I was at Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island today and thought I checked on a historic pillar mail box that was from the King George V era there (KGV’s reign was from 1910-1936 and therefore this mail box is at least 74 years old). However, sadly, I found it was under wrap (photo available at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3493590&l=615b211188&id=731041863 ) and looked set to be removed soon.
In SCMP’s “Keep historic mail boxes in service, experts urge”, March 19, 2007 a spokeswoman of the Hong Kong Post explained the reasons for removing the historic mail boxes as “they were replaced either due to wear and tear or because they were too small to meet the growing demand”.
None of these reasons however seems applicable in the case of this Sok Kwu Wan mail box which had been kept in very good shape (as evidenced in this photo taken in late August 2009 http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3493847&l=4c93750648&id=731041863 ). Too many in our city have already had too short a memory of our history and we do not need a conscientious effort from the Hong Kong Post to wipe these last remaining icons of a past era out of our landscape.
From a more pragmatic point of view, this KGV mail box is one of the oldest in Hong Kong and could very well be promoted as a tourist attraction and therefore there should, besides the historical and cultural reasons, also be some financial incentive to preserve it.
Sin Wai Man