Mr. Andy LAU Tak Wah and The Hon. Mr. Justice Patrick CHAN Siu Oi received Honorary Degrees in the 43rd Graduation Ceremony

Honorary degrees were conferred upon the celebrated artist Mr. Andy LAU Tak Wah and the renowned Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal, The Hon. Mr. Patrick CHAN Siu Oi, at the 43rd graduation ceremony of Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) on 14th December 2017.

The ceremony for the conferment of honorary degrees was held in the Lady Lily Shaw Hall and was presided over by Professor HU Yao-Su, Provost of HKSYU.

Mr. Andy LAU Tak Wah: Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

The citation, written by Dr. WONG Chung Ming and delivered by Professor LEUNG Tin Wai, Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication, praised Mr. LAU for his prodigious artistic achievements and contributions to the film industry and charity works in Hong Kong. Born in Tai Po into a family of modest means, Mr. LAU is truly “a quintessential native son of Hong Kong”. After completing his first semester in Form 6, he enrolled in TVB’s Artiste Training Course, heralding the beginning of his more than 30-year career as a performing artist. As of today, Mr. LAU has starred in 22 TV series and 160 films. Since 1991, he has invested in over 30 films and two TV series.

“Sixteen of his films were screened in cinemas in 1989 alone, marking that year as his most prolific in terms of film output… For his brilliant performance in Running Out of Time (1999), he won Best Actor for the first time at the 19th Hong Kong Film Awards. A Simple Life (2011) again won him Best Actor in both the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Hong Kong Film Awards. Blind Detective (2013), a crime thriller cum romantic-comedy directed by Johnnie TO, earned Mr. LAU the Best Actor Award at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain.” Professor LEUNG said.

“Mr. LAU is also notable for his active support of emerging talent in the film industry.

In 2005, he launched the project ‘FOCUS: First Cuts’, producing the film Crazy Stone, which was directed by the young mainland film director NING Hao.” Professor LEUNG said.

Professor LEUNG recalled Mr. LAU had said “my life is a mosaic with many pieces” during a press conference in Beijing last year after he recovered from a riding accident while filming, and added singing and charity works as Mr. LAU’s two other major mosaic pieces.

“In 1994 Mr. LAU founded the Andy LAU Charity Foundation Limited, with the goal of providing assistance to the underprivileged and people in need. He is particularly concerned about those suffering from physical disabilities. His 2007 inspirational music video, Everyone Is No. 1, which he shot over three days on a budget of HK$1.5 million paid for out of his own pocket, is used to motivate people with physical disabilities to live courageously and work hard.” Professor LEUNG said. (Full citation: http://www.hksyu.edu/en/news/20180209news3/)

The Hon. Mr. Justice Patrick CHAN Siu Oi: Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

In her citation, Dr. Claire WILSON, Head of Department of Law and Business, presented some of the highlights of Mr. Justice CHAN’s distinguished judicial career since 1987, noting that he was the first locally educated member of the judiciary to be appointed Chief Judge of the High Court.

Justice CHAN was educated locally, first at Wah Yan College, and later at the University of Hong Kong, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1974, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws in 1975. He was called to the Hong Kong bar in 1976.

“In the 1980s, many of Justice CHAN’s closest colleagues at the bar had begun to leave Hong Kong, preferring to emigrate overseas, and he was strongly encouraged to join them. After giving the matter some thought, he wondered what would be left in Hong Kong if it were abandoned by its trained lawyers. It was his desire to ensure that the rule of law was upheld and a genuine loyalty towards Hong Kong that compelled

Justice CHAN to remain even though all around him were leaving.” Dr. WILSON said.

In 1987, Mr. Justice CHAN was appointed as a District Court judge by the then Chief Justice, Denys ROBERTS. After his first appointment he soared through the ranks. He served as Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court from 1991-1992, and judge of the High Court from 1992-1997. In 1997, he was appointed Chief Judge of the High Court. In the year 2000 he was appointed Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal and in 2013, he became a non-permanent member of the Court of Final Appeal. In recognition of his outstanding service in the judiciary, Justice CHAN was made an Honorary Life Member of the Hong Kong Bar Association, and was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2013.

Dr. WILSON said Justice CHAN was “well known for implementing a number of cardinal initiatives”, including the promotion of bilingualism in Hong Kong law and the use of Chinese in courts, and initiating the Judicial Placement Scheme for mainland legal scholars and judges. (Full citation: http://www.hksyu.edu/en/news/20180209news4/)

Dr. Justice CHAN: showing gratitude

Dr. Justice CHAN then made a speech on behalf of Dr. Andy LAU and himself. He said: “It is with humility and trepidation that we accept this honour: humility because we believe there are other persons who are equally if not more deserving of this honour; and trepidation because as part of this University, we deem it our duty to further the noble traditions of the University and to follow the good examples of those who had received this honour before us.”

In his speech, Dr. Justice CHAN stressed the importance of showing “gratitude”. He said people said “thank you” as a matter of routine and courtesy, but most of the time, without meaning very much more than what is said.

“Saying ‘thank you’ is easy as it needs little or no effort. But showing gratitude is more difficult as it involves doing something to demonstrate we really appreciate what people have done for us. It is also difficult because it must come from our hearts, otherwise it would be meaningless and worthless.” Dr. Justice CHAN said.

For every right, Dr. Justice CHAN said, there is a reciprocal obligation – an obligation to respect and to observe other people’s right. “The question is not what are we entitled to, but what have we done to deserve what others have done for us? Think of the subsidy we get for the 12 years of free primary and secondary education and the 4 years of university education. Think of the many donations to the University by generous benefactors. There are other examples. Before we can claim we are entitled to anything, we should reflect on what we have done for the community. Have we done our fair share?”

Dr. Justice CHAN encouraged graduates to know how to appreciate others, to give credit to them for what they have done for us and to express gratitude to them. He said: “This will make us more considerate to others and more tolerant to them. This will also broaden our outlook and perspectives instead of being self-centred and narrow minded.” (Full speech: http://www.hksyu.edu/en/news/20180209news5/)

Source: Dec 2017/Jan 2018 Combined Issue