame Chin. His stalwart support for the University and its medical research has notably assisted in propelling the Faculty's excellence.
Mr Cheung is also an accomplished collector of Chinese imperial art and a member of the prestigious Min Chiu Society, which was established in 1960 by a group of Chinese collectors from Shanghai and Hong Kong. He has been serving as the society’s Vice Chairman for the past four years. Mr Cheung has an extensive collection of Imperial Chinese porcelain from the Ming and Qing Dynasties and owns the celebrated Huaihaitang Collection. He is generous in sharing his passion and knowledge, and has supported university and public art museums in Hong Kong through numerous donations.
Citation written and delivered by Professor Gabriel M Leung, Dean of Medicine
The story of the Cheung family is at once typical of the times and remarkable for its prescience of what may yet come. It began in Anxi county of Fujian province (福建省安溪縣官橋鎮善壇村). At its head was Cheong Eak Chong (鍾奕莊), also known as Zhong Mingxuan (鍾銘選), who was born a few months after our medical school admitted the first cohort of students. This patriarch became part of the Fujian diaspora in Southeast Asia and learned his trade as a goldsmith in Singapore. War and revolution brought the fledgling family business first to Shanghai then Hong Kong, in addition to establishing a firm base in the Lion City. Through his 28 children, 90 grandchildren and many many more great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, their various businesses in real estate, property development and tourism have flourished.
Our honorand, Anthony CHEUNG Kee Wee (鍾棋偉), a third-generation descendant, is the first-born son of Cheung Kung Hai (鍾江海) and Chin Lan Hong (秦蘭鳳), where Kung Hai (江海) himself was the first-born of the family patriarch. Those who may be familiar with the medical campus will immediately recall being welcomed into the Cheung Chin Lan Hong (鍾秦蘭鳳) Atrium or 蘭庭at our main entrance that in turn leads to the Cheung Kung Hai Conference Centre (鍾江海會議中心). The four lecture theatres that comprise the Conference Centre have served as the primary teaching venue for a whole generation of medical students, amongst whom is the first-born son of our honorand, Jason (鍾培言). Not only was he our medical graduate, he is in fact our incoming Head of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.
Of course, these eponymous tributes to his parents are not only symptomatic, but pathognomonic, of Anthony’s noblesse oblige, that is very much part of his family legacy. In as early as 1984, his grandfather was lauded by the Fujian provincial government with the accolade “樂育英才” for having endowed primary and secondary schools in his home county and village. Our honorand extended this education legacy by establishing three endowed professorships in HKUMed’s Department of Surgery. His own father was similarly honoured by Fujian with a ceremonial plaque bearing the apothegm “興醫利民”. To this day, Mingxuan Hospital (銘選醫院), the flagship home county hospital so named in the patriarch’s honour, stands as proud testatment to the family legacy.
Anthony’s philanthropy goes broadly, and elegantly, beyond the more familiar arenas of health and education, to include Chi Lin Monastery and above all his lifelong passion of heritage preservation through collecting and donating art objects and artefacts. He is an acknowledged authority on Ming and Qing porcelain ceramics through the Huaihaitang (懷海堂) Collection. In particular, over decades he had painstakingly assembled and recently exhibited a very rare collection of Qing state ritual vessels. To mark the 500th anniversary of Ming Emperor Jiajing’s (嘉靖) coronation next year, Anthony will showcase a cognate series of art pieces at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The following year will see a major exhibition featuring works from the Qianlong (乾隆) era at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Institute of Chinese Studies Art Museum. Both museums already house several substantial collections our honorand has donated over the years.
In this coming age of the “third redistribution” recently heralded by President Xi Jinping, it is particularly fitting that we honour Anthony for having most excellently carried on the family philanthropic legacy. The lived diasporic experience of the Cheungs, along the Maritime Silk Road that is once again a main focus of our country’s renaissance, is a timely reminder of how we can prosper by deeply engaging with our regional neighbours. For his quiet works of charity and his steadfast belief in preserving heritage for posterity, it remains my honour, Mr Pro-Chancellor, to present Mr Anthony CHEUNG Kee Wee (鍾棋偉) for the Honorary University Fellowship.