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Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel of Kent




Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel of Kent

Doctor of Laws
honoris causa

First of all, it is with very real pleasure that I thank you, Mr. Chancellor, for the welcome which you have just given to me on behalf of this great University. My visit, coming as it does in the year during which the University is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, is on to which I have eagerly looked forward; it is, indeed, a happy chance that has brought me here, for Hong Kong is a place which I have always longed to see.

Of course I had heard much about Hong Kong; about its beauty, about its bustling activity, and above all about its wonderfully friendly people, from my mother - and also from my brother - who, some of you may remember, spent some very happy days here nine years ago. My friends, too, who have learned to know and love Hong Kong, have taught me some of that affection and told me something of what I should expect. Let me say at once that my hopes have been exceeded during the two most enjoyable days which I have already spent here. And may I ask that I am looking forward to the remainder of my stay and to all the chances I am to be given of meeting, and talking to, representatives of this thriving community, and also of seeing it for myself a few of the many remarkable achievements which have been accomplished here since the war.

The honour which the University has done me by conferring upon me its Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws is one which I shall remember with pride throughout my life. It is indeed a privilege to be associated in this way with a university which has made for itself, in a comparatively short period of time, a fine and well deserved reputation.

It is thanks to Lord Lugard's vision that we are able to celebrate this Jubilee. It would seem that in Lugard, that wise and experienced administrator, there was something of the artist and it was surely that quality in him which flourished while he was here as Governor of Hong Kong and impelled him to envisage the scheme from which this University sprang and to strive for it with all his heart soul and in the face of the most vigorous and critical opposition both here and at home. And when then time came at last, that the battle was won and the foundation stone laid, that moment - in the words of his biographer - 'was, perhaps, Lugard's most important moment in Hong Kong'.

Since those days, the University has grown in size and stature. And the ambitious plans which to you, Mr. Chancellor, have referred, show that you intend to continue with his policy of development and to provide Hong Kong with a University that recognizes the needs of the community which it exists to serve.

Hong Kong is unique. There is nowhere quite like it. We at home have heard a lot about you in recent years and we cannot but admire the energy with which you have tackled the problems that have beset you since the liberation in 1945. Hong Kong has set an example to the world in the way in which people of all races have worked together hard here and have worked in harmony together.

It will be a very great pleasure for me, Mr. Chancellor, to convey to the Queen the gift which the University has presented to Her Majesty. You may be sure, too, that your gift to me will be a lasting reminder of this memorable day; and for you kindness I cannot be sufficiently grateful.

Finally, may I offer my congratulations to you all and indeed to all those who have served the University in the past? You must indeed feel a sense of pride and achievement; may long years of creative work and fruitful development lie ahead. Whatever befalls, I feel sure that your graduates, as they leave these calm and pleasant surroundings for the turmoil of the world outside, will be worthy of their responsibilities; and that they will look back to the days they spent here with affection and gratitude.

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