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Meeting PlaceEncounters across Cultures in Hong Kong, 1841-1984$
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Elizabeth Sinn and Christopher Munn

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390847

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390847.001.0001

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“No Day without a Deed to Crown It”

“No Day without a Deed to Crown It”

Childhood, Empire, and the Ministering Children’s League

Chapter:
(p.87) 5 “No Day without a Deed to Crown It”
Source:
Meeting Place
Author(s):

David M. Pomfret

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888390847.003.0005

The Ministering Children’s League was founded in Britain in 1885 with the aim of cultivating among children of the rich a desire to feel empathy with the poor and suffering. Examining the work of the league’s branch in Hong Kong in the early 20th century, this chapter argues that the decision by Flora Shaw, the activist wife of the Governor, Sir Frederick Lugard, to include Chinese girls as members broke down the race-bound relations between ‘benevolents’ and ‘beneficiaries’ and, in providing opportunities for Chinese and European children to work together and mingle socially, led to unintended consequences, and complicated the idea that ‘Empire’ was a straightforward story of social division and ethnic segregation. Under the aegis of empire-sponsored philanthropy, children in Hong Kong assumed the spirit of public service while learning to see themselves as part of a multicultural, international fellowship of childhood.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Ministering Children’s League, Flora Shaw, Philanthropy, Imperial childhoods

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