Governor’s residence on Garden Road is considered the heart of Hong Kong. It is said that it was built with the advice of renowned masters of feng shui. The location and other characteristics of the house depends on the welfare of the governor, so it has a direct bearing on the future of Hong Kong.
Government House is located in the Central District of Hong Kong Island.
This prestigious building is located in the “Dragon’s Lair” peak of Victoria. Instead of “lean” to sorrow, as the majority of traditional Chinese buildings, it “leans” to the Victoria Harbour and brought the facade to the peak of Victoria.
Governor’s residence is situated in such a way that the peak of Victoria is located on the south-west, and Victoria Harbour – the north-east, which is the most favorable configuration.
This indicates the possible participation of the masters of feng shui in the selection of sites for construction and explains the choice of configuration “sitting on the void, face to the mountain.
It is the official residence of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong from 1855 to 1997.
25 governors of Hong Kong, out of total 28, used this building as official residence.
Construction started in 1851, eight years after Hong Kong was declared a British colony, and took four years to complete.
The first governor to live there was Sir John Bowring, the fourth governor of the territory.
The last one was the last governor, Chris Patten.
Government House was declared a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance in 1995.
The form of the building changed to a hybrid Japanese image by Seichi Fujimura in 1944, primarily through the addition of a tower and roof elements.
The Standard criticised that the renovation cost was estimated at HK$14.5 million, including a sum of HK$300,000 allocated to a new fish pond designed to accommodate Tsang’s collection of koi fishes.
The main entrance of the house faces south towards Victoria Peak. Down on the northern side is the Central Government Offices, where most government secretariat offices are situated. Government House has a front lawn and a back garden. Eminent among the plants in the garden are the numerous azaleas that come to full bloom in spring.
According to an urban legend, the nearby Bank of China Tower was designed to shape like a blade so as to reflect bad feng shui to the Government House and its British administration.
It is believed that willow trees were planted in the Government House Garden to block the ensuing bad luck.
A number of feng shui masters have expressed that the feng shui for Government House, which is surrounded by skyscrapers, is far from optimal. It is worth noting that the Government House was built before any major urban developments, especially those after World War II.
However, some feng shui experts have expressed the opposite, citing that the position of the Government House (with the Victoria Peak behind it and the Victoria Harbour in front of it makes for an optimal place for decision-making, and that its exact position brings wealth and power for all of its residents.
According to The New York Times, the supposedly bad feng-shui was precisely the reason Tung Chee Hwa refused to live or work in Government House upon becoming Chief Executive.
Ironically, during his terms as Chief Executive, he was still heavily criticised by Hongkongers, and his popularity fell well below 40% by the time of his resignation.
The Standard believed Tung’s reason to stay away from the mansion was political: a subtle effort to reduce the age-old British legacy over Hong Kong. Other sources mention that “it was the warning about spying devices [installed throughout Government House] that scared him away”.
Flying Feng Shui Stars
It is interesting to note that Feng Shui gubernatorial residence reflects the historical ups and downs of Hong Kong.
If we go back to the 20-year period between 1964 and 1983 year (sixth century), we will find that these years have been very successful in Hong Kong, as six star water was located on the east and the eastern side of the residence of the governor is looking at Victoria Harbour. This is a practical confirmation of the principle of “water star prosperity should fall into the water.”
I did some statistical research to determine whether the annual changes in the intangible influences of Feng Shui at the entrance to the house and its back side in any way related to the fate of most of Hong Kong.
I found that every time the residence of the governor fell under the impact of Sha 2 or 5, unpleasant events occured in Hong Kong.
In 1941, when Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese invaders, Sha was at the entrance to the house. In 1956, when the rebellion broke out in Hong Kong, the entrance was Sha five. In February, 1965 (year and month of the crisis) annual Sha Five again located at the entrance, and the monthly Sha 2 – at the rear of the residence. In August 1971, 120 people were killed in the crash of the ferry seized by the hurricane. At this time, the annual Sha five were from the back side, and a monthly Sha 2 – at the entrance to the house. In 1974, when the annual Sha five located at the entrance, and the annual Sha 2- at the rear of the residence, the economy has suffered greatly since the collapse in financial markets, where Hong Kong’s stock index fell 400 points at once. In December 1986 the Governor, Sir Edward Yud, died when the annual Sha five were on the back of his residence, and monthly Sha five moved to the entrance.The tragedy at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, has shaken confidence of Hong Kong residents.
The garden of Government House is opened twice a year to the public.
At least one will be arranged in spring to enable members of the public to share the delight in viewing the full bloom of the azaleas.
Visitors are usually allowed to pass by the drawing room, dining room and ballroom where key official functions are held.
The open days are generally arranged during weekends. Dates are announced through press releases one week in advance. No admission fee is charged.