As the city prepares for the official Grand Bauhinia ceremony this weekend, we take a look back at previous recipients of Hong Kong's highest honour

The Grand Bauhinia Medal was introduced in 1997 as Hong Kong’s highest accolade, replacing the previous British honours system following the transfer of sovereignty from the British to the People's Republic of China.

Since then, almost 100 residents have received the honour, granting them the title of The Honourable or the abbreviated GBM after their name.

The medal—which features Hong Kong’s emblem of the Bauhinia orchid flower at its centre—recognises members of society from all walks of life for their dedication to public service or significant contributions to Hong Kong. Aside from the the Grand Bauhinia Medal, members of Hong Kong society can also receive a Gold Bauhinia Star, a Silver Bauhinia Star and a Medal for Bravery among others. 

See also: The Grand Bauhinia Medal 

This Saturday, Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal, The Hon. Mr Justice Robert Tang, public servant Hok-ming Cheung, entrepreneur Robin Chan and Professor Rosie Young will be inaugurated into the list of Grand Bauhinia honourees. 

Featuring some of Hong Kong’s most prominent philanthropists, entrepreneurs, titans of business and social elite, it’s no surprise that several familiar faces from Hong Kong Tatler’s 500 list have been awarded Hong Kong’s highest honour in recent years. Here are just a few that have been recognised in the Bauhinia hall of fame:

Peter Woo

Peter Woo was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2012 and—before his retirement in 2015—he was the long-time head of Wheelock and Company and its principal subsidiary, The Wharf Holdings, until he handed over the reins to his son Douglas Woo, before launching the philanthropic initiative Project WeCan.

This year, he was the recipient of the Hong Kong Tatler Diamond Award.

See also: 6 Ways Peter Woo Completely Transformed The Murray, Hong Kong 

Laura Cha

Formerly vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, Laura Cha became a holder of the Gold Bauhinia Medal in 2017.

A Hong Kong business woman and politician, she is a non-official member of the Executive Council, chairman of the Financial Services Development Council, and an independent non-executive director of HSBC Holdings and Unilever.

See also: HKEX Appoints Laura Cha As First Female Chair

Lee Shau-kee

The founder, chairman and managing director of Henderson Land Development, Lee Shau-kee is also chairman of The Hong Kong and China Gas Company, vice-chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties and a non-executive director of Hong Kong Ferry Holdings.

He received his Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2007.

See also: Lee Shau-kee To Donate Another HK$1 Billion To Charity

Ronald Arculli

Ronald Arculli is a senior partner of King & Wood Mallesons, chairman of the FWD Group and vice-chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, and was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2010.

He also holds the Order of the British Empire (OBE) among other achievements. 

See also: Ronald Arculli: Hong Kong Has The Potential To Become A Culture City

Li Ka-shing

Li Ka-shing was awarded a Bauhinia medal in 2001, as his business career spans multiple industries including property, retail and telecommunications.

In March 2018, he stepped down as the chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, but continues to serve as a senior advisor to both companies as well as a noted philanthropist via his Li Ka Shing Foundation. He was also awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1989. 

See also: Superman Retires: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Hong Kong Tycoon Li Ka-Shing