Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lai Po-cheun 賴寶川 (1929-EOP)

updated on August 7, 2013.

Hong Kong's First Woman Medical Student [1]

MBBS, HKU (January 10, 1928); registered to practice in Hong Kong on May 10, 1929 and continued until 1941, 13 years in total; Chinese Medical Officer wef. June 1, 1928); Tsan Yuk Hospital (1929); Health Officer wef. May 25, 1939; secretary of the Midwives Board and Supervisor of Midwives (vice Alta Francis Stout who had resigned) wef. May 25, 1939; Inspector of Schools wef. May 25, 1939 through 1942; Chinese Lady Assistant Medical Officer for Schools, Medical Department (1941); address in Hong Kong: #140 Kennedy Road (1941).

[1] Lai was one of the first three women students admitted to HKU in 1921 and the only one to read medicine, but it took her until 1928 to receive the MBBS degrees. Meanwhile, Eva Ho-tung 何嫻姿 who was matriculated a year later than Lai, completed her studies and got her MBBS degrees in 1927, a year ahead of Lai.
The other two women who entered HKU at the same time as Lai were Rachel Mary Irving 艾惠珠 and Irene Cheng 何奇姿. Irving was the daughter Edward Alexander Irving 伊榮 who was the sitting (and Hong Kong's first) Director of Education. Irving was admitted to the Faculty of Art, year three and graduated with a BA degree in 1923. She was Hong Kong's first woman university graduate. Cheng, b. October 21, 904, Hong Kong – d. February 17, 2007, San Diego, nee Ho-tung, was Eva Ho-tung's sister. Cheng received her BA degree in English in 1925 and became the first Hong Kong-born woman university graduate. She went on to become a devoted educator.
Selected bibliography: The Hong Kong Government Gazette, May 10, 1929, Notice #242; June 23, 1939, Appt. #501, #502 and #503; May 9, 1941, Appt. #52, Notice #558. / Lee Hock Guan (Ed.) and Lee Lai To (Ed.), Sun Ya-sen: Nanyang and the 1911 Revolution, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, 2011. / Lee, Vicky, Being Eurasian: Memories Across Racial Divides, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2004. / Report of the Medical Department, Hong Kong, for the Year 1928.


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