fond memories of
Wah Yan by
- Memoirs of
the late Paul K.C Tsui, 5th son of Peter Tsui, the founder of Wah Yan:
- Excerpt from
the Jesuits newsletter
Autumn 2002 No. 113:
"Hong Kong from Sacred Space"
by Gerry Bourke
of Wah Yan submitted by old boys:
Kenneth K. Y. LAM '96:
I remember Father O'Rourke referring to his metallic ruler as his 'best teaching aid'. And no, he certainly did not use it to draw straight lines.
Luke S.K. Wong '59:
|Attached please find copy of a photo of the new Wah Yan campus as in 1955. It is a copy from a 6 X 6 contact print. You may wish to put it in the PSA website for those nostalgic about the quiet Wanchai area as seen from Wah Yan. In fact the panorama background covers Peninsular Hotel, Nathan Road, Hung Hom, land reclamation in Kowloon City for the then new Kai Tak runway.
the 50 years, the school has perched on top of a hill. The classroom
block envelops and interacts with the schoolyard where everything occurs.
How the wooden planks of the windows of the first formers classrooms along
the ground floor has withstand the pounding of the footballs over the years
is beyond comprehension. Somehow, the school building transcends
and shields the boys from the percussions of the busy city outside.
The open corridors reverberate the laughter and cheers from the playground,
inter-mingling them with voices of teachers¡¦ eager to impart knowledge
and values, interrupted intermittently by the ringing of the school bells,
or the relentless calling of the chapel bell to the enchanting weekly Benediction
of the Holy Sacrament.
centre-stage is the stylish ultra-modern tomb-shape minimalist chapel,
even more artistic with the murals lining its lofty interior walls.
Its centre position represents the reason of being what the Spirit of Wah
Yan is all about ¡V producing men who adore God, cherish lives and serve
the rare occasions, the school hall takes on some significance, but the
constraint of its size reduces it to very limited roles. It was the
music room which has shaped many a leader amongst Wah Yannites - it serves
as the function room for many an association of students.
Boys of Wah Yan cherishes fond memories of their boyhood home. Their
parents harbours gratitude for how the school has mould and initiated their
boys over their formative years. Teachers probably hardly notice
how boys have grown up ¡V boys in their hands are perpetually young.
Today, boys miss the sight of the Fathers walking along the roof top saying
their prayers after school, casting occasional glances over the boys playing
down below. Their dedication and devotion set perfect examples that
inspire and imbue Wah Yannites with a high sense of integrity and service.
|Joseph S.W. Lui '58:
It is invigorating to read
recently those nostalgic encouraging news of so many Wahyanites from all
over the world, especially those in H.K. Although I may not have direct
personal contact with some of the Jesuit priests in my old school days
from 1951 to 1958, I still remember those familiar names of Fr. C.J. Barrett,
Fr. L.S. Chan, Fr. Grogan, Fr. McGaley, Fr. E. Collins, Fr. J. Collins,
Fr. Carroll, Fr. C. Daly (my Form Master of Form 5C), Fr. J. Russell (who
taught me history), Fr. Casey, and Fr. J.J. McAsey (who attended my nuptial
Mass). It is sad to mention that many of them have been called back
to God to receive their welldeserved rewards.
May God bless our Alma Mater
and the accomplisshments of the new school to come.
(from Ontario, Canada)
Foley and his ambush of boys running down the slope after school. Fr. Deignan
and his ever-present smile. Fr. Daly: ¡§Every boy should be a star.¡¨ Fr.
McGaley the scholar. Fr. Lawler the quiet scientist. Fr. Cryan and his
glass of water for boys on the lawn without permission. Madam and her ¡¥Mini¡¦.
Mr. Lee and his chalk missile.
Wong and his rattan case. Mr. Lee the ¡¥Atomic Dust¡¦. Mr. F**t Chung.
The long slope from Queen¡¦s Road East. The not-so-Spanish steps to Kennedy
Road. The fish pond. The air-conditioned school hall. The wood louvre blinds.
The badges on the school tie or lapel of the school jacket. The hide-away
dark room. The music room with no music. The library the safe haven
for skipping class. The invaded Chaplain¡¦s room. The knock at the classroom
door on Saturday mornings for confession sessions. The Benediction after
the Saturday classes. The classmates and teachers. The guidance and the
freedom to develop our potentials and skills. My formative years.
picnic in Macau organised by and for a group of Form 6 boys is pretty radical
even by today¡¦s standard, I suppose. But we did it over 30 years ago.
When we came up with this crazy idea we had little money and no permission.
But as long as we would do it, our class teacher said, he would approach
the Principal for permission. We got the permission from the school and
the parents, organised subsidised ferry fare and hotel rates, went to Macau
on school days for our class picnic, squashed ourselves into hotel rooms,
had the enjoyable two days in Macau with Fr. McGaley. It was probably our
best trip to Macau not for what we did there, but for what we achieved
as a class and for the trust our parents and the school on us.
Chi Chung '00:
proud to be a Wahyanite study in the tradition-rich academiccollege, play
truant and go on to become successful and wise.
with a new purpose and meaning every year, Wah YanCollege will be a growing
college. I trust it will be like a great treethat has sent down its roots
deep and wide, so that its trunk isstrong, solid and upright, its leaves
dense and robust, its flowerscolourful and its seeds numerous and virile.
Hon Kee, Patrick '67:
one of the lucky few who became the last class of P.5. I spent 3 years
in the same classroom with Madam as our classmaster. She was one of those
exeptionally warm and caring individuals who loves to teach. I remember
that prior to Wah Yan, I was in a Chinese school with only one course in
English. When I first arrived, I couldn't understand a thing the teachers
were saying as all courses were conducted in English, except Chinese
History. When the first time I managed to recite the poem of "Jack and
Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water...", Madam gave me a big
hug. I was so moved that I cried. From then on, I made it a point to excel
in English. I am proud to say, thanks to her encouragement and subsequently
Mr. John Fung's kind words, I now am a professional writer. That is one
of my fondest memories at Wah Yan.
developed an inflated ego because my first 3 years were spent in "A" class.
It was not until Form 2 that we had 4 classes. Guess what, my humbling
memory was that I was sent to Form 2C -- with the toughest teacher, Mr.
Wong Chung, at the helm. That taught me to study at all times to get back
up to the more prestigious classes. However, I never managed anything better
than "B" classes. But that did not deter me from representing Wah Yan in
all sorts of events, because most of these participations were on a voluntary
basis. So I didn't have to be in "A" class to be out there havingfun.
fond memory was of course our beloved and feared Fr. Daly. Iremember when
he got frustrated, he would take his glasses off and wipe his face that
wore a constant grimace. He would say, "The one wearing glasses, stand
up!" Guess what, just about everyone would stand up as most of us would
be wearing glasses by then. Similarly, he would say, "The one wearing the
blue blazer, stand up." And up we would all stand.
Saturdays, whenever an announcement was made that it would be time for
us to go to confession, if it was a Fr. Daly's class, just about all Catholics
would rush out of the door. It became so consistent that at the confessional
Fr. O'Rourke actually asked me one time if I came from Fr. Daly's class.
though he might look, Fr. Daly was really one of the warmest individuals
around campus. As I learned later in life, softies often like to come across
as tough guys. It's the meek ones that you need to watch out for.
of course, the daily rush down the backsteps with Mui Lam and the gang
to see who would get to the bus stop first was really a load of fun.
to fight our way to get on a bus to school everyday since age 9 was fun
too. But commuting from North Point, often times it was near impossible
to make the early benediction mass on time on Wednesdays, a requirement
for those belonging to the Altar Boys Society. So when Fr. Reid kicked
me out of the Society for missing mass twice in a roll, I was actually
grateful and relieved.
I remember when we had sponsored dances with Maryknoll, the boys would
sit on one side and the girls would sit across from us. Of course, most
people would go after the pretty ones with the plain Janes left behind
looking bored and snotty. The prefects would ask us as volunteers to dance
with the uglier ones. When we finally complied and politely asked them
to dance, to our utter dismay, more often than not, they would turn us
how I learned to take unnecessary rejection really well. And that, my friends,
is my recollection of my teenage years at Wah Yan.
|Chan, Hing Shuen
I fondly recall the day I
applied for admission to WYC. I was told there would be a very long waiting
line. I got up early and arrived at the gate 5 o¡¦clock in the morning,
thinking I would be the first in line, but to my surprise there were a
few people ahead of me. I was fortunate enough to be admitted among the
800 plus applicants. From that day on, my student life began to fill with
a lifetime supply of memorable events.
When I was asked to write
something on fondest memories, I thought for a while and all sorts of insignificant
things began to appear warm and familiar; the unique flashy blue blazer
and tie; the daily long walk up the hill to the campus; the classrooms
with scenic views of the harbor; the play ground that was always filled
with cheers and laughter; and the peace and serenity of the Church just
next to it.
I found my most memorable
moments in extracurricular activities. The soccer matches before and after
school hours, the Boy Scout¡¦s training and camping trips were my favorite
time. Even the mentally stressful examinations, the disappointment of bad
grades, and the few detentions I didn¡¦t deserve became bittersweet memories.
But what I always cherish most of all was the friendships developed among
The greatest assets this
school has provided are captured in the yearbooks. There you will find
pictured the collection of phenomenally talented men that have shared your
experiences as a WYC graduate. Your interaction with them has given context
to everything you¡¦ve learned both in and out of class.
Last but not least was the
dedications of the Rev. Fathers and teachers, their coaching beyond the
classrooms and textbooks, their teaching of ethics, culture, sportsmanship,
and their inspiration and encouragement. We could not ask for better mentors.
To those taught by the late Rev. Father Daly, his inspiration was certainly
most unforgettable. Consider the contribution they have made in your life.
I think we¡¦ll agree that we all have gotten our money¡¦s worth and more.
Chi Ho, Teddy '75 (B grade badminton school team):
7:00 o'clock in the morning, we sneaked into the assembly hall through
secretly pre-arranged entrances (windows & doors) to start our badminton
practice early. Oh how I wish I could tell my teammates in the school
team that my fever for badminton is still running high! New boys please
|John Woo Kong Sang '78:
My last school day in Wah
From my diary, it reads,
¡§¡Kit is getting close to leaving my dear school, my heart is getting
heavier¡Kit is time to say good-bye to Wah Yan and to one another¡Kand
where will we be... sometime, somewhere... as from now¡K¡¨
That was perhaps the general
feeling of all my fellow classmates (U6S), and so we decided to put together
something that would remind us of the happy and memorable times we had
together ¡V a tape with all the songs we created and sang many many times
together. The recording was made in the same music room as now, with very
primitive recording equipment, but with one another in heart and mind.
This was done on our last school day!
Click to download the
songs we recorded: WahyanitesLong
to See You Wah Yan Our Home
I would like to dedicate
these songs to all Wah Yan students of the past, the present and the future!
far away from all the hustle and bustle; where everyone
kind and gracious.
dedication of the Fathers and teachers, not only to educate, but
make us better persons.
Yan spirit, which gives us strength to face any adversities we come
|Peter Tang Kwok Hong
"It's a long road, and you're
on your own..." I share the lyrics from 'First Blood' when I first stepped
on the Wah Yan soil - THE RAMP! I changed my view by the time I finished
my studies - I'm never alone, the Wah Yan Spirit stays with me always.
Tan Sze-Yiu '67:
memories of Wah Yan are pictures of the distinct uniform colour, the religious
tie, the ramp vs the hundred steps, the hanging tree (Is it still there
?), the school plays and sports (envious of those who naturally excelled),
running into my own brothers in school and the prefect badge. The
Michael Szeto's( at least one a year), Albert Wu, NicholasTsui or Lee Mui
Lum, Fr. Deignan (who let me in) and Chow Chow (my Chinese teacher). Some
of them helped to keep these images alive by being in touch. Some teachers'
ways jumped out more than others: John Fung's English ("forceful?"), Hong
Choy's Chemistry textbook (it must be something to write a textbook), Yuen
Tou (Form 1A
it was, most of the old boys I run into around the world turned out to
be okay, especially the old old ones. I am sure the Fathers helped.
|Tommy Lai '74:
Dazzlingly colourful structure
after a demanding climb; Jesuit Fathers in angelic robes greeting everyone
with a smile; a sea of kids in their smart uniform roaming here and there;
teachers looking and waiting with patience and care. I know this is the
place where I'll learn and grow.
Choi Kam Lung '88:
Jesuits are truehearted educators¡K
teaching principles and formulas¡K
characters and remarkable charisma¡K
and care, I remember!!
are men for others¡K
Yan Spirit and power¡K
up our lives forever¡K
Yan, Wah Yan, I remember!!
|Lo Wing Sun '77:
Words that pop into my mind:
2nd home, always welcome,
home, comfortable, serenity, Jesuit Fathers, holiness (of the Chapel),
friends, classmates, growth, sweet memories, Form-teachers, football, Red
Cross, girls (of other schools), honour, friendship......
Wah Yan's Fr. Daly going around each classroom searching for the 'lost
sheep'. Once found, they would be given lessons and eventually baptized.
|Wong Kai Fun '64:
I remember Wah Yan as a child's
first taste of candy. Sweet, enjoyable and reminiscent in one's memory.
Happy moments of yonder days at school, hard work & fun in the classroom,
zealous devotion of faith in God in the chapel are reappearing in my mind
like waves rushing to shore.
remember Fr. O'Rourke walking along the corridor and some naive students
would gather behind him trying to make a knot tie with his robe. Mysteriously,
Fr. seemed to have back eyes and would always catch them and gave them
a good treat.
Peter Wong Pak Heung
Mr. Robert Chung ¡§De §A
Fr. Daly ¡§Knock §A Ó head¡¨
Remember the cicadas and the sleepy afternoons through which we struggled so hard to stay awake? Indeed we would have dozed off many a time if it was not for the flying duster of Fr. Cryan, or the deafening cry of Fr. McCarthy, or the electrifying pointing of Fr. Daly's finger, or the heavy-weight punches of Fr. O'rourke on our shoulders.... Learning to survive such madness must have been an important part of the Wah Yan education, for we inevitably end up loving those good old days and everyone of the fathers!