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Flashback 1950’s – Practical Idealists Pioneered of the Jaycee Movement in Hong Kong
Flashback 1950’s – Practical Idealists Pioneered of the Jaycee Movement in Hong Kong

In late 1940’s, Hong Kong was recovering from the Second World War. There were urgent needs and great opportunity for the local community leaders to contribute to its social and economic development. The Jaycees thus found their role in the making of Hong Kong.

A group of dynamic young men of various nationalities and backgrounds, were inspired by Junior Chamber International to form the Hong Kong Junior Chamber (Jaycees).

With unbounded enthusiasm and tireless efforts, those pioneer Jaycees worked hard in different community projects and training program, and participated in a series of international meetings. It also opened its first office in the Hong Kong Bank Building.

Assessing the needs of society, these young men put ideas into action. Projects were put in hand which aroused civic consciousness among young people here. A novel project was the timely setting up of more than 30 children’s libraries, including portable and mobile van libraries. This was one of the most prominent achievement must appreciated by the public.

The first children’s library was established in 1952 at the War Memorial Centre in Wanchai, followed by the ones in Shek Kip Mei and Yuen Long (Nixon Library). In 1955, Hong Kong Jaycees donated the first mobile Van Library to the Social Welfare Office under the Chinese Languages Department. As a result, thousands of children were given the chance to read and learn. The success of the project led to the first award for the Hong Kong Junior Chamber in the Melbourne World Congress in 1952. The children’s library project was further developed into a scholarship program, helping those who wanted to learn.

Side by side with civic projects, there was keen interest in business pursuits too. The Jaycees held its first trade exhibition in Melbourne in 1952, and repeated the project elsewhere until the territory stepped up its official presence at numerous trade and industrial exhibitions in the years that followed.

In a move to broaden their vision and widen their horizon, pioneer Jaycees were also active in attending various Conferences and Congresses, not only Jaycees but other such occasions as well.

The experience gained led to the success of hosting the first and the forth JCI Regional Conferences in Hong Kong in 1951 and 1954 which won community plaudits and put the Chamber in the forefront of Jaycees in the continent.