Celebration activities of 70th anniversary of Civil Aid Service launched (with photos)
To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the Civil Aid Service (CAS) today (January 2) held the “CAS 70th Anniversary Celebration Events Kick-off Ceremony” at the Yuen Tun Camp which was officiated by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr John Lee.
Officiating at the Kick-off Ceremony and at the unveiling ceremony of the Unity Garden today, Mr Lee said that since the CAS’ establishment in 1952, it has marked its 70th anniversary and has been upholding the pledge of “Provide Emergency Relief, Serve the Community”. It has also been relentlessly providing diverse services for government departments, as well as joining hands with society in conquering various challenges and overcoming different obstacles.
He noted that the CAS has undertaken numerous missions in the history of Hong Kong. Examples include the major duties in civil defense and clearance of sites of accidents back in the 1950s and 1960s, and management of Vietnamese boat people centres for 25 years starting from the 1970s. Since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, the CAS has kept its mission to serve the public in mind. Examples include the management of isolation camps during the outbreak of the SARS in 2003, the deployment of officers to assist the Hong Kong residents in Phuket, Thailand during the tsunami in South Asia in 2004, the search operations for hikers stranded in Tai Mo Shan owing to icy road surface in 2016, and the search and rescue missions and relief work conducted without hesitation in the wake of super typhoon Mangkhut in 2018. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, the CAS has exerted extraordinary efforts in the anti-epidemic work including being assigned to manage multiple quarantine centres. The CAS has been performing its duties round the clock, mobilising more than 170 000 man-time of personnel. It has received nearly 60 000 confinees subject to quarantine. Mr Lee recognised the numerous anti-epidemic contributions made by the CAS in these two years, saying that the CAS members have shown meticulous care and spared no effort to cater for the different dietary and daily needs of the confinees, which is acclaimed by different sectors of society. He recognised the contributions made by the CAS in this regard.
Mr Lee also mentioned that youth development is also a pivotal work of the CAS. The CAS Cadet Corps, which was founded more than 50 years ago, is a youth uniformed group well supported in Hong Kong. Currently there are nearly 4 000 cadets receiving training. In recent years, the CAS has strengthened the national education among youths and cultivated the care for society and the spirit of loving the country and Hong Kong among the Cadet Corps. The CAS has implemented the School Partnership Scheme, in which discipline and leadership training are provided for junior secondary school students with a view to helping them build confidence and sense of responsibility. The Youth Potential Development Scheme, on the other hand, is promoted to people of diverse races and aims at recruiting youths of diverse races into the CAS. He commended the CAS for promoting youth development and racial inclusion. In recent years, the CAS has been increasing its services and improving its quality of service. To meet the developments and needs in society, the CAS has rolled out different reforms, including the effective promotion of national security education. He supported the CAS to make strides and to strive for excellence.
In celebration of its 70th anniversary, the CAS has built the Unity Garden in Yuen Tun Camp to highlight the unity within the CAS and to demonstrate the CAS’ determination to stand united and strive together with different sectors of society with the goal of serving the public. In addition, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, the CAS will hold activities including a New Year Hiking cum CAS 70th Anniversary Yuen Tun Camp Open Day, Mountaineering Safety Promotion Campaign and a Grand Parade.
The chairman of the CAS 70th Anniversary Celebration Events Steering Committee, Mr Wilfred Lam, said that the 70th anniversary of the CAS marked one of the important milestones and that the CAS should look to the future as well as the past. The CAS will continue to spare no effort in the future, showing constant dedication to serving the public and being poised to accept new challenges, with a view to making more contribution to the sustained development, prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
On the same day, Mr Lee inspected an educational and social inclusion event namely the “CAS Inclusion Challenge Camp”, which was held at the Yuen Tun Camp. The event included activities such as zip wire, casualty evacuation simulation, youth challenge activities and pioneering, attracting more than 100 youths from diverse races and backgrounds. They gained a better knowledge of relief work and learned about each other’s background, thereby helping build a harmonious and inclusive society.