The Mermaid



From the South China Morning Post, 30 December 1949


Facing seaward, a small statue called "The Little Mermaid" stands on a rock in front of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, about 15 feet above sea level. Its inspiration was a Hans Anderson fairy story, and it is there to serve as a reminder of friendship.


The original statue is at the Royal Danish Yacht Club at Copenhagen, and Hong Kong's miniature - cast by the sculptor - has been presented to the Club by the Danish community in Hong Kong.


Mrs. E. Huttemeier, wife of the Danish Consul, unveiled the statue, after Mr. H. Dreyer had presented it to the Club on behalf of Hong Kong Danes.


Mr. Dreyer said:


"Commodore, Ladies and Gentlemen:


It is with great pleasure that on behalf of the Danish community I undertake the honour of handing over to the Club this little token of friendship and peace.


Your probably know that the sculptor is Mr. Erikson and his motif was taken from Hans Christian Anderson's Fair Tale "The Little Mermaid". It combines simplicity with beauty.


The original statue is placed on a large boulder nearly in front of the Royal Danish Yacht Club on the famous Langelinie, Copenhagen, facing the harbour and sound. This miniature was cast by the sculptor and is an exact replica of the original.


I take this opportunity to thank the local Danish firms for the generous manner in which they have subscribed to our cause. Without doubt they have done so appreciating the great advantage the Club is to members of their staffs in the promotion of health and sportsmanship. May the "Little Mermaid" succeed in furthering this worthy object to benefit of all.


I hereby hand this statue over to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club request Mrs. Huttemeir to unveil it."


After the unveiling, Commodore N.V.A. Croucher said:


"It is indeed a very great pleasure for us to be present at this ceremony this evening and to thank our Danish friends for this very beautiful statue they have presented to the Club. Most of us can recall Hans Anderson's fairy story of the Little Mermaid, which kindled our childhood's imagination, and how this creature of fantasy would sit on the rocks gazing seawards watching the ships sail by.


No Club can have been so fortunate as ours in having throughout its history the keen and loyal support of our Danish members, hose prowess in sailing and rowing has always played a prominent part in the successful progress of the Club.


I am sure you will all agree with me that a more appropriate gift or a lovelier setting could not have been chosen, and I would like to express our thanks to Mrs. Huttemeier for coming here and unveiling the Little Mermaid, which will not only serve as a perpetual reminder of the enduring friendships made here and of our friendly rivalries but also of the close ties which unite our two countries."

 

Sixty years later on Monday 14 December 2009, members and invited guests gathered on the Chart Room Balcony to wish our Little Mermaid a very happy 60th birthday.



In attendance were (left to right) Jens-Erik Olsen (RHKYC Member and Chairman, Danish Chamber of Commerce), Rev. Hans-Aage Koller Nielsen (Danish Seamen’s Church), Jorgen Mollegaard (Danish Consul) and Warwick Downes (Commodore, RHKYC).