How Queen Victoria Had a Park Named After Her in Hong Kong

Dec 2, 2015 by

How Queen Victoria Had a Park Named After Her in Hong Kong

By Phin Upham

Hong Kong is a unique part of China. Not wholly Chinese, Hong Kong residents tend to make their own identities and have since British colonial times. Their government is separate from mainland China, but in support of the overarching policies. Even so, the two frequently clash. It was that way with Britain as well, but the British mark on Hong Kong is felt all over the land.

The terminus station for the Kowloon-Canton railway line follows British architectural conventions, and the main harbor is named after Queen Victoria. Her fleet was sheltered there throughout the 1800s, when Britain frequently intervened in Hong Kong politics. Although tensions between Hong Kong authorities and rebels during the Taiping Revolution eventually did spill over into war, the British were instrumental in breaking up several conflicts before the large scale loss of life.

Victoria Park was once a typhoon shelter, and it was used to protect the crews of fishing and commercial boats from incoming storms. That changed during the 1950s, when a typhoon shelter was relocated to the North. Since then, the park has served as a gathering place for workers looking to relax on a lazy Sunday.

Today, the park is the site of civic controversy. The development needs of Hong Kong require road infrastructure. That has caused some digging and building that cut through the park, angering some residence. It also inadvertently led to the unearthing of unexploded ordnance from World War II. This shocking discovery was disposed of in March of 2015.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

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