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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:57 pm 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
With the recent Ching Ming holiday and graves all over Lamma still covered with half-eaten buns, rotting fruits and open rice boxes from the holiday picnics, I paid a return visit to the Lamma Garden of Remembrance columbarium up beyond the Youth Hostel on the path to Luk Chau.

This is still one of the most exclusive places in all of HK to get buried and only a few people/year, only Lamma residents of at least 5 (?) years are granted this privilege upon special request in a very pretty, secluded columbarium which definitely cost quite a few millions to build.

Here's a picture from Dec 13, 2004 and a picture from yesterday. This means that only 17 people have been laid to rest there in 4.33 years, meaning approx 4 people/year! Really, really exclusive! Where do I sign up?

At the current rate and with Lamma's population actually shrinking a bit in the last 5 years (-300), this Lammaites-only columbarium will be spacious enough for about the next 120 years (504 niches/4). The 4 empty blocks are actually double-sided, so this is real long-term planning by our govt, appropriate for such a place. :wink:

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 Post subject: Resurrection?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Location: flatland
what interests me is the two empty slots that have appeared in the middle of the wall. have there been two miracles on lamma in the past 4 years?

and what if i want to be interred there? i don't want my ashes to be stored in a used slot.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:03 pm 
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perhaps they weren't getting along with the neighbours


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 Post subject: Re: Resurrection?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:49 pm 
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. wrote:
i don't want my ashes to be stored in a used slot.

Yes, that's why the two slots are empty as NOBODY wants to occupy empty niches. But I wouldn't mind as long as I'd get a good discount on these 2nd-hand niches for my own future ashes! It would be less lonely in there to share the niche with another ghost... :lol:

The two urns have maybe been "upgraded" to another columbarium locally or overseas, to a more convenient location for the relatives than a remote hill on Lamma that takes some hiking to get to for the two yearly grave-sweeping holidays.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Ching Ming Festivals 2012:
Update on the number of urn niches occupied in our columbarium, the "Lamma Garden of Remembrance":

62 by now, 9 niches occupied in the last 3 years, only 3/year.

There are several hundred free ones left, enough for about a century, I'd calculate.
Still only 2 non-Chinese, Gerd Heinz Balke (2000) and David Kerr (2007).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Does anybody know the requirements and cost of getting a niche in our public Lamma Columbarium, just beyond the Youth Hostel/Camp? I'm really interested.

7 (?) years residency on Lamma is necessary, I've heard, plus some one-time and/or yearly payment, but not the hundreds of thousands a private niche off-island might cost.

Most locals get buried in impressive, concreted grave sites all over the hillsides, so the columbarium has never been really popular, with only 3-4 niches used per year over the last ten years or so. 4 blocks * 9 columns * 7 rows, double sided = 504 niches. Only 13% used till today, there's enough space for another 100+ years at the current take-up rate, so no hurry to reserve my own niche up there yet.

It's a good, but steep and long, 1+ hour hike to get there from either Sok Kwu Wan or YSW, so you can really enjoy peace and quiet for eternity. Even Ching Ming and Chung Yeung are very quiet up there and I've NEVER met another soul while visiting there occasionally on these holidays.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:48 pm 
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How to apply for holding the ashes of the deceased in a niche managed by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD)?

Quote:
Niches at Peng Chau or Lamma Island will be allocated to indigenous villager of outlying islands, or a bona fide resident living on outlying islands continuously for not less than 7 years, or an offspring of local residents. The applicant must produce a certificate from the respective rural committee to certify that the deceased was an indigenous villager or a local resident of the island concerned.


Since the locals can build a huge concrete gravesite anywhere they like on a hillside, basically free, they're not interested in using this.

Some of the new (or enlarged) gravesites above the fire station are by themselves, larger than the whole columbarium.

It's a travesty of the concept of feng shui -- harmony with nature -- to destroy the countryside to build these huge concrete status symbols, and then we get inevitable hill fires started by careless idiots who visit them and leave offerings burning, or who just want to clear the vegetation without effort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Thanks for the link! But why Food and Environmental Hygiene Dept.?
I hope to neither become food nor an environmental or hygiene hazard after my untimely end!!!

Well, so it'll cost $3,295 for a standard niche (up to 2 related occupants) or $4,295 for a quadruple deluxe in the Lamma Columbarium.
There's absolutely no waiting list (as expected), unlike ALL other off-island public columbaria with waiting lists of a minimum of 27 months, up to 58 months! And you can get a brand-new niche, no need to wait for a "used, re-allocated", 2nd-hand niche. There are just a few of those in the Lamma Columbarium, but nobody seems to want them here. I wonder if they'd give discounts for those?

We'd also need a certificate from our rural committee to certify that the deceased was a bona fide resident living on Lamma continuously for not less than 7 years.

Let me ask them directly, just out of sheer curiosity....

Since it's one of these new type of columbariums, a so-called "Garden of Remembrance", the option of sprinkling the ashes onto the soil should also be available, no?

An even more popular version on Lamma might be a sea burial of the ashes, sprinkling them from the back of a junk with family and friends. I've been attending one of these years ago and it was very nice and dignified affair, even though it might not have been legal yet back then, but you can apply for permission for that nowadays.

Or sprinkle my ashes into the wind from the top of Mt. Stenhouse, to fertilise the hills I loved to hike in....

As I usually hike all by myself, I might not need any of these arrangements at all and some other hiker might find my dried bones, picked clean by feral dogs and hogs, at the back of some rarely-visited hillside in South Lamma, nourishing the flora & fauna of Lamma, kind of a comforting thought, in a morbid way..

But then, mobile phones seems to work almost anywhere on Lamma, even on top of all the peaks I've visited so far, so a heli rescue would be kind of more likely these days, unlike the unlucky fellow deceased at the back of Mt. Stenhouse last century.

OK, enough morbidity for today, out for another little hike of this former "super morbidly obese" (charming medical term) individual. Got to stay fit and healthy, so I won't need one of these niches for many many years to come.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:28 pm 
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Location: flatland
2012:
Alan wrote:
Niches at Peng Chau or Lamma Island will be allocated to indigenous villager of outlying islands, or a bona fide resident living on outlying islands continuously for not less than 7 years, or an offspring of local residents. The applicant must produce a certificate from the respective rural committee to certify that the deceased was an indigenous villager or a local resident of the island concerned.

2020:
morbidly curious in the time of covid-19 i went to check the government page. some time in the past 8 years the residency requirements have gone up from 7 to 10 years.
Quote:
Niches at outlying islands are only available for indigenous villager of that respective outlying island or his/her offspring, or a bona fide resident living on that respective outlying island continuously for not less than 10 years or his/her offspring. The applicant must produce a certificate from the respective rural committee to certify that the deceased was an indigenous villager or a local resident of the island concerned.

In the small print:
- you only rent the niche for 20 years, with subsequent 10 year extensions available.
- If you share with a relative they reset the 20 years from the date of second interment.
- you can currently only apply for used niches, they're not selling new ones.
- no waiting list for lamma. (in Diamond Hill it's 10 years, 10407 people in the queue)

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