In the summer of 2012, 40 students from the “Hong Kong History after 1941” class in Lingnan’s Department of History interviewed 40 medical staff at Kwong Wah Hospital, who shared their stories and memorable moments in their fight against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) 10 years ago. Their accounts were compiled into a book titled One Hundred Days in Alarm: Kwong Wah Battling SARS, which was available during the annual Hong Kong Book Fair in July 2013.
“Before the interview, I had no idea that people could be so self-sacrificing,” said Aki Leung, one of the participating students. Like Aki, many students in the project learned about the mutual care and all-encompassing love of mankind, as well as acquiring a more in-depth understanding of the contagion.
Dr Lau Chi-pang, Associate Professor in History and the course instructor, is very delighted to have cooperated with TWGHs Records and Heritage Office as well as Kwong Wah Hospital to have the project completed on the 10th anniversary of the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong. He spoke highly of Kwong Wah staff’s exemplary performance: “Although Kwong Wah was the first hospital in Hong Kong found to have patients with SARS, no widespread infection occurred there. It’s more than a miracle. It is wisdom, decisiveness, trust, collaboration, leadership, obedience and perseverance unified.”
Before this Dr Lau had also led students in similar oral history projects, which resulted in the publication of monographs such as Just Endure: Collective Memory of Hong Kong under Japan’s Colonial Rule and We Grew up in So Uk Estate: Collective Memory of Living in Public Housing Estates. Over the past few years, Lingnan’s Department of History has been dedicating itself to oral history work. In cooperation with the Airport Authority of Hong Kong, Lingnan launched a colossal oral history project in 2013, with the number of interviewees estimated to reach 100 or more.