Chairmen of HKJC

Take Care Of; Take Charge Of


From 1845 to 1884, racing men subscribed to the Race Fund and they elected a Race Committee of Stewards.
The Stewards arranged and conducted the Annual Race Meeting, this, the year’s only Meeting.




A minutes captioned, “Formation of a Jockey Club for Hong Kong”, the content was:
“A meeting of the subscribers to the races of 1884 was held at the City Hall on 4th inst. (month not given, but presumably October or November) for the purpose of passing the Accounts of the Race Season of 1884 and of considering the advisability of placing racing in Hong Kong on a more stable footing by the formation of a Jockey Club.”
1884-11-04, there were 34 gentlemen present.
The Hon. Phineas Ryrie was voted to the chair.





At the regular meetings of members in the Club’s earlier times, the Chairman was a different Steward almost every year.
1892, the system suddenly became stabilized.
The Hon. C. P. Chater, now a member of the Legislative Council, presided, and thereafter as Senior Steward too.
1926, before his death, he was in the chair every year when he was in the Colony.





Term Period Name Title
1 1884-1892 Phineas Ryrie JP*
2 1892-1926 Sir Paul Chater CMG, Chev. Leg. d’Hon., LL D, JP*
3 1926-1929 Henry Percy White Esq
4 1929-1935 Charles Gordon Stewart Mackie JP
5 1935-1939 Marcus Theodore Johnson JP*
6 1940-1941 Thomas Ernest Pearce JP*
7 1945-1946 Percy Tester Esq
8 1946-1952 Sir Arthur Morse CBE*
9 1953-1967 Donovan Benson OBE JP*
10 1967-1972 Sir John Saunders CBE, DSO, MC*
11 1972-1974 Sir Douglas Clague CBE, MC, QPM, CPM TD JP*
12 1974-1981 Peter Gordon Williams OBE, JP*
13 1981-1986 Michael Graham Ruddock Sandberg CBE LLD JP*
14 1986–1989 Sir Oswald Cheung CBE LLD QC JP*
15 1989–1991 Sir Gordon MacWhinnie CBE D.LITT FCA FHKSA JP*
16 1992–1993 Sir William Purves CBE, DSO, GBM
17 1993–1996 Sir John Joseph Swaine CBE LLD QC JP*
18 1996–1998 Wong Chung-hin Esq
19 1998–2002 Alan Li Fook-sum Mr
20 2002–2006 Ronald Arculli GBM, GBS, CVO, OBE, JP*
21 2006–2010 John C C Chan Dr
22 2010–2014 T. Brian Stevenson SBS, JP
23 2014–—— Simon S.O. Ip Dr CBE, Hon DEd, Hon LLD, JP*


* The Honarable Member of the Executive and/or Legislative Council






It is worthy of note that since its formation, for more than a century HKJC has had fewer than a few Chairmen with comparatively long tenure.
Sir Paul Chater filled the post and guided the fortunes of the Club for 34 years.
Donovan Benson, head of the Mercantile Bank of India, originally chose to retire in Hongkong.
He took over as Chairman of HKJC when Sir Arthur Morse left.
Mr Benson‘s 10 years are the second longest term recorded.





Prime mover in the resolve to go professional, and, as Chairman, the inspiration behind the creation of the magnificent Sha Tin racecourse, was Peter Williams, Chairman (1974-1981).
Peter Williams was succeeded as head of the Jockey Club by Michael Sandberg, Chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
This was not the only time a banker or a head of ‘The Bank’ had been elected to this position.





Carrying such title with important duties in HKJC, the Chairmen have never been mere figureheads.
All have been experienced and active racing men, and most have owned successful stables.





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Acknowledgment to HKJC Archives and Hong Kong Racing Museum





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