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District Participation

On the district level, the main coordination work was undertaken by the City District Office and the New Territories District Administration, which contacted enterprises and kaifong associations and other social organizations through the District Offices. They encouraged the community groups to provide activities using their own resources, raise funds to support the activities in their districts and to appear on the day of the activities.

How did the districts participate in the Festival? We can get an idea from the Wong Tai Sin District Officer’s Report. On receiving the Executive Council’ s decision through the District Commissioner, the City District Officer set up a work force within his office and contacted the social leaders in the district to establish a District Celebration Committee chaired by the District Officer. Under it were four affiliated committees responsible for entertainment, sports, street decoration and exhibitions, and processions, respectively. To mount the activities, the Celebration Committee needed a budget of $34,000. This meant that on top of the $10,000 allocated by the Festival Office, the District Office had to raise a further $24,000 donation from local individuals and organizations to make up the shortfall.

In 1969, the district celebration committee in Wong Tai Sin organized a total 17 activities; with 10 of them being sponsored by local individuals and organizations, the committee managed to meet the target amount of $24,000. The organizing bodies included kaifong associations and local businesses. The Kai Tak Playground, for instance, distributed 500 free tickets to children. The character of each district determined the nature and structure of the local committees. For instance, in the Central district, the affiliated committees were organized along occupation/trade lines and committees approached their respective constituents such as banks, restaurants, hotels and cinemas for support.

After the 1969 Festival, the City District Officers had submitted each of their evaluation reports; the opinions were mixed. Most Officers felt that people could be successfully mobilized to participate. Some even pointed out that the event had helped them understand the local associations and local leaders better. But the majority of them complained about the huge amount of work that planning and implementation entailed which greatly increased the workload of the staff.

As a result, the Festival of Hong Kong Steering Committee decided to reduce the number of events that required local planning for both the 1971 and 73 Festivals. For example, of the 629 activities in 1971, only 139, or 22%, of them were organized by the City District Offices and New Territories District Administration.

Organizational Structure

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