Professor Michael Halliday passed away peacefully in Sydney on 15 April 2018 at the age of 93, with his son Neil, his daughter Polly and his grand-daughter by his side. He was the first international scholar who lent unfailing support to our Centre. CACLER was developed from CMI Centre (Support Centre for Teachers Using Chinese as a Medium of Instruction) which was established in September 1998. Professor Halliday provided his great support by delivering a wonderful keynote speech in Mandarin on the role of mother tongue in language education at the first conference of our centre. He also acted as research consultant of various projects in our centre. Our centre owed him a lot!
Professor Michael Halliday was also the External Examiner of our BEd (Language Education-Chinese) Programme from 1998-2001 and provided valuable recommendations for the betterment of our programme. He was also the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong in the academic year 2003-2004. He stationed in Hong Kong in that year and offered Functional Linguistics workshops to our research staff. He was a great supporter of our Faculty.
Dr. Mark Shum managed to go to Sydney to see him on 7 April to pass him the best regards and gratitude from our colleagues at the Education Faculty in the University of Hong Kong and Professor Halliday remembered most of us very well.
From A. Lin Goodwin, Dean, Faculty of Education, HKU
Professor Halliday was clearly well loved by faculty of education colleagues whom, I’m sure, will long remember him for his contributions and thoughtful support.
From Nancy Law, Professor, Division of Information & Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, HKU
It is very sad to hear of the passing of such a great scholar and teacher. while I am not in language education or linguistics, I benefitted greatly from his lectures on functional systemic grammar, and understanding a little about how language and scientific thinking co-evolve. I learnt so much from him through witnessing his immense patience as a teacher and rigorous demand on himself as a scholar. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to interact with and learn from him when he was visiting us.
From Angel Lin, Professor of English Language and Literacy Education; Director, Consortium for Research on Language Policy and Practice (CRLPP), Faculty of Education, HKU
What a great master of the era, how sad to see him leave!
Cannot think of another great master like him in our time, with the kind of impact that he has in our field, in linguistics/applied and educational linguistics, and language and education...
From KI Wing-wah (Dr) Honorary Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, HKU
I echo the deepest sadness. his knowledge and personality has made immense impact on numerous people and i feel so fortunate to have learn from him. His life has been amazingly graceful one across times and boundaries. He has was so kind to us on all occasions. Will miss him and wish him eternal happiness and peace.
From Shek-kam Tse, Founding Member of CMI Centre & Centre for Advancement of Chinese Language Education & Research
We lost a world academic leader. He is always very helpful.
From Joseph Wai-ip Lam, Director of Centre for Advancement of Chinese Language Education & Research; Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, HKU
I am so sad to hear this sad news. I have been learning so much on language from him, before I met him in the Faculty, during his visit to HK and our Faculty, and will always benefit from him in the future.