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Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park reopening following series of improvements

O‘AHU -- A blessing and lei-draping ceremony marked the completion of renovations to Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park in Downtown Honolulu today, following a series of improvement projects and the realization of partnerships between the City and neighboring businesses.

To further celebrate the reopening of this park location, which will be fully open to the public next week, a free concert event is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the park. Entertainment includes an opening lion dance, music from Stacie Ku‘ulei, and a performance by Crossing Rain.

Recent improvements to the nearly half-acre park, located on the corner of Bethel and Hotel streets, date back to Dec. 2015 when a partnership was established with the Hawai‘i Theatre Center for upkeep of the urban park.

Following the partnership, several City projects improved various elements of the park to the tune of approximately $1.115 million. Those improvements include: installation of an ornamental, wrought iron fence, removal of the old pump building, electrical work, lighting upgrades, concrete & decorative paving, irrigation renovations, and landscaping with trees commonly found in Chinese gardens such as bamboo, Hong Kong orchid, and pak lan trees.

Another major element of the park renovation involved refurbishing and relocation of the Dr. Sun Yat-sen statue from the back of the park towards the center of the park, making it the focal point of the historic figure's namesake location.

Dedicated on November 12, 2007 as a gift from the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Hawai‘i Foundation, the statue is titled "A School Boy in Hawai‘i" sculpted by Chu Tat Shing. The sculpture depicts Dr. Sun as a 13 year old boy-- the age Dr. Sun arrived in Honolulu to attend school. He is carrying two books in his right hand and dressed in traditional Chinese garments hat, jacket, tunic, and shoes.

The accompanying plaque reads, "'This is my Hawai‘i... here I was brought up and educated; and it was here that I came to know what modern, civilized governments are like and what they mean.' Dr. Sun Yat-sen. In 1879, at the age of thirteen, Sun Yat-sen came to Hawai‘i from Zhongshan, China. It was here in Honolulu, that he spent many of his teenage years growing up and being educated. China's first revolutionary society the Xing Zhong Hui (Revive China Society) was organized in Hawai‘i in 1894. Sun Yat-sen went to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and establish a democratic China in 1911. The dedication of this statue recognizes the sacrifice and support of the people of Hawai‘i in nurturing the roots of 'Modern China' and its Founding Father."


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