Citations and Speeches


52nd Congregation (1959)

The Hon Sir Michael William TURNER
C.B.E., M.A.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Lindsay Tasman Ride, C.B.E., E.D., M.A., D.M., B.CH., LL.D., J.P., wrote and delivered the following citation:

As long ago as 1931, a local reporter, in describing an inter-port rugby football match between Hong Kong and Shanghai, commented at some length on the excellent form of the Hong Kong stand-off half; the reporter drew particular attention to this halfbacks useful “short punts into touch in endeavour to get within distance of the line for that final thrust”. How often he made these final thrusts possible, and to what advantage they were put, is shown by the score at no-side, which was 21 to 3 in favour of Hong Kong.

As a team mate of his in his stand-off days, I can testify to the accuracy of this now almost historic report but when his identity is revealed to you, I am sure you will immediately agree that “stand-offish” is certainly a most inaccurate description of him today; for he is none other than that very approachable and most genial of Hong Kong’s citizens, our leading financier whom you see unassumingly standing here with me now, robed in ceremonial red, symbolic of both achievement and happiness.

But this present unassuming meekness is in marked contrast with the mien he assumed in the days to which I have referred; for then, as he crouched poised behind the scrum, his looks were calculated to spread terror and dismay in the opposing Shanghai defence; but little did he dream that within twenty years he would again, here in Hong Kong, face trouble from the north; for he was then called upon to help us repair the ravages that our Shanghai war losses had caused in the financial armour of our University.

After having assisted his predecessor in carrying this burden for a couple of years, Mr. Turner assumed the full responsibility for our finances when he was appointed Treasurer in January 1952, and meager indeed were the endowments we then had with which to face our post-war period of rehabilitation. Throughout these long years of his work for the University I have been privileged again to be his team mate and again see how, with those short safe thrusts which characterized his successful Rugger tactics, he has with equal success built up and consolidated our finances over the years; by his wise investing of our own remaining funds, he has saved the Hong Kong community the expenditure of many lakhs of dollars on its University, and by his interest and advice he has enabled us to build up a financial structure which is as sound and economic as that of any university I know.

We are gratefully mindful and deeply appreciative of his services so generously and freely given to us and to greater Hong Kong and would wish to place our feelings on permanent record by adding our Treasurer’s name to the select group of Honorary Graduates.

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