Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Queen's College, Hong Kong

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Type  Public, single-sex
Principal  Ms. LI Sui-Wah
Number of students  About 1000 students
Phone  +852 2576 1992
Founded  1862
Established  1862
Staff  About 60 staff
Address  Hong Kong, 高士威道120號
Color  Red
Motto  "Labor Omnia Vincit" (Latin) "勤有功" (Chinese) "Labour conquers all" (English)
Similar  Wah Yan College - Hong Kong, Wah Yan College ‑ Kowloon, Belilios Public School, St Paul's Co‑educa College, Queen's College Old Boys

Queen's College (Chinese: 皇仁書院), initially named The Government Central School (中央書院) in 1862, later renamed as Victoria College (皇后書院) in 1889, is a sixth form college for boys with a secondary school attached. It was the first public secondary school founded in Hong Kong by the British colonial government. Queen's College obtained its present name in 1894 and is now located at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.


Brief history

The Central School was established at Gough Street, Central. Dr. Frederick Stewart was appointed the first Headmaster of the Central School, as well as Inspector of Schools in the Colony.

The Headmaster of the Central School was responsible for supervising all schools in Hong Kong until March 1879 when the Government established a separate office for the Inspector of Schools, predecessor of the Department of Education, which was later incorporated into the Education Bureau.

During the school's early years, the student population consisted of a variety of nationalities. Whereas Chinese students enrolled in English, students from other nationalities were expected to study Chinese classics.

Secular schooling sparked much controversies among the Hong Kong Governor and religious leaders. In many occasions, the Governor personally scrutinized and intervened the school operations. The Government later established a grant program to put religious schools at the same funding level as the Central School. On 26 April 1884, Sir George Bowen, Governor from 1883 to 1887, administered the stone-laying ceremony for the new school building at Aberdeen Street. As a student, Sun Yat-sen also attended the ceremony. On the recommendation of the Governor, the Central School was to be known as Victoria College when it moved to the new site.

The school moved to Aberdeen Street in 1889. At that time, the school was one of the largest and most expensive buildings in Hong Kong. In 1894, the school was renamed Queen's College. The Government originally planned to expand the College to an imperial university in the late 19th century, but it was abandoned due to the outbreak and Russo-Japanese War in 1904, when the British colonial government worried about the benefits it enjoyed in the Far-East may be jeopardised by the expanding Japanese power. Therefore, it was crucial to establish a university with the purpose to train graduates in war-related subjects, such as engineering and medicine, and this led to the establishment of the University of Hong Kong in 1910, while Queen's College remained as a secondary school in Hong Kong.

The Japanese invasion forced school closure in 1941. During the Japanese occupation, the school site was used as the Army Headquarters. As a result, the Aberdeen Street campus was destroyed by Allied bombing during the War. The two notable cannons at the current school entrance were found in the rubble at Aberdeen Street.

After World War II, the school re-opened in a temporary site on Kennedy Road in 1947, sharing a campus with Clementi Secondary School.

In 1950, a new campus of Queen's College was built in Causeway Bay for the expansion of the school. It moved to the present site on Causeway Road, opposite Victoria Park, on 22 September 1950. Sir Alexander Grantham, Governor of Hong Kong, announced the revival of Queen's College on 22 September 1950. Since then, the two-story high building served countless Q.C. students throughout half of the century. Until 1951 the lowest class at Queen's was Class 4 (equivalent to now form 3). In September 1951 two additional classes were provided at the bottom of the school. The lowest class at Queen's thus become Class 6 (Form 1 nowadays). The changes in organization and other factors consequent on the rapid growth of education resulted for a time in an uneven distribution of divisions. In 1950 for example, there were ten divisions of Class 4. In 1951, four of these divisions were transferred to King's College (英皇書院). From 1955, intending Arts undergraduates had been transferred to King's College and later to Belilios Public School for their Advanced Level year. From 1962, an extra Upper Sixth Form was provided to the arts students so that QC boys no longer have to studied in Belilios. Meanwhile, some Belilios Girls came to Queen's to study Science. After that, no more girls were admitted and Queen's College today remains a full-time Anglo-Chinese secondary school for boys.

A tourist tour on the history of Sun Yat-sen usually includes the location of the first site of the school at Gough Street, Central.

School song

The melody of the school song of Queen's College was adapted from the school song of England's Harrow School, with lyrics being filled in by Mr. William Kay, formerly a long-serving vice principal at the school. Heep Yunn School, an all-girls school in Kowloon, also shares the same melody for their school song. This rendition of the Queen's College school song is arranged by Dr. Lau Kai-chi, Anthony (Music Panel Head at Queen's College 1994 - 2009).

School Motto

The Motto of the school is "Labor omnia vincit". The school motto was later translated as "勤有功" in Chinese, which literally means "hard work brings merit". Many of the QC students and old boys live on these spirits and have contributed to the Hong Kong and the Chinese society. Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Mr. Fok Ying Tung, Henry are two of the examples.

The school also put strong emphasis on its five core values: Diligence, Integrity, Brotherhood, Responsibility and Pursuit of Excellence.

For Queen's College, School logos were only officially adopted after the Second World War, as prior to the War the School, similar to other government departments, used the Royal Emblem as their logo. Yet, Queen's College's first school logo was designed as early as the 1923, by Mr Ng Ping-un, Chief Chinese draftsman of the Architectural Office. The post-war school logo changed numerous times, all based on Ng's 1923 design, and the current school logo was adopted in 1997 after the Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Enrollment and medium of instruction

There are 33 classes with approximately 1200 students on roll. Secondary One students are allocated by the Secondary School Place Allocation System. The Medium of Instruction is English (except Chinese Language, Chinese History, Putonghua, and cultural subjects).

Activities and achievements

All students are divided into eight School Houses, namely: Stewart, Wright, Dealy, Tanner, Crook, de Rome, Kay, and Williamson (which was at first called School House when the house system was introduced by then Headmaster Williamson). The School Houses compete in Athletic Meets, Swimming Gala and other interhouse competitions. School teams regularly participate and excel in inter-school competitions.

There are also 49 clubs grouped under Sports, Recreational, Religious, Social Services, and Academic (Science & Arts) areas. Most clubs hold events and functions for the participation of all students and many of them organize joint events with sister schools throughout every academic year. They also actively participate in annual school Open Days. Last but not least, school clubs co-ordinate with and contribute to many charitable activities.

Queen's College students are known for excelling in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). Historically, more students at the school have received 10 A grades on the HKCEE (the highest grade possible on the HKCEE) than at any other secondary school in Hong Kong. Out of over 572 secondary schools in Hong Kong, fewer than 30 have ever produced these so-called "10A" students. In particular, between 1990 and 2006, 50 Queen's College students have received 10 A's on the HKCEE. This number represents over 26% of the 10A scores received during this period.

The stellar academic performance of Queen's College students has been reflected in its representation at many of the world's best universities. Many excellent Form 6 students continue their education at prestigious overseas institutions in the United States, the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom, while most Form 7 graduates enroll in prestigious local universities such as the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Queen's College counts a total of 21 winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards, ranking 2nd among all secondary schools in Hong Kong.


First published in June 1899, the Queen's College school magazine, The Yellow Dragon (《黃龍報》), is now the world's oldest existing Anglo-Chinese school magazine. The Yellow Dragon is a priceless historical witness of the educational development of Hong Kong, as well as the social changes in Asia Pacific. The 100th volume of The Yellow Dragon has been published in 2005. In the Chinese section of the centenary volume, a brief conclusion of the past 100 volumes (百期回望專輯) was written by seven students in 2005 to commemorate the special centenary occasion.

Another regular publication of the school is the school newspaper, "The Courier"(《文苑》), which has been published since 1968. At the moment, 3 issues are produced per year with coverage on school's major functions and students' contributions.

Gwenneth Stokes, the first woman to become Associate to the Chief Justice of South Australia, and her husband John, the Principal of Queen's College from 1965 to 1970, spent two years researching at Queen's College, as well as in archives and libraries in Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom to compile the 494-page school history. The limited-edition book entitled Queen's College Its History 1862-1987 was published by Queen's College Old Boys' Association in commemoration of the school's 125th anniversary in 1987.

Politicians, judges, diplomats, and military staff

  • Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), the chief leader of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, the founding Provisional President of the Republic of China. He has been recognized as the "Father of the Nation" by the Chinese in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas; while being called the "Forerunner of the Revolution" by the People's Republic of China Government.
  • Liao Zhongkai (廖仲凱), major Chinese revolutionary leader, the executive member of the Kuomintang Central Committee, foreign minister, military minister, financial minister, and labour minister of the Republic of China. He was assassinated by the rightists in Guangzhou, 20 August 1925.
  • Tang Shaoyi (唐紹儀), diplomat, politician. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of China, the first president of Shandong University, and an early overseas student who studied at Columbia University in New York. He was assassinated by Kuomintang in 1938.
  • Wang Ch'ung-hui (王寵惠), Judge of Permanent Court of International Justice, the League of Nations; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, First Cabinet of the Republic of China, 1912.
  • Chan Kam-tao (陳錦濤), Minister of Finance, First Cabinet of the Republic of China, of Dr. Sun's Southern Government in Guangzhou during the 1920s.
  • Wen Tsung-yao (溫宗堯), Administrative Director, Dr. Sun's Southern Government in Guangzhou during the 1920s.
  • Luk King-fo (陸敬科), Head of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sun's Southern Government in Guangzhou during the 1920s.
  • Leung Lan-fan, China's first Consul General to Australia during the 1900s, and Superintendent of Customs in Guangzhou during the 1920s.
  • Robbie Ho Sai-lai (何世禮), General of the Republic of China Army; Chief Representative of China to the United Nations Security Council . He studied at British and French artillery schools.
  • Raymond Wong Chok-mui (黃作梅), Second director of Xinhua News Agency-Hong Kong branch; founder of Xinhua's London branch. Member of Dongjiang Anti-Japanese Guerilla. The only Chinese Communist Party member to receive MBE award and invitation from King George VI to attend WWII Victory Parade in London.
  • Henry Fok (霍英東), a businessman who has been active in political field. He was the Vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. He was recognized as one of the national leaders of the People's Republic of China.
  • Rafael Hui (許仕仁), Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government (December 2005 - June 2007).
  • Wong Yan Lung (黃仁龍), Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR Government (December 2005 - June 2012).
  • York Chow (周一嶽), Secretary for Health, Welfare, and Food, the HKSAR Government (Effective December 2005).
  • Norman Chan (陳德霖), Ex-vice-president of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (1996–2005); Vice-chairman of Standard Chartered Asia Pacific (2005-); Founding member of the think-tank Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre (2006); Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (Effective October 2009)
  • Kwok Kwok-chuen (郭國全), Honorary Senior Research Fellow in University of Hong Kong, former Government Economist of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, former Chief Regional Economist, East Asia, of the Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Ronny Tong (湯家驊), Legislative Councillor from the Article 45 Concern Group as of 2004, former Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association.
  • Szeto Wah (司徒華), former Legislative Councillor, Chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China.
  • Leong Che-hung (梁智鴻), Executive Council Member.
  • Peter Lai (黎慶寧), First Chinese Secretary for Security before Handover; First Secretary for Security of HKSAR.
  • Lam Woon-kwong (林煥光), Director of the Chief Executive's Office of HKSAR (2002–2005), previously the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
  • Medical doctors

  • Man-Kai Wan (尹文階)(1869-1927), one of the first Chinese doctors of Western medicine in Hong Kong and the inaugural Chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Medical Association 香 港 中 華 醫 學 會 (1920-1922, forerunner of Hong Kong Medical Association)
  • Businessmen

  • Edgar Kwan (關治平) Prominent construction engineer and businessman
  • Sir Robert Ho Tung (何東), successful businessman and philanthropist.
  • Sir Ho Kai (何啟), the founder of the Hong Kong College of Medicine, predecessor of the University of Hong Kong.
  • Lee Hysan (利希慎), the founder of Hysan Development Company Limited, prominent businessman who transformed Jardine's Hill into Lee Gardens.
  • Kan Tung-po (簡東浦), prominent banker who established the Bank of East Asia.
  • Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee (律敦治), founded first brewery in Hong Kong, the founder of the Ruttonjee Hospital.
  • Tse Tsan-tai (謝纘泰), one of the founders of the South China Morning Post.
  • Ho Fook (何福), successful businessman and philanthropist.
  • Lau Chu-pak (劉鑄伯), the founder of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.
  • Stanley Ho (何鴻燊), nicknamed "King of Gambling", the wealthiest person in Macau. He is the Chairman of Shun Tak Holdings Limited.
  • Man Sing Chan (陳業初), founder of M.S Chan & Company, Limited
  • Wong Tape (1875–1967), merchant in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Academics

  • Wang Wenshan (王文山), sociologist, anarchist, student leader at the Peking University during the May Fourth Movement 1919. He contacted the Chinese communists and once met Vladimir Lenin in Moscow.
  • Wang Chungyi (王寵益), Professor of Pathology at University of Hong Kong. He was admired for his devotion to the development of pathological research in Hong Kong. He died of tuberculosis, a disease that he had spent enormous effort to fight against.
  • Wong Kai-chi (黃繼持), writer, translator, literary critic of Chinese literature, former Head of Department, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Cheung Ng-sheung (張五常), well-known economist in Hong Kong, formerly Professor of Economics at the University of Hong Kong.
  • Cheung Yau-kai (張佑啟), Honorary Professor of Engineering and Special Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong; formerly Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
  • Edward K.Y. Chen (陳坤耀), Vice-Chancellor of Lingnan University, Hong Kong.
  • Kwan Tze-wan (關子尹), Professor, former Head of Department, Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Fok Tai-fai (霍泰輝), Pro-Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Lee Hon-leung, Vincent (李漢良), Director of the School of Pharmacy, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Wong Kwok-pun, Lawrence (黃國彬), Professor at the Department of Translation of Lingnan University in Hong Kong. His famous Chinese poem 'On Listening to Chan's Zither Performance' (translated from the Chinese title '聽陳蕾士的琴箏'), written in the 1980s, has been one of the prescribed texts of the Chinese Language syllabus of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination from 1993 to 2006.
  • Joseph Sung Jao-yiu (沈祖堯), one of the most significant figures in Hong Kong's fighting with the SARS in 2003. He was the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is now Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1 July 2010.
  • Yuen Kwok-yung (袁國勇), another significant figure in the SARS crisis in Hong Kong. He is Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases, and is currently working at the University of Hong Kong as the Chair and Head of the Department of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine.
  • Chiang Mung (蔣濛), Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering, Director of the Keller Center, Princeton University, 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award recipient.
  • Shen Xuhui, Simon (沈旭暉), international politics critic, Table-host of ROUNDTABLE, Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Lee Hau Leung (李效良) Thoma Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology Stanford Graduate School of Business. Codirector of the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum
  • Jack Cheng (鄭振耀) Pro-Vice-Chancellor / Vice-President, Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatology Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • So Yuen Tat (蘇源逹) Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences Stanford University, Department of Neurology.
  • Tony F. Chan (陳繁昌), Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematics and Physical Sciences, National Science Foundation; Professor, Computational & Applied Math Group, Department of Mathematics, UCLA. President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology since 1 September 2009.
  • Chi-Kwong Li Ferguson Professor of Mathematics, The College of William and Mary
  • Chan Tsz Fung, Department of European Studies
  • Tse Lai-Sing, Francis (謝勵誠), Vice President, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research; Adjunct Professor, Nankai University, Tianjin; Vice President & CSO Lab Testing Division, 上海药明康德新药开发有限公司.
  • Kwan Pun-Fong, Vincent (關品方), Associate Director, HKU Zhejiang Institute of Research and Innovation, Hangzhou; Honorary Professor, The University of Hong Kong.
  • Volunteerism Leader

  • Mr. Wilson Wan Sze Chung (溫思聰), recipient of the 5th Hong Kong Volunteer Award (第五屆香港傑出義工獎得主)
  • List of Headmasters and Principals

  • Dr. Frederick Stewart (1862–1881)
  • Dr. G. H. Bateson Wright (1881–1909)
  • Mr. Thomas Kirkman Dealy, FRGS, FEIS, FCS, DRF (Paris) (1909–1918)
  • Mr. Bartram Tanner, ISO (1918–1925)
  • Mr. A. H. Crook, OBE (1925–1930)
  • Mr. F. J. de Rome, MBE (1930–1939)
  • Mr. M. G. O'Connor (1939–1941)
  • Mr. L. G. Morgan (Acting) (1947)
  • Mr. J. J. Ferguson (Acting) (1947)
  • Mr. H. N. Williamson, OBE (1947–1961)
  • Mr. Cheung King-pak (1961–1964)
  • Mr. Wong Yee-wa (Acting) (1964)
  • Mr. F. C. Gamble (1964–1965)
  • Mr. John Stokes (1965–1970)
  • Mr. Raymond Huang (1970–1973)
  • Mr. William Cheng Hsü-ning (1973–1976)
  • Mr. Timothy Yung (1976–1982)
  • Mr. Chew Tung-sing (1982–1987)
  • Mr. Kong Shiu-chung (1987–1994)
  • Mr. Lee Kar-hung (1994–2000)
  • Ms. Kitty Cheung Lam Lai-king (2000–2003)
  • Mr. Vincent Li Lok-yin (2003–2013)
  • Ms. Li Sui-wah (2013–)
  • List of Head Prefects

  • Mr. Timmy Chia Chi-fung (謝志峰) (2007–2008)
  • Mr. Timothy Chan Tin-yau (陳天佑) (2008–2009)
  • Mr. Billy Lee Tat-fung (李達鋒) (2009–2010)
  • Mr. Gary Ng Chi-ho (伍梓濠) (2010–2011)
  • Mr. Desmond Tse Tak-mong (謝德望) (2011–2012)
  • Mr. Alex Leung Ka-kei (梁嘉圻) (2012–2013)
  • Mr. Nelson Mak Li-shun (麥理信) (2013–2014)
  • Mr. Benny Hon Pun-yat (韓本一) (2014-2015)
  • Mr. Richard Choy Wai-Chak (蔡維澤) (2015-2016)
  • Mr. Yuen Wai-Him (袁偉謙) (2016-2017)
  • Queen's College History Museum


    The Queen's College History Gallery was established in 2013 to illustrate the history of the school, and to act as an archive at the same time to store and restore school-related artefacts, documents and relevant publications. To give the 4000-piece strong collection and exhibition a more favourable environment, a new purpose-built museum converted from several classrooms was completed and opened on 23 January 2017. Renamed the Queen's College History Museum, it currently hosts a permanent exhibition titled "From Gough Street to Causeway Road: Change and Continuity of Queen’s College" curated by Old Boys Mr Joseph Yu (Curator), Mr John Kwok and Mr Justin Cheng (Assistant Curators). Mapping out the changes and continuities of curriculum, education policy, student activities and traditions over the century and a half’s time, it also shows the College's contributions and relations to the development of Hong Kong and China. Despite the ever-changing environment and emergence of new challenges, the core values and the spirit of Queen’s College stay the same. To encourage the public to learn more about their school history, the museum currently operates a website and a Facebook page.

    Curatorial Methodology

    Most of the surviving materials and records were collected by institutions and University Archives in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, as well as private collectors and Old Boys. The help of internet presented both opportunities and challenges to the curators. Apart from being overwhelmed quantitatively by various materials previously not available for researchers, useful information is often fragmented and hidden deep inside these materials, which require specific historical knowledge and skills to detach them from their sources and connect them with the wider picture. As a result, materials and information previously unknown to the world were found and displayed, in the hope that visitors and researchers will benefit from a more holistic picture of the history of Queen’s College, and its relation to the development of Hong Kong and Greater China. In terms of curating the exhibition, the curators have adopted both chronological and typological display methods, tailoring to the specific nature of our collection. Organising the main exhibition in a chronological manner can effectively communicate in a simple and straightforward manner, allowing visitors from different steps of life to observe and fully appreciate the changes and continuities of school policies, curriculum, student experience and activities, and their relation to the broader socio-political development in Hong Kong and the World. The 8 typologically organised cases are aimed at showing visitors the ‘evolution’ and development of school-related items formerly used by students and staff from different eras, reflecting the response to changing demands across history. It is hoped that both displaying patterns will complement each other and inform visitors of a more holistic picture, thus reflecting changes and continuities of the Queen’s College.

    Old Boy Curators and Staff

  • Mr YU Sheung Yin Joseph Gregory (Curator)
  • Mr KWOK Ho Yeung John (Assistant Curator, Collection & Research)
  • Mr CHENG Chun Yin Justin (Assistant Curator, Education and Special Duty)
  • Dr HO Koon Wan (Honorary Adviser)
  • Mr LUK Wai Hung (Old Boys' Association Representative)
  • Ms LI Sui Wah (School Representative)
  • Mr CHOW Kan Hung (School Representative)
  • Mr CHIU Sin Hang (School Representative)
  • References

    Queen's College, Hong Kong Wikipedia