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Chapter Six The Hong Kong Construction Association The Origins The Hong Kong Construction Association represents building and civil engineering contractors in Hong Kong and has done so for the past 70 years. Recently, in 1989, the original name of Building Contractors' Association (BCA) was changed to Hong Kong Construction Associatio n (HKCA ) primaril y t o remedy a misunder standing which was prevalent that only building contractors were represented b y the Association. I n fact, th e Association number s many civil engineering contractors among its members, including international member s fro m Japan , China , Australi a an d othe r countries. Currently the Association has about 340 member companies. There are limitations on membership. A company must be : — a n approve d contracto r fo r Hon g Kon g Governmen t Publi c Works on List I or List II or — a n approve d contracto r fo r Hon g Kon g Housin g Authorit y Work or — registere d as a contractor with the Building Ordinance Office . Associate membershi p i s open t o non-registered contractor s who normally act as sub-contractors to member companies. Twenty -two member s ar e designate d a s "foreig n contractors " as they appear o n th e government' s Lis t I I althoug h man y hav e bee n long-established in Hong Kong. On the other hand, companies such as Dragages e t Travaux Public s o f France are actually o n List I, having been here since the 1950s. The Building Contractors' Association started from very small beginnings. A t the outset, i n the secon d decad e o f th e twentiet h century, a group of like-minded contractors, including Mr. Lam Kau Mau and Mr. Tarn Siu Hong, met on an irregular basis at a restaurant in Kennedy Town, normally on a Sunday, to socialize and discuss The Hong Kong University of Science& Technology under construction (Facing page) 191 The Hong Kong Construction Association matters of mutual interest. As the circle enlarged it became apparent that there was a need to set up a formal organizatio n t o press the building contractors' case with the government and provide a united approach to the increasingly powerful trade unions. The followin g accoun t o f th e foundin g o f th e Buildin g Contractors' Associatio n wa s given by Mr. Tarn Siu Hong in an article written just after the Second World War: In 1911, as unions of different trade s were set up one after another, building contractors in Hong Kong began to see the need for an association of building contractors, so as t o promote friendshi p amon g fellow-builder s an d t o advance the development of the trade. Some of us started a research center for building and constmction. However, according to Government regulations, unions and associations had to apply to the Secretary for Home Affairs befor e they coul d registe r a s recognize d associations . Unfor tunately , the Research Center for Building and Constmction was merely set up to advance the art of constmction, and did not fulfil thes e conditions; besides, there was not a complete constitution. Therefore it was refused the status of a registered association . A meeting wa s late r calle d where the members agreed to abolish the name "Research Center". I n 1919 , the members reorganized themselves , rewrote the constitution and renamed the center the Building Contractors' Association. An application was then put to the Secretary for Home Affairs an d registered association status was duly granted. In 1920, Mr. Lam Yam Chuen was elected the first President of the Association, which was locate d o n th e thir d floor o f 78 , Des Voeu x Roa d Central. Whe n th e Associatio n wa s establishe d i t dre w enthusiastic response from peopl e in the trade and more than two hundred members joined. The BCA officially came into existence on 29 November 1920. In 1921 , Tarn Si u Hon g wa s electe d th e secon d President . A n Association log o wa s designe d an d a monthl y bulletin , whic h contained Associatio n informatio n an d balanc e statements , wa s published an d distribute d t o members . I n th e sam e yea r man y workers' unions were fighting...

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