17 January 2024
Released on 19 December, a new set of stamps in the ‘Hong Kong Past and Present’ series reveals the appearance and development of the Hongkong Post Headquarters at different times in its history. The set has been issued to coincide with completion and opening of the new Hongkong Post Building in Kowloon Bay.
Over the past century, the Hongkong Post Headquarters has been relocated several times to cope with business expansion. There are five important stages that mark the development of postal services.
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A quick history of Hong Kong PO
After the Hong Kong Post Office was established on 25 August 1841, the first postal headquarters (1841–45) ($2.20) was built and opened in November of that year to provide postal services. Situated near St John’s Cathedral, in the area named Government Hill, it was designated exclusively for government use in the early days when Hong Kong was established as a free port.
The second headquarters (1846–1911) ($4) was established on 1 January 1846, when the office was relocated to the then Registrar General Office building at the junction of Queen’s Road Central and Pedder Street (where the China Building stands today) for shared use with the court.
The third headquarters (1911–76) ($5.40) came about because increasing public demand for postal services in the late-19th century meant the General Post Office was in urgent need of expansion and reorganisation. A new four storey, Renaissance-style building was built, which opened in June 1911. To begin with, Hongkong Post occupied the ground floor and the basement, while the upper floors were shared by other government departments. After World War II, with the expansion of the postal service, Hongkong Post took over the whole building to provide postal services to the community.
To cope with the huge demand for postal services, the fourth headquarters (1976–2023) ($5.50) was constructed at 2 Connaught Place, Central, and came into service on 11 August 1976. In a modernist style, the building was located near the pier, facilitating the delivery of mail by sea. As a comprehensive postal facility, the building not only provided counter service and Post Office Box service to the public, but also housed a sorting office, a delivery office and back offices.
An accompanying stamp sheetlet shows the latest headquarters building, which was commissioned in late 2023 ($10). The new eight-storey building and adjacent Central Mail Centre are connected to form an operation hub of Hongkong Post.
The building adopts various forms of energy efficient features, including a rainwater harvesting system. In addition, it provides public space, including an outdoor Postal Plaza, a post office and Postal Gallery designed with glass curtain walls, which serve as a platform for the public to learn about the history, development and daily operation of Hongkong Post.