Tung Wah Plague Hospital [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Tung Wah Plague Hospital [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists

Photos that show this place


The document "Tung Wah Smallpox Hospital Memorial Arch" on MMIS has this information about its history:

2.    In April this year, the Executive Secretary, Antiquities and Monuments, came across an arched stone structure with an inset commemorative tablet on an empty plot of private land just above the junction of Belcher's Street and Victoria Road. The inscription on the tablet was "Tung Wah Smallpox Hospital, A.D. 1910" (see photostat copy at Appendix I). The memorial is a very fine structure and undoubtedly of historical interest, being the relic of an old building. Some distance away, a foundation stone was found and further research revealed that the Foundation Stone was also related to the Smallpox Hospital.

3.    The Memorial Arch was located on the former site of a building originally erected in 1894 in Kennedy Town for use as an anti—plague clinic. However, with the disappearance of plague and an increase in small-pox cases, it was decided to reconstruct the building for use by small-pox patients as well. The foundation stone of the new hospital was laid on 15th November 1901 by Sir Henry Blake, Governor of Hong Kong, but the Tung Wah Smallpox Hospital was only completed and opened in 1910. By 1936, the incidence of smallpox was also subsiding and the hospital was used only during seasonal epidemics. As a result, and after negotiating with the Government, the hospital was converted into an infectious diseases hospital and handed over to the government.

4.    The hospital building was eventually demolished after the last war, but by some chance the rather beautiful memorial arch remained standing. The foundation stone referred to in paragraph 2 and 3 somehow found its way into the nearby Ka Wai Kan Road. How and why it was put there is not known and no explanation is    given on the stone itself. The Memorial Arch, which is the only visible remains of the old Tung Wah Smallpox Hospital, is of considerable historical interest, as it reminds us of the time when disastrous epidemics swept Hong Kong, and records the old days when the old hospital served the public.

Today the arch and foundation stone are over in a small garden near the Kennedy Town bus terminus:

Tung Wah Smallpox Hospital, arch & foundation stone