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HKSAR Government officials celebrate Senior Citizens Day with elderly (with photos/videos)

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, and the Principal Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) today (November 15) had a tea reception at the Government House to celebrate Senior Citizens Day with about 100 elderly people from 18 districts, showing care and respect for them.

     The Principal Officials attending the event included the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam; the Acting Financial Secretary, Professor K C Chan; the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung; the Secretary for Labour and Welfare (SLW), Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam; the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok; the Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim; the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH), Dr Ko Wing-man; the Secretary for the Environment (SEN), Mr Wong Kam-sing; the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah; and the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Clement Cheung.

     Addressing the participants, Mr Leung said that the HKSARG organised today's event to express their sincere and heartfelt thanks to the elderly for their contributions to and hard work for Hong Kong. The tea reception today at the Government House broke a record that the average age of the elderly attendees is the highest. Mr Leung also said that the Government attached great importance to every aspect of the lives of the elderly. He encouraged the elderly participants to go out more, noting that they could enjoy free rides offered by a number of public transport providers on the Senior Citizens Day today. With the completion of the MTR's South Island Line (East) next year, it will be more convenient for the elderly to go out, he added. He also paid tribute to the elderly on behalf of the Government for their contributions to the community.

     The elderly participants enjoyed wonderful performances while being treated to refreshments. Professor Chan, Mr So, Mr Tam, Mr Chan and Mr Clement Cheung began the series of performances by singing popular Cantonese songs. Immediately after the Latin dance performed by the Hong Kong DanceSport Association, Mr Lai, Mr Ng, Dr Ko, the Under Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Yau Shing-mu; the Under Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Godfrey Leung; the Political Assistant to the SFH, Ms Rebecca Chan; and the Political Assistant to the SED, Mr Jeff Sze, sang the well-known Chinese piece, "The Moon Represents My Heart".

     Mr Wong, together with the Under Secretary for the Environment, Ms Christine Loh, and the Political Assistant to the SEN, Ms Michelle Au, who were disguised as Big Wasters, then performed a stand-up comedy, bringing joy and laughter to the elderly and conveying green messages of food wise and waste less. The comedy was followed by Cantonese opera excerpts performance, "When the Sword and the Hairpin Reunite" from "The Story of the Purple Hairpin", staged by Mr Tam and the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui. It was well received winning much applause from the elderly participants.

     Mr Matthew Cheung and the Political Assistant to SLW, Ms Jade Lai, interacted with the elderly participants and filled the hall with laughter with quiz and jokes related to the well being of the senior citizens and current affairs.

     Mrs Lam, Professor Cheung and Mr Lau all joined and chatted with the elderly in the tea reception. They also gained a lot from the valuable life experiences of the elderly participants through sharing and caring in a cozy and warm atmosphere.

     Today's event successfully completed after Mr Leung, the wife of the Chief Executive, Mrs Regina Leung, and the Principal Officials sang a song together to wish the elderly happiness, and distributed gift packs filled with healthy food, octopus card holder in $2 transport subsidy scheme design and leaflets about a range of services and measures benefiting the elderly citizens.

     The Hong Kong Council of Social Service has been encouraging the elderly service agencies to organise activities for the Elderly Day on the third Sunday of November every year, with an aim of promoting the spirit of care and respect for the elderly since 1979. The Government renamed the day as "Senior Citizens Day" in 1993 to express its respect to the elderly, recognise their contribution to the society and promote active ageing.

     The Social Welfare Department has organised a joint concession programme with the catering sector again this year and received an encouraging response. Over 900 outlets have pledged to join the programme to offer at least a 10 per cent discount or other concessions to Senior Citizen Card holders for their purchases today. A specially designed event poster is put up at prominent places at the participating shops for public identification.

Ends/Sunday, November 15, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:53


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