Shortly after the World War ll, Sir Robert Hotung donated 1 milliondollars to the University of Hong Kong in memorial of his late wifeLady Margaret Hotung. In 1951, Lady Ho Tung Hall was founded, and it is now one of the four traditional halls, as well as theonly female hall at HKU.
In 1951, 85 of the 206 girls at HKU lived in Lady Ho Tung Hall. Fewyears later, thehall expanded and provided hall place to 104 students. It was a bold step in promoting equality for femaleeducation.
Due to high education fee at those times, most University studentscame from affluent backgrounds. Hence, many of the Ho Tung girswere “ladies”, living under good care of hall attendants and janitors.Not only did they enjoy three meals a day at the Dining Hail, but werealso free from any laundry work as the attendants would help themfinish such duties.
While more and more female gained access to tertiary educationaccomodation at the University gradually became inadequate.
In this period where Lady Ho Tung Hall was temporarily changed to a non-residential hall, hallmates all gathered in a room in Fong Shu Chuen Amenities Centre, another place where we called home. Hallmates cherished the time having meals and practising together. Some of them who lived nearby or rent miniflats continued the morning practices. As the number of hallmates declined, less than 20 girls were responsible for 10 sports teams. Hockey team was once named the “Captain Team”, as most of the teammates were team captains of the other sports teams. Regardless of the lack of skills, the hard work of hallmates paid off and led them to championship.
As there was limited space in the common room, some furniture could not be kept. Tables and chairs from the old Dining Hall were given to University Hall. Gong Fight was stopped due to the lack of venue. However, with the strong bonding and sisterhood of our Ho Tung girls, the history, culture and tradition of our hall were preserved through this difficult time.
After years of negotiation with the University, our hall could eventually keep the original hall name, the three treasures, and remain an all female residential hall.
Upon the completion of reconstruction in July 2001, formed the Jockey Club Student Village I together with Starr Hall and Ho Tim Hall. The 19-storey building has 404 residential places in total with the laundry room on the top floor, function room, music room and the office of the Students’ Association on 1/F and the rest as residential rooms. The Storyeum is also located on 1/F, where historical items and treasures of our hall were stored and displayed.
In the recent five years, we had new developments in various aspects. In 2014, a new cabinet of the Graduates’ Association was formed, with all members being 2011 to 2013 graduates. Meanwhile, our Drama team made new attempts in organizing public shows- “Unbreakable City” in 2013 and “Midnight at McDonalds” in 2015. In 2014, the Social Affairs Secretary was newly added to the Hall Students’ Association, showing the growing awareness towards social affairs. On the other hand, the Non-Local Sub-Committee was established in 2016 for better integration of non-local hallmates into the hall.
Years have passed and the future is full of uncertainties. Yet, as long as you put your heart in the hall, there is something that you can takeaway after these few years of hall life.