Hong Kong Journal of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Midwifery

The idea of forming a society of obstetrics and gynaecology was initiated by a group of senior gynaecologists in April 1961. Announcement of the first meeting was put up at the South China Morning Post and the Inaugural Meeting of the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Hong Kong took place on June 7, 1961 at the Bankers’ Club, Bank of East Asia Building, Hong Kong. At the meeting, the first Council was elected with Professor Daphne Chun as the President and Dr. D.K. Samy as the Chairman. There were 52 Foundation Members and the following Aim and Objectives of the Society were approved at the meeting:

  1. To stimulate interest in, to exchange views in the field of, and to promote co-operation and facilitate relationship among those who are interested in obstetrics and gynaecology.
  2. To organize scientific meetings.

During the meeting, the Constitution of the Society was adopted and the structure of the Council was established. The membership subscription was HK$10.00 per year (The cost of one catty of rice was HK$0.40 in 1961). Mr C.Y. Kwan and Lee Fook Shui were elected as Hon. Legal Advisor and the Hon. Auditor respectively. Dr the Hon D.J.M Mackenzie, then the Director of Medical and Health Services was invited to be Patron of the Society. Thus the corner stone of the OG Society was laid down on that date June 7, 1961 and the Society prospered since.

The List of the Presidents and Council Members throughout the years are listed.

The First Scientific Meeting of the Society was held at Tsan Yuk Hospital on June 28, 1961. The meeting started with an inspection tour of the Antenatal Ward and Research Laboratory followed by clinical presentations and discussion.

The Society was very active and eight Scientific Meetings were held in the first year, with local speakers from various hospitals and overseas speakers including Professor Guttmatcher and Professor Nixon. The membership grew to 80.

The Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Hong Kong also played an active role on external affairs. Officers were nominated to represent the Society to attend the Second Asiatic Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Calcutta, India in January 1962, and the Third Congress at Manila, Philippines in January 1965. Since then our Society has been a strong supporter of international congresses.

On February 18, 1965, the Federation of Medical Societies of Hong Kong was inaugurated at the City Hall, Hong Kong. The OGSHK was one of the twelve Foundation Societies and Dr. the Hon A.M Rodrigues (one of our senior members) was elected as the President of the Federation.

The category of Life Membership was created in May 1965 and the subscription then was HK$100.00. A certificate was awarded to all Life Members.

The first idea of publishing the Journal of the OGSHK was proposed by Professor Chun at the Council Meeting in June 1965. Despite the availability of good scientific papers for publication, publication of the Journal was not put into action because lack of financial support. Our own journal, the Hong Kong Journal of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Midwifery, only came into existence thirty-five years later in year 2000 after a lot of input by Dr Lawrence Tang (President, 1997-1999).

The OGSHK was invited by the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) to be a member in October 1965. This was approved by the General Assembly of FIGO on September 1967 at Sydney, Australia. Dr Carolina Braga and Dr Kathleen Drury were official delegates of our Society at that General Assembly.

The Asian & Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AOFOG) only became a legal body on June 6 th, 1970 and the OGSHK was one of member societies to adopt the constitution. Our Society also successfully organized the XIth Asian Oceania Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1987 in Hong Kong. The income generated from that congress was used to establish the O&G Trust Fund of Hong Kong that is still in active operation today, supporting research activities in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology..

Members were invited to submit designs for the Crest since 1966. Finally, Dr L Mullins (President, 1975-1979) put forward his design in 1973 when he was then President of the Society. The Crest was adapted from that of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of United Kingdom. There was a sun and a moon inside the shield with symbols of the male and female sex. The design was adopted by the Extraordinary General Meeting on November 30, 1973 and the Crest started to appear on our letterhead and all official functions.

Since the conception of the Society, we had been very active on public matters related to the profession. The Society was invited by the Government to contribute to Midwives Training and Examination, drafting of questionnaires on Legal Abortions etc. We also helped in the formation of the Local Reference Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of United Kingdom and contributed to the training in the specialty.

After forty years, the Society is still fulfilling its missions as set down at the Inaugural Meeting on June 7 th, 1961. We play an important role in organizing activities on Continuing Medical Education for the specialty. We collaborate with other public and private institutes in Hong Kong in giving public health talks to promote female health in Hong Kong. The OGSHK is the official representative of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology fraternity at the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) as well as the Asian & Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AOFOG). With your unfailing support our Society will continue to move on for the next forty years and the years to come.

(Adapted from “A Glimpse of History” by Dr Dominic FH Li, Hong Kong Journal of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Midwifery 2001;2(1))

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