Honorary Degree Citation - Lui Che Woo

by Annamma Joy, June 2004

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Dr. Lui Che Woo, international businessman and philanthropist.

On the third peak of Mt. Zijin on the East outskirts of Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province stands an observatory, 267 meters above sea level, called the Purple Mountain Observatory. Here, on a crisp evening in 1995 an astronomer discovered a never before seen asteroid and promptly named it, The Lui Che Woo Star.

An avid contributor to the development of astronomy research in China, it was appropriate to name the asteroid after Dr. Lui. But perhaps, it is also fitting to have such a huge cosmic rock as a permanent tribute to the man who, here on earth, the Chinese media has dubbed, the King of the Quarry. Dr. Lui's hugely successful construction material supply company, K. Wah, pioneered the automation of quarrying in the mid '70's. K. Wah has come to encompass over 200 subsidiaries, from property development to hotels. It is an international name with international holdings.

Dr. Lui was born in Jaingmen city in China's Guangdong province in 1929. In the 1950's he established the first K. Wah Company, an organization initially focused on importing heavy machinery and supplying construction materials to local Hong Kong markets. His astounding success is complemented with spectacular philanthropic contributions.

Dr. Lui has been actively involved in charity affairs in Hong Kong for many years. Besides holding important posts in many charity organizations, Dr. Lui is also supporting many charitable and educational activities in the Mainland. He was a member of the Selection Committee for the First Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1996, and later in 1998 served on the 9th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Dr. Lui has always been a passionate supporter of higher education. Concordia has been the beneficiary of his goodwill, as he has been an avid patron of the Concordia Hong Kong Foundation. This program provides entrance scholarships for excellent students from China. The foundation opens doors for them to experience an international education, creating bridges between our nations and cultures.

Dr. Lui's exemplary contributions to business and the community are reflected by the many honours bestowed on him both locally and overseas. He was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1982. In 1986 he was appointed Justice of the Peace. He is also an honorary citizen of Nanjing, Guangzhou and Jiangmen. He was awarded the "Outstanding Contribution Award" in Guangzhou in 1996. In 2001, he received the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

Mr Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and an honour to present to you Dr. Lui Che Woo, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.