The ceremony was officiated by The Hon. Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBM, GBS, The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; The Hon. Ronald Arculli, GBM, CVO, GBS, OBE, JP, Chairman of the Board of FWD Group; Richard Li Tzar Kai, Chairman and Chief Executive of Pacific Century Group; Victor T K Li, Chairman of CK Asset Holdings Limited; Huynh Thanh Phong, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FWD Group and Ken Lau Chi-kin, Managing Director of Greater China and Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer of FWD.
In his opening address, FWD Group Chairman The Hon. Ronald Arculli said: “The former Marine Police Headquarters is one of our city’s most timeless and famous landmarks. FWD understands the rare privilege we have in preserving this historic site for the community and for future generations. As one of only 120 declared monuments of Hong Kong, I assure you FWD does not take this responsibility lightly. Our mission is to showcase House 1881’s historic value, enduring legacy and its unique charm to both locals and overseas visitors alike.”
In a reference to the site’s past, the Hong Kong Police Band commenced proceedings with a march-in to kick-start the ceremony. The centrepiece of the opening ceremony was The.Dovecote@1881, a striking art installation designed by local artist and upcycling activist Kevin Cheung. Created in collaboration with FWD’s local CSR partner, Special Olympics Hong Kong and local Hong Kong charity St. James’ Settlement, the art work references the pigeon houses that were once a common feature at the Marine Police Headquarters and creatively reuses discarded wooden wine boxes collected from the property to promote sustainability.
While guests toured House 1881, music and art performances were staged throughout the property. Wilson Ng, a celebrated young local conductor, curated a series of music that was performed by a five-piece brass band. A prize winner at the 2018 Paris Svetlanov International Conducting Competition, Wilson is also the first Chinese Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Following the official opening ceremony, guests were invited to wander the landscaped gardens and discover House 1881’s diverse dining concepts.
With an ongoing commitment to connecting to the community, FWD will collaborate with another of its local CSR partners Hong Chi Association to create career placements in and around the vicinity of House 1881 for their members and to sell their handmade traditional biscuits to help Hong Kong’s disadvantaged.
The grand opening event also ended on a high note with the launch of a 3D light extravaganza, “Our Harbour ‧ Our Stories”, marking a key fixture at House 1881. Colourful and impactful, the synchronised light show highlights Hong Kong’s traditions and cultural icons, as well as Victoria Harbour’s changing landscape. Like House 1881, the light show celebrates the city’s rich heritage and defining moments. From now on, local and overseas visitors alike will be able to enjoy the show at 8:30pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as on public holidays.