Alex WU Shu-chih
1993 Honorary Fellow
It is probably true to say that we would not be awarding fellowships in this magnificent Academy building today if it had not been for the vision of Alex Wu. As far back as 1977, in a speech to the Legislative Council, he first suggested the need for an Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong, to supply the newly-established performing groups and companies with talent. As Chairman of the Provision Council, subsequently the Council of the APA, it was his determined advocacy that saw the creation of the Academy as we know it. His love for the arts developed in China, when, during the Japanese invasion, as a young officer, he accompanied convoys of strategic material along the dangerous Burma Road and occupied his spare time with reading widely, in literature, languages and the arts.
When he came to Hong Kong after the war, he established himself in printing and publishing. But his desire to promote the arts, health and youth welfare drew him towards public affairs. From 1975 to 1988 he was appointed a member of the Legislative Council when the then Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, realized that in Alex Wu there was an ideal spokesman for culture, the arts and education. As a member of the Universities and Polytechnics Grants Committee, Dr Wu advocated the development of the arts as an essential part of a balanced curriculum. In 1977 he impressed on the Government the need for the establishment of an arts council of some kind to coordinate cultural activities.
In 1982, the Council for the Performing Arts was created with Alex Wu as its first Chairman, a responsibility he retained for 7 years. His concept of an Arts Council is yet to be realized but it is an issue even more hotly discussed today. In 1982 he was appointed a CBE for his services to the community. Today to recognize his services to the performing arts, I present Dr Alex Wu for the Fellowship of the Academy for Performing Arts.