Wah Yan College, Kowloon

Wah Yan College, Kowloon

Wah Yan College, Kowloon (WYK; Traditional Chinese: 九龍華仁書院; Jyutping: gau2 lung4 wa4 jan2 syu1 jyun2, Pinyin: Jǐulóng Huárén Shūyuàn; demonym: "Wahyanite", pl.: "Wahyanites") is a Latin Rite Catholic secondary school for boys, located at 56 Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon. It is administered by the Society of Jesus.

Aims and characteristics

According to the school website [ [http://wyk.edu.hk/goals.html School Goals as on the official website] ] , the school is aimed to give students opportunity to know Christ, to build a school community in which everybody may respect and co-operate with each other, to encourage students to work for a just society, and to serve the needed, etc..

In October 2007, the college officially endorsed the following Jesuit Vision Statement for their vision in education: “We offer a holistic, liberating and transforming Catholic education within a learning community for students and staff to become progressively competent, committed, compassionate, spiritual, and ethically discerning persons with a universal heart contributing to the welfare and happiness of all, in particular the poor and the neglected.”

It is widely agreed among Wahyanites that, compared with other secondary schools in Hong Kong, WYK offers more freedom to students, and values independent learning highly. Student organizations (clubs, societies and associations) are given much autonomy to organize activities, and they are partly supervised by students themselves.

Class structure and curricula

At present, each form from F.1 to F.5 has 5 classes, called W, Y, K, S, J (standing for Wah, Yan, Kowloon, Society of Jesus). For F.6 and F.7, there are 3 classes in each form, namely S, B, and SS (standing for Science, Biology and Social Science). [ [http://admin.wyk.edu.hk School Administration] ]

Moreover, Catholic students have a faith formation lesson every week.


Formative years

Established in 1924 by Mr. Peter Tsui Yan Sau (徐仁壽, formerly a teacher at St. Joseph's College), WYK is one of the oldest and most prestigious secondary schools in Hong Kong, and was the first English-speaking college to be administered by local Chinese. During the 1930s, Mr. Tsui, himself a devout Catholic, saw the need of the pupils for greater spiritual guidance, decided to gradually hand over the administration to the incoming Jesuits, while the latter was actively seeking to serve in some local education establishments. Besides the two Wah Yan Colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon, the Jesuits also sought to form a Catholic University in Hong Kong. Yet with the University of Hong Kong already established in 1911, the Jesuit fathers turned to organise a Catholic male hostel for its students, which hostel was to become [http://www.hku.hk/ricci Ricci Hall] of the University. Mr. Tsui left Hong Kong and became a successful rubber planter and hotelier in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah of the British Malaya. He died in Hong Kong on 19 February 1981, age ninety three.

Pre-war developments

Before the Second World War, the school was located on Portland Street and later moved to Nelson Street in 1928. Under the auspice of A. E. Wood, then Secretary for Education, the School was added to the Grant List, and was hence under Government subsidies. A branch was also opened on Austin Road to cater for students in senior years, the premises becomes the Tak Sun Primary School after the war. A South China Morning Post article in 1928 reported the WYK to be the "biggest school" in Hong Kong with a student population of 500. Despite new facilities, however, senior students were still required to cross the Victoria Harbour for laboratory lessons at the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

In 1941, Hong Kong was attacked by the Japanese forces, the Jesuit priests of the College helped organise the evacuation of the Kowloon civilians to the Island as they closed down the school. During the occupation, the Japanese prohibited its resumption on political grounds. The Nelson Street campus was so thoroughly looted that, Mr. Chow Ching-nam (周淸霖), then Headmaster, could only salvage nothing but a small portion of school registers and documentations, and the students had to bring in their own stools when the College reopened after the war.

Expansion and maturity

Around 1947, the School Authorities began the search for a new campus as its size further increased. A proposed acquisition of a site on Ho Man Tin Hill Road was turned down and after negotiations with the Government of Hong Kong, a piece of former paddy field was granted, and it hence moved to the current premise on Waterloo Road in 1952, where the school is to remain until now. This provision of land was quite vast by Hong Kong standards, making WYK one of the largest campus in the urban Hong Kong area. This precedent was soon followed in the case of land provision for Wah Yan College (Hong Kong), where the plot granted by the Government was also of significant size. The present campus was officially opened by the then Governor Sir Alexander Grantham, in 1953. In 2005, a new annex of WYK was officially opened providing new science labs, music room, a Computer Assisted Learning Room (commonly called CAL Room) and a student activity room.

Although WYK is a Catholic school run by experienced missionaries, it was still not quite the part of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Colonial administration during the sixties. Several reasons could account for this phenomenon. Perhaps the most significant being the absence of a permanent expatriate element in the student body, for Wah Yan has long accustomed to a full Chinese intake.

WYK is known as the cradle of new Chinese ink painting in recognition of an experimental teaching method pioneered by former Arts teacher Mr. Laurence Tam (譚志成)in the late 1960's.Mr. Tam left WYK in 1971 to become a curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Famous alumni

* LEE, Martin Chu-ming (李柱銘), former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, representing the Hong Kong Island geographical constituency; former chairman of Hong Kong Democratic Party.
* LEONG, Alan Kah-kit (梁家傑), former chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association and a candidate of Hong Kong Chief Executive Election 2007
* MAK, Tak Wah (class of 1962), scientist (discoverer of T cell receptors, a key component of the human immune system) [http://www.science.ca/scientists/scientistprofile.php?pID=15] , [http://citzine.ca/stuff.php?lng=e&sub=2&cid=55] , [http://medbio.utoronto.ca/faculty/mak.html]
* TO, James Kun-sun (涂謹申), member of the Legislative Council (Kowloon West)
* TSANG, Kenneth (曾江), experienced actor who had starred in Hollywood production such as "Die Another Day"
* TSO, Wung-Wai, an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, also an active politician in Hong Kong
* YING, Michael Lee-Yuen, Former chairman of Esprit Holdings Limited.
* NG, Stephen Tin-hoi(吳天海), Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Wharf Holdings Limited (九龍倉集團有限公司); chairman, president and chief executive officer of i-CABLE Communications Limited (有線寬頻通訊有限公司); deputy chairman of Wheelock and Company Limited (會德豐有限公司); director of Joyce Boutique Holdings Limited and Modern Terminals Limited (現代貨箱碼頭有限公司); chairman, president and chief executive officer of Wharf T&T Limited (九倉電訊有限公司)
* CHAN, Paul (陳茂波), current member of the Legislative Council (Functional constituency: accountancy).


ee also

*Education in Hong Kong
*Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
*List of secondary schools in Hong Kong
*List of buildings and structures in Hong Kong
*Society of Jesus
*Fo Pang

External links

* [http://www.wyk.edu.hk/ Official site]
* [http://www.wykpsa.org.hk/ WYK Past Students' Association]
* [http://www.wahyan.net/ Wah Yan International Network]
* [http://wahyanboys.org/ Wah Yan Boys' Community]
* [http://www.jsea.org/ Jesuit Secondary Education Association]

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