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La Salle College

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Established
  
1932

Principal
  
Tong Wun-Sing

School district
  
Kowloon

La Salle College

Type
  
Grant School (Financially aided school)

Motto
  
FIDES ET OPERA ("Faith and Zeal")

Founder
  
St. John Baptist de La Salle

La Salle College (LSC; Chinese: 喇沙書院, Cantonese jyutping: laa3 sa1 syu1 jyun2) is a highly selective boys' secondary school in Hong Kong. It was established by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Roman Catholic religious teaching order founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle.

Contents

The school curriculum uses English as the medium of instruction in all subjects with the exception of Chinese-related subjects and French.

Foundation

In 1917 the Brothers of the Christian Schools, who had founded St. Joseph's College in 1875, opened a junior school on Chatham Road near the Rosary Church. At this time Kowloon was expanding rapidly. The demand for schools was rising and Brother Aimar Sauron, the Director of St. Joseph's, realized that a new school building was necessary. He acquired a large plot near Prince Edward Road as a site for the new La Salle College in 1928. The site was immediately north of the city boundary, and thus was technically in New Kowloon. That section of Boundary Street was not yet a formal road when the school site was bought, and was only gazetted in 1929.

On 5 November 1930, Sir William Peel, the Governor of Hong Kong, laid the foundation stone of the new building. By 3 December 1931, the work on the building and the playgrounds was sufficiently advanced to allow the opening of eight classes for 303 pupils, under the management of five brothers from St. Joseph's College and four assistant masters from the Chatham Road School.

The formal inauguration took place on 6 January 1932. Seven brothers, headed by Reverend Brother Aimar as Director, took over. A few days later 40 boarders occupied the quarters to the west of the building. There were then 540 students in 14 classes. About one-third of the students had a European (mostly Portuguese) connection.

World War II

Brother Aimar was the principal of the school for its first seven years. The students were offered matriculation examinations, the laboratories were constructed, four tennis courts and a full-sized football pitch were built, and the statue of St. John Baptist de La Salle that now stands in front of the College was erected. The number of students increased to 805 in 1935 and 1,060 in 1939.

In 1939, La Salle College was affected when World War II commenced in Europe. On 3 September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany, and the British War Department in Hong Kong designated the campus as an internment camp for German nationals arrested in Hong Kong that same day. Those interned included the German engineer Gerhard Neumann. The camp was run for approximately eight months, during which time the brothers organised classes in morning and afternoon sessions in the College Annex across the road (the building which was to become La Salle Primary School in 1957).

On 8 December 1941, the Japanese attacked Hong Kong, and the school building was again taken over by the British Military, this time as a relief hospital. After the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941, the Japanese took over the building. In February 1942, the brothers were expelled from the college and the school's operations was terminated until the September 1946. During the Japanese occupation, the college was believed to have been used as a military hospital until August 1945.

After the war

School recommenced in September 1946. By the end of 1949, the Chinese Civil War was coming to an end. Most of China was controlled by the Communist government of Mao Zedong and the People's Liberation Army was rapidly advancing southwards towards the Hong Kong border. Owing to that threat, the British Army reinforced their garrisons in Hong Kong. In need of a hospital, the British Army expropriated the use of the college grounds, originally for 12 to 18 months. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government erected wood hutments on a plot at Perth Street, Ho Man Tin. The temporary occupation dragged on for some 10 years, taking the concerted efforts of the local government, the British Parliament, and the Vatican to finally dislodge the Army in August 1959.

Post-war development

Brother Felix was appointed director of the school in 1956 and re-acquired the college buildings from the military authorities on 1 August 1959. Student numbers grew steadily and this led to a separation of primary and secondary divisions. La Salle Primary School was founded in 1957 and Brother Henry Pang was appointed headmaster.

In 1964 the La Salle College Evening School was commenced within the main campus building; in 1969 the Evening School was separated and became the Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College in Ho Man Tin. The decision was taken in the mid-1970s to undertake the replacement of the ageing building. While classes were continuing, a portion of the school grounds were used to erect a new superstructure with modern facilities. The project was funded via the sale of part of the school grounds to Cheung Kong Holdings, owned by Li Ka Shing. The Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose, officially opened the new school on 19 February 1982, in its Golden Jubilee year.

The current college building stands seven floors high from the "field level" (five floors above are ground level, two floors are below ground level, and the track and field are at the bottom). It has an enrolment of almost 1,800 students. Its four blocks surround two quadrangles, the lower dotted with benches and greenery and the upper containing a basketball court. The blocks are named the North, East, South and West Wings after their position on the two quadrangles. There is an extensive range of facilities for academic use and for extracurricular activities, including sporting facilities. The campus incorporates a standard-size football field with artificial turf, a 400 metres (1,300 ft) all-weather track with six lanes, a 50 metres (160 ft) outdoor swimming pool with electronic timing, and an air-conditioned gymnasium encompassing 6 badminton courts and a basketball court. There are two outdoor basketball courts, a tennis court, a volleyball court, and a squash court.

Recent years

A Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) was established in January 1995. In September 1996, the track and field were in urgent need of resurfacing. The La Salle Foundation, with the help of the PTA, raised over five million Hong Kong dollars and the Hong Kong Jockey Club contributed the same amount. The project was completed in October 1998 and the facilities were renamed the La Salle College-Jockey Club Track and Field.

In December 1998 La Salle College hosted the third gathering of the Asia-Pacific Lasallian Educators' Congress; about 130 delegates from the Asia-Pacific region took part. As a direct result, the Hong Kong Lasallian Family Office was established in April 1999, with Brother Thomas Lavin as coordinator. This office aims to draw together the various members of the Lasallian family in Hong Kong.

In December 2004 more than 150 brothers and young Lasallians joined together in Hong Kong for the seventh Asia-Pacific Lasallian Youth Congress, chaired by Brother Thomas Lavin, under the theme "Together in Faith-Full Service".

During the summer of 2005 construction work of the School Improvement Program (SIP) ended with the completion of two new wings, the Aimar Wing and the Cassian Wing, named after the first two principals of the school. The SIP provides an additional 32 rooms, with new facilities such as computer rooms and a multi-media learning centre.

In 2009 the refurbishment of the track and field was completed at a cost of $8 million. Fourth-generation turf was laid as the surface of the football pitch. There is a new discus throwing circle and safety cage and a javelin practice area. The tennis court was also resurfaced.

Admission

75% of La Salle College's total Form 1 intake is from its feeder school, La Salle Primary School, with 25% from other primary schools. Applicants attend interviews in English, which are conducted by the supervisor and the principal. Other criteria include applicants' performance in extracurricular activities, awards and certificates, and academic excellence. La Salle College applicants may apply for French as an alternative to Chinese.

School associations

The Old Boys' Association (LSCOBA) is an organisation that intends to unify old boys around the world, as well as contributing to the college by sponsoring scholarships, organising career talks, and supporting other events. Its membership as of 7 June 2006 reached 5,367.

The Student Association (LSCSA) represents current students. Its Executive Committee (ExCo), composed of 7 Form 5 students, is chosen through democratic elections open to students of Form 2 and higher every year. It consists of six boards - the Secretariat (SEC), the Clubs Coordinating Board (CCB), the Discipline Board (DB), the Class Representatives' Board (CRB), the Publications Board (PB) and the Financial Committee (FC).

The Catholic Society is an organisation that promotes the Catholic Faith in La Salle College. Every month they organise a mass in the school hall, and the Mass Choir is in charge of singing in the masses. The Catholic Society also facilitate events like the "Founders Week" and the "Caritas Bazaar'.

Other student-based associations include the La Salle College Campus TV (LSCCTV), which helps producing broadcasts, and the Editorial Board which produces the year-book "The Lasallite".

Since the majority of the school buildings are above their standards, the Government is not responsible for the school's maintenance. Replacements of plant and machinery as well as the upkeeping of existing facilities require substantial sums of money. The Brothers, Principal Brother Francis, and some old boys initiated the idea of a foundation whose sole aim was to provide sufficient funds to do this. In early 1992, the La Salle Foundation was established with Michael Sze as the first chairman.

Layman principals

As Hong Kong education law requires school principals to retire at 60 years of age, Brother Thomas Lavin relinquished the position in 2004, and flew to Bethlehem for ministerial works in 2005. Dr. Paul Lau (劉煒堅) then became the first secular principal of La Salle College. Lau had completed his primary and secondary education at La Salle Primary School and La Salle College.

Lau resigned in 2006 with effect from 31 August 2006, citing personal reasons, and was succeeded by Wong Yen-Kit (王仁傑) as acting principal. Shortly after, Brother Thomas Lavin, the school supervisor, announced that Wong Yen-Kit would take up the position of principal.

Wong Yen-Kit retired as principal on 31 August 2010. He was succeeded by brother Steve Hogan, a former principal of De La Salle College, New Zealand. Brother Steve ended his duty of principal on 31 August 2016. The vice-principal Tong Wun-Sing (唐煥星) took over as principal starting on the following day.

Academic

As required by Hong Kong law, schools must have two examinations every year: mid-year and final examination. In between the two examinations, students are provided feedback on their performance through continuous assessment, which accounts for 20% of the total subject mark.

The school consistently produces scholars who excel in public examinations. In 1993, the school produced the first student achieving ten distinctions in Arts subjects in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). In 2001, four students from the school attained the top score of 10 A's, a feat repeated in 2008. The class of 2003 scored a total of 501 A's, the most distinctions a single school had ever achieved in a single sitting in the history of the HKCEE.

LSC counts five winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards, ranking 16th (tied with Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of MFBM, and Queen Elizabeth School) among all secondary schools in Hong Kong.

Extra-curricular

La Salle College has over 50 clubs and societies. Clubs are divided into academic, cultural, sports, interest and service. Joining clubs is mandatory.

The College's students are active in academic, cultural, and sports competitions. They have a champion record of the Joint School Chinese Debating Competition and the Hong Kong Mathematics Olympiad, and a School Grand Prize Winner record of the Hong Kong Olympiad in Informatics.

Sports

In sports, La Salle College has won badminton championships in all grades in 1993–1994, 2003–2004, and 2004–2005 in the Kowloon area. La Salle has won championships in archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, cross country, fencing (Grand slam in 2010–2011), football, hockey, softball, squash (18 consecutive years,1994–2012), swimming, table tennis, tennis, tenpin bowling and volleyball. The table tennis team was named the overall champions 7 years in a row, from 2000 to 2007.

The Omega Rose Bowl, and its successor the Bauhinia Bowl, is awarded to the secondary school with the best all-round sporting performance in the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon region. La Salle College has been the Boys School Champions 26 times, by far the most-awarded secondary school in the Boys' Schools section. La Salle College holds the record of receiving the Rose Bowl, predecessor of the Bauhinia Bowl, for the longest period—17 years—between 1974 and 1991.

Every year, during the Interschool Athletics Meet, Form 1 students and members of the Student Association will be excused from lessons and will be allowed to cheer for their Athletes for the whole day. Students of other Forms are also dismissed early to be allowed to go and cheer. Doing so is voluntary but almost all students will participate. Many Old Boys will also participate. La Salle College is always considered as the one of the most united schools in Hong Kong.

Music

La Salle College has achieved tremendous results in terms of music as well. In the Hong Kong Youth Music Interflows, organized by the Music Office, the Wind Orchestra achieved four gold prizes (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) in the "Symphonic Band Contest - Secondary School Senior Class", and were awarded Overall Champion for all four of the Winner's Finals. The Chinese Orchestra achieved a tremendous eight consecutive gold prizes (2008-2015) in the "Chinese Orchestra Contest - Secondary School Class C (46-90 members)". The String Orchestra has won four gold prizes (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015). The Symphony Orchestra has won five gold prizes (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) in "Secondary School - Class A or B" as well. Moreover, La Salle College has thrice achieved "grand slam" achievement (Symphony Orchestra, Chinese Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, String Orchestra won the gold prizes + Wind Orchestra awarded winner in the Symphonic Band Winner's Finals) in the Hong Kong Youth Music Interflows (2010, 2013, 2014).

In the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, La Salle College has one of the strongest music teams in Hong Kong. The Wind Orchestra was awarded champion in the "Concert Band - Secondary School - Senior Class" on four occasions (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014). The Chinese Orchestra was awarded champion in the "Chinese Orchestra - Secondary School - Senior Class" four times as well (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016). The Symphony Orchestra achieved 2nd runners-up in 2011 and 2015, and a 1st runner-up in 2014 in the "Symphony Orchestra - Secondary School - Senior Class". The choirs of the school, the Treble Choir and the Senior choir had achieved excellent results these years. The Treble Choir had captured the first place in the competition group 'Secondary School Choir - Foreign Language - Boys - First Division - Junior Age 14 or under, treble voice only' in 2013 and 2016. The String Orchestra achieved 2nd place and Champion in 67th Music Festival and 68th Music Festival respectively in 'String Orchestra-Intermediate' category.

Results of La Salle College in 68th Music Festival:

  • Champion in Piano Ensemble
  • Champion in String Orchestra—Intermediate
  • Champion in Junior Boys' Choir (Foreign) (Division 1)
  • Champion in Senior Boys' Choir (Chinese) (Division 2)
  • Champion in Chinese Orchestra
  • Second place in Concert Band (Senior)
  • Second place in Woodwind ensemble (Senior)
  • Third place in Brass ensemble (Senior)
  • Prayers

    Classes maintain the tradition of praying after the assembly. The prayers are usually led by students on duty, Catholic boys, or sometimes the teacher, and commonly include a Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father or The Lord's Prayer, and the prayer is closed with the unique Lasallian lines: "St. John Baptist de La Salle – pray for us; live Jesus in our hearts – forever".

    Notable alumni

    By tradition, alumni of La Salle College are called La Salle Old Boys, and the alumni association is called La Salle College Old Boys' Association.

    Government

  • John Tsang, 曾俊華, JP, former Financial Secretary, HKSAR Government, 2017 Chief Executive Election Canadiate.
  • Dr. Chan Cho Chak, John, 陳祖澤, Former Deputy Chief Secretary, Former Secretary for Trade and Industry and Former Secretary for Education and Manpower, HK Government
  • Sir Roger Lobo, 羅保爵士, CBE, LLD, JP, former member of Executive Council (ExCo), Legislative Council (LegCo), and Urban Council
  • Hilton Cheong-Leen, 張有興, CBE, JP, former Chairman of the Urban Council, former member of Legislative Council (LegCo)
  • Arnaldo de Oliveira Sales, GBM, JP, former Chairman of the Urban Council
  • Ching Cheung-ying, 程張迎, MH, Sha Tin District Council Representative for San Tin Wai Estate, Chinese language teacher in Diocesan Boys' School, former Urban Council representative
  • Pau Shiu-hung, 鮑紹雄, SBS, JP, former Director of Architectural Services, current Vice President of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, former Chief Commissioner and current Honorable Commissioner of the Scout Association of Hong Kong
  • Bernard Chan Pak-li, 陳百里 (1993), former District Councillor, current Political Assistant, Commerce and Economic Development Bureau
  • Stephen Lo Wai-chung, 盧偉聦, current Commissioner of Police in Hong Kong.
  • Arts and culture

  • Bruce Lee, 李小龍, actor in martial arts films and founder of Jeet Kune Do Started at the school in 1952.
  • Dr. James Wong, aka Wong Jim, 黃霑, renowned composer, and lyricist of the La Salle College School Song (Chinese Version)
  • Albert Leung, 林夕, Chinese lyricist and writer (studied F.6–7)
  • Michael Hui, 許冠文, Hong Kong film comedian, scriptwriter and director
  • Philip Chan, zh:陳欣健, Media Management, Film Director, Producer, Script-writer, Emcee, radio show host, talk show host and singer
  • Sammy Leung, 森美, DJ, singer and actor
  • Anthony Lun, 倫永亮, Cantopop singer, composer and producer
  • Hsien-yung Pai, 白先勇, Chinese author
  • Business

  • Peter Wong, 王冬勝, executive director of HSBC
  • Jack Chak-kwong So, 蘇澤光, chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council
  • John Chen, 程守忠, 程守宗, former CEO of Sybase and interim CEO of Blackberry Ltd, CEO, Siemens Nixdorf Information System, Chairman of the US Committee of 100
  • Dr. William Man-wai Mong, 蒙民偉, founder of Shun Hing Group
  • Paul Man-yiu Chow, 周文耀, former Chief Executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSI)
  • John Shek-yau Lau, Executive Chairman, Ecargo Holdings Limited; Group Managing Director and Founder, CS Holdings Limited and Cargo Services Group
  • Hon. Mr. Samuel Mok, Former Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Department of Treasury. He was one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans in George W. Bush's administration, and is the former president of the American Association of Government accountants. He is currently regarded as a leader of the Chinese-American community.
  • Science and engineering

  • Henry Tye, 戴自海, Horace White Professor of Physics at Cornell University
  • Simon S. Lam, 林善成, Professor and Regents Chair at University of Texas, co-invented secure sockets widely used for e-commerce and Internet security
  • Sir Po-shing Woo, 胡寶星爵士, Non-Executive Director of Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land
  • Medicine

  • Dr. Shih Tai Cho Louis, 史泰祖, 2004–2008 Vice-President of The Hong Kong Medical Association
  • Dr Derrick Au (1972), Hospital Chief Executive, Kowloon Hospital. Head of human resources, Hospital Authority. Graduated MD from Brown University.
  • Sports

  • Vincent Wong Wing Ki, 黃永棋, badminton player who defeated four-time world champion Lin Dan in the 2011 Denmark Open
  • References

    La Salle College Wikipedia


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