Citations and Speeches


55th Congregation (1961)

The Hon Sir CHAU Tsun Nin
C.B.E., M.A., J.P.

The Public Orator Professor D. Barker, M.A., D.Phil., wrote and delivered the following citation:

Sir Tsun-nin Chau has the distinction of having served as an Unofficial Member of the Legislative and Executive Councils of the Hong Kong Government for longer than anyone else, his total service amounting to three decades. On his retirement from the Executive Council in 1959, Her Majesty the Queen was pleased to permit him to continue using the title 'Honourable' for the rest of his life, a distinction which he shares with only one other ex-Councillor, the late Sir Shouson Chow.

He was educated at St. Stephen's College, Hong Kong, and Queen's College, Oxford, which he entered in 1911, graduating in jurisprudence in 1915, and being called to the bar at the Middle Temple, London. His undergraduate days at Oxford coincided for one year with those of one of the earliest Honorary Doctor of Laws of this University, the Duke of Windsor, at that time up at Magdalen College as His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1915 to join his father's business, and soon established himself as a leading member of the community. He was appointed an Unofficial Justice of the Peace in 1922, and served for three years from 1929 as an Unofficial Member of the Sanitary Board. He has been a member of the University Court since 1931, and for ten years, before the war, he served on the University Council, numbering among his colleagues at that time three Chancellors, Sir William Peel, Sir Andrew Caldecott, and Sir Geoffry Northcote; our present Vice-Chancellor, then Dean of Medicine; and other eminent figures such as Sir Robert Kotewall, Dr. Ts'o Seen Wan, and Emeritus Professor Simpson.

Sir Tsun-nin Chau is a director of a number of leading business concerns in Hong Kong, but the benefit of his wisdom and advice is not restricted to the field of commerce. He is a Permanent Adviser to the Tung Wah group of hospitals and the Po Leung Kuk, and has served for over thirty-five years on the Executive Committee of the Nethersole Hospital where a ward is named after him. His figure is familiar on the Councils and Committees of the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children; the St. John Ambulance Association and Brigade; the Pok Oi Hospital, Yuen Long; the British Red Cross Society; and St. Stephen's College. He is also an Honorary Vice-President of the Boy Scout's Association.

He was designated a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1938, and was knighted in 1956. He is also an Associate Officer of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. The Cantonese 'Tsun-nin' may be translated as 'distinguished years', and in honouring him today, Your Excellency, the University hopes that he may enjoy many more.