Old Tsan Yuk Maternity Hospital

Old Tsan Yuk Maternity Hospital
Upper elevation of three storey red brick corner-building with flat roof
Old Tsan Yuk Hospital, now Western District Community Centre
Former names Tsan Yuk Maternity Hospital
General information
Architectural style Georgian
Address 36A Western Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Island
Current tenants Western District Community Centre
Completed 1922
Cost HK$ 94,000
Hong Kong Graded Building – Grade III

The Old Tsan Yuk Maternity Hospital (舊贊育醫院) is located at No. 36A Western Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong. It was founded in 1922 under the Chinese Public Dispensary Committee. After the war, Tsan Yuk Hospital has moved to Hospital Road and the site has become a multi-purpose community centre called Western District Community Centre (西區社區中心).

Three-storeys high and 1,100 m2 in area, the British-colonial-style building comprises a three-storey hospital block with a basement, a two-storey staff quarters with annex and a one-storey servant quarters,[1] all of which have now been converted into offices and function rooms for the community centre.



Tsan Yuk Hospital was originally located at the cross-section of Western Street and Third Street in Hong Kong's Sai Ying Pun district. The land on which the hospital was built was donated by the government and the $94,000 construction fee was donated by Mr. H. M. H Nemazee, Sai Ying Pun Kai Fong Committee (西營盤街坊會) of the Fishmongers' Guild (魚販商會) and Fruit and Vegetable Sellers' Guild (蔬果販商協會). The thirty beds were donated by Tung Wah Hospital, another government hospital located in neighbouring Sheung Wan.[2]

Old Tsan Yuk Hopspital, Western District Community Centre's Main Entrance.
A picture showing people waiting outside Old Tsan Yuk Hospital.
The building was renamed as Western District Community Centre, but the old Tsan Yuk Hospital Sign is still displayed there.
The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage, Western District Community Centre.

The hospital was opened by the English missionary group London Missionary Society on the 17 October 1922. It was originally opened as a maternity hospital, with the intention to meet society's increasing demand for neonatal services, including the training of midwives and obstetricians. The London Missionary Society recruited the first foreign female doctor in Hong Kong, Dr. Alice D. Hickling, and appointed her as the director of Tsan Yuk. In her development of obstetric services, she quickly recognized the abundance of women eager to become professional midwives in Hong Kong, and had the notion to provide such training through the hospital. She suggested this to Dr. S.W. Tso (曹善允博士), Chairman of the Chinese Public Dispensary Committee (華人公共診所委員會), and he supported her proposal. Thus forward, Tsan Yuk became one of Hong Kong's foremost maternity teaching hospitals.

Tsan Yuk Hospital was closed in 1944, during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, and most of the furniture and equipment was moved to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.[citation needed]

By the early 1950s, Tsan Yuk was experiencing bed shortages and limited places for patients. The Hong Kong Jockey Club donated $3,570,000 to build a new hospital on nearby Hospital Road. On 13 June 1955, Sir Alexander William George Herder Grantham held the opening ceremony for the new Tsan Yuk Hospital. Following the move, the premises were then used to house the Western District Community Centre.

Current Use

The Community Centre consists of activity rooms, exhibition rooms and lecture theatres. They are commonly used by the following organizations:

  • The Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights [1]
  • Sai Ying Pun Kai-fong Welfare Association
  • Central & Western District Committee on Promotion of IT [2]
  • Hong Kong Breastfeeding Mothers' Association [3]
  • The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage [4]
  • Yan Chai hospital Chinese Medicine Clinic [5]
  • Western District, Hong Kong Island Region, Scout Association of Hong Kong
  • Tung Sin Tan [6]
  • Yuen Yuen VLearn Women Centre [7]
  • St James' Settlement Urban Renewal Social Service Team [8]


On 18 September 2009, the building was classified as a Grade III historic building.[3] This means it has been deemed of some significant merit by the Hong Kong Antiquities and Monuments Office, but does not yet qualify for consideration as a monument. It is also one of the 25 sites along the Section A of the "Western District and the Peak Route" of the Central and Western Heritage Trail.[4]

The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage

In 2007 The Conservancy Association, a Hong Kong based NGO dedicated to protecting the environment and conserving cultural heritage, received a donation of HK$7.9 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.[5] This money was put towards a renovation project at the former Tsan Yuk Hospital, now the Centre for Heritage, as well as for the launching of a three-year community engagement and education programme advocating the importance of cultural heritage conservation in Hong Kong.

The renovation occurred over a three month period in 2008, and included the construction of a multi-purpose hall for exhibitions and public lectures and two activity rooms for holding functions that aim to raise public awareness on cultural and heritage conservation.[6]

The community outreach component of the programme comprised a wide variety of activities geared towards enhancing recognition and appreciation of local culture amongst the community. Activities included workshops, seminars, exhibitions and guided tours, all of which embodied the theme of sustaining traditional practices in a modern world. Exhibitions in the past covered topics including the Western District community's culture, the architecture in the community[7] and the life in grassroots community.[8] The Centre also collaborates closely with primary and secondary schools and educational institutes to organise activities and design curriculum that promotes an authentic cultural experience for younger generations so they may develop a sense of cultural belongingness.


  1. ^ Film Service Office. (2009). Location Library. Hong Kong: Author. Retrieved 16 October 2009, from http://www.fso-createhk.gov.hk/lib/locations_details.cfm?Photo_Num=00598
  2. ^ 《贊育醫院七十五周年紀念》,香港:醫院管理局,1997年
  3. ^ List of Graded Historic Buildings in Hong Kong (as at 18 September 2009)
  4. ^ Central and Western Heritage Trail: Western District and the Peak Route
  5. ^ Hong Kong Jockey Club. (2008). The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage Fact Sheet. Hong Kong: Author. Retrieved 18 October 2009, from http://www.hkjc.com/English/news/images/Conservancy%20Association-E%20(final).doc
  6. ^ The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage. (2009). About us. Hong Kong: Author. Retrieved 18 October 2009, from http://www.cache.org.hk/about.htm
  7. ^ Chan, M. (2007). Special Delivery. The Standard. Retrieved 18 October 2009, from http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_print.asp?art_id=49962&sid=14644231
  8. ^ Chan, T. (2007). Living in Western District. Takungpao. Retrieved 18 October 2009, from http://www.takungpao.com/news/07/08/02/XY-774225.htm

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