Senior Chinese Unofficial Member

Senior Chinese Unofficial Member denotes the highest-ranking ethnically Chinese member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council of Hong Kong under colonial British rule. As Chinese council members were frequently referred to as "Chinese Representatives", the senior member was also known as the "Senior Chinese Representative". In the later years of the colonial rule, many Senior Chinese Unofficial Member also served as Senior Unofficial Member at the same time.

Senior Chinese Unofficial Member
Traditional Chinese首席華人非官守議員

HistoryEdit

In colonial Hong Kong government, an Unofficial Member of a council was a member who was not part of the council by virtue of their government office (i.e. not ex-officio). The first Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council who was ethnically Chinese was Ng Choy, a British-trained barrister who later went on to serve as Foreign Minister and acting Premier of the Republic of China. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1880.

The first ethnically Chinese Unofficial Member of the Executive Council was Sir Shouson Chow, a US-educated former Qing dynasty official, who was appointed in 1926.

Over the years, there were 22 ethnically Chinese Unofficial Members of the Legislative Council, and 11 of the Executive Council. Nine of them have served on both councils. The longest tenure was that of Sir Kai Ho, who served 24 years on the Legislative Council. Sir Shouson Chow served 10 years on the Executive Council, the longest on that council. The Senior Unofficial Member served as a leader or representative speaking on behalf of all Unofficial Members, and the Senior Chinese Unofficial Member performed an equivalent role for the ethnically Chinese Unofficial Members.

After the Second World War, the ethnically Chinese members of the two councils gradually increased, and as a result the Senior Unofficial Member was often the Senior Chinese Unofficial Member. From 1974 until the abolition of the colonical councils in 1997, the Senior Unofficial Member was always ethnically Chinese. As a result, the term "Senior Chinese Unofficial Member" gradually disappeared from the 1970s.

Executive CouncilEdit

Order Image Senior Chinese Unofficial Member Term start Term end
1   Sir Shouson Chow 1926 1936
2   Robert H. Kotewall

later Sir Robert

1936 1941
Japanese occupation of Hong Kong
3   Chau Tsun-nin

Also Senior Unofficial Member in ExCo from 1953

later Sir Tsun-Nin

1946 1959
4   Chau Sik-nin

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in ExCo

later Sir Sik-Nin

1959 1962
5   Richard Charles Lee 1962 1966
6   Kwan Cho-yiu

later Sir Cho-Yiu

died suddenly in office

1966 1971
7   Sir Kenneth Fung Ping-fan 1971 1972
8   Sir Kan Yuet-keung

Also Senior Unofficial Member in ExCo from 1974

1972 1980
9   Sir Chung Sze-yuen

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in ExCo

1980 1988
10   Lydia Dunn

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in ExCo

later Baroness Dunn

1988 1995
11   Dr. Rosanna Wong Yick-ming

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in ExCo

later Dame Rosanna

1995 1997
1997 -Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China

Legislative CouncilEdit

Order Image Senior Chinese Unofficial Member Term start Term end
1   Ng Choy 1880 1882
Vacant (1882–84)
2   Wong Shing 1884 1889
3   Dr. Ho Kai

later Sir Kai

1890 1914
4   Wei A. Yuk

later Sir Boshan

1914 1917
5   Lau Chu-pak

died suddenly in office

1917 1922
6   Shouson Chow

later Sir Shouson

1922 1931
7   Robert H. Kotewall

later Sir Robert

1931 1935
8   Dr. Ts'o Seen Wan 1935 1937
9   Chau Tsun-nin

later Sir Tsun-Nin

1937 1939
10   Lo Man-kam

later Sir Man-Kam

1939 1941
Japanese occupation of Hong Kong
11   Chau Tsun-nin

became the senior unofficial member of LegCo in 1950

later Sir Tsun-Nin

1946 1953
12   Chau Sik-nin

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

later Sir Sik-Nin

1953 1959
13   Ngan Shing-kwan

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

1959 1961
14   Kwok Chan

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

1961 1962
15   Kenneth Fung Ping-fan

later Sir Kenneth

1962 1965
16   Kwan Cho-yiu

later Sir Cho-Yiu

1965 1966
17   Kan Yuet-keung

Also Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo from 1968

later Sir Yuet-Keung

1966 1972
18   Woo Pak-chuen

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

1972 1974
19   Chung Sze-yuen

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

later Sir Sze-Yuen

1974 1978
20   Oswald Victor Cheung

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

later Sir Oswald

1978 1981
21   Dr. Harry Fang Sin-yang

later Sir Harry

1981 1985
22   Lydia Dunn

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

later Baroness Dunn

1985 1988
23   Allen Lee

At the same time Senior Unofficial Member in LegCo

1988 1992
Concept abolished in 1992

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit