Friday, 9 December 2011

Picture of the Day: Christmas in Central

Sir Paul Chater amongst the Christmas trees
Temperatures have plunged since yesterday to 13 degrees from a balmy 20 degrees earlier and now everyone's bundled up in overcoats, scarves and boots.

And in Next to Prince's Building in Central is Chater Garden where there's a giant 18-metre high Christmas tree in blue this year sponsored by Tiffany & Co.

Chater Garden is named after Catchick Paul Chater, a prominent businessman of Armenian decent.

Among his many achievements, he help set up Dairy Farm in 1886, and three years later Hong Kong Land. Even back then Chater had designs on land reclamation and Hong Kong Land worked on the Praya Reclamation to create what is now Des Voeux Road in Central.

He also helped Hong Kong get electricity, setting up one of the oldest power stations in the world in an old graveyard in Wan Chai. In 1890 the Hongkong Electric Company went into production.

Chater was also an enthusiastic cricketer and loved horseracing, even setting up a stable that won many races at Happy Valley.

From his profile it seem Chater would feel quite at home in Hong Kong today, with the city all lit up thanks to his pioneering efforts.

Wonder what he'd think of all the commercialism of Christmas, particularly this area in Central dedicated to him -- sponsored by Tiffany & Co.

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