Yifu Build­ings

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT - 逸夫楼 (Yi­fuLou)

The Yifu Build­ings na­tion­wide are named af­ter the Hong Kong me­dia ty­coon and phi­lan­thropist Sir Run Run Shaw, or Shao Yifu, who died at the age of 107 on Tues­day.

Sir Run Run do­nated more than HK$ 10 bil­lion ($1.29 bil­lion) to sup­port ed­u­ca­tion and health­care on the Chi­nese main­land. Ac­cord­ing to Bei­jing News, he be­gan his phil­an­thropic jour­ney when the main­land started to re­form and open-up. This de­ci­sion, ac­cord­ing a friend, was be­cause he wanted to make a “con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment”.

To many Chi­nese he was the “most fa­mil­iar stranger”, as they knew him through the Yifu Build­ings through­out the coun­try. Ne­ti­zens started a cam­paign to post pho­tos of the school build­ings — in­clud­ing li­braries, sci­ence halls and sta­di­ums — and hos­pi­tals do­nated by him. Mil­lions of them lit can­dles online and said “R.I.P.” to show their re­spect. Baidu map shows that there are roughly 30,000 Yifu Build­ings on the main­land, cov­er­ing nearly ev­ery prov­ince.

Af­ter the 2008 Sichuan earth­quake, Sir Run Run do­nated HK$ 100 mil­lion ($13 mil­lion) for dis­as­ter relief. In 2002, he en­dowed the an­nual Shaw Prize of $1 mil­lion to honor in­di­vid­u­als, re­gard­less of race, na­tion­al­ity, gen­der and re­li­gious be­lief, who have re­cently achieved a sig­nif­i­cant break­through in as­tron­omy, math­e­mat­ics, and life and med­i­cal sci­ence.

He made his for­tune as one of the most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures in the Asian en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. He founded the Shaw Brothers Stu­dio, one of the largest film pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies in the world, and Tele­vi­sion Broad­casts Lim­ited (TVB), the dom­i­nant tele­vi­sion com­pany in Hong Kong.

He was knighted by Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth in 1977 and re­ceived the Grand Bauhinia Medal from the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment in 1998.

Ne­ti­zens say al­though he stopped “run­ning” on Tues­day, his mis­sion is a never dy­ing one.

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