Today marks the opening of the Buddhist Li Ka-shing Care and Attention Home for the Elderly and also the 14th Anniversary of the Elderly Festival celebration. I consider it a great honour to be here to share this joyful day with you all. I would also like to thank each and every one of you for taking time out from your busy schedules to attend this event.
Reverend Kok Kong is the founder of the Heung Hoi Ching Kok Lin Association. Not only is he well conversant with the Buddhist Doctrines, he is also a vigorous and benevolent person who cares deeply for the aged. He established the Buddhist Po Ching Home for Aged Women and the Buddhist Po Ching Care and Attention Home for Aged Women, providing much-needed shelter for the elderly. His efforts to assist the needy are well recognized and widely supported by the community.
I have known and admired Reverend Kok Kong for many years. He has earned an excellent reputation through his virtuous deeds and high moral standing both within and outside the Buddhist community. Influenced by his esteem, I was moved to finance the building of this rest home. Relying on Reverend Kok Kong’s guidance, we began developing plans for this project. Everything proceeded smoothly under his supervision, and the final result is the rest home you see here today. We are grateful not only to Reverend Kok Kong, but to all those who have contributed to this rest home in any way great or small, and all the staff members for their loyal service.
The Hong Kong population is gradually graying. We hope the government can take a more active approach in solving the elderly problem. The government should fully collaborate with private benefactors to increase the number of rest homes sufficiently to ease the problem. My wish echoes that of the congratulatory message: Let the compassionate people of this world build thousands of homes for the aged. More rest homes-not only in Hong Kong and China, but throughout the world, so that the homeless and helpless elderly everywhere can receive the care they need to live out the autumn of their lives in comfort.
Our country has always placed great emphasis on filial piety as well as the concept of taking care of one’s own parents, and then extending the same concern to all elderly people. Respect, caring and assistance for the elderly-these are the traditional values of our country. We should not only perpetuate these great traditions but also further promote them. Holding a festival for the elderly is meaningful in that it reminds us to respect and care for the aged. I am happy today to see the old and the young together, basking in the gift of happiness sent from Heaven. Contributing to charity warms our hearts and fills our lives with love and joy. Finally I would like to thank everyone for attending this opening ceremony and Elderly Festival celebration. Thank you.