September 2011

From vision to hole in the ground
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


When the De La Salle Brothers made the move to Kowloon in 1931 to establish what has become its highly respected La Salle College, they were already a well established group in Hong Kong, with St. Joseph’s College churning out highly competent and well versed graduates.

The first group of six brothers arrived in 1875, taking on West Point Reformatory and the English-speaking section of St. Saviour...

Seven years of plenty was but a curtain-raiser to seven lean years
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


The taming of the unruly ground snuggled between Kowloon Tong and Kowloon City began in 1931 and, before the year was out, a grandiose-looking structure featuring a domed entrance had advanced sufficiently for classes to begin on December 3, with eight classrooms and a staff of five brothers and four lay teachers.

Preparing the land was not an enviable job in the days before heavy earth-moving equipment, as a...

A short respite before a new exile
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


At the end of World War II, the brothers’ return to Hong Kong was held up by civil war in Indo-China, but the three brothers who had remained at St. Joseph’s all through the occupation welcomed them back to Hong Kong. However, Brother Aimar was not among them, having died in 1945.

School resumed on 9 September 1946, with an enrollment of 590 and the work of cleaning up a decimated campus began....

The run up to the war and the closure of La Salle College
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


The college archives recall, “In reviewing the events of 1939, should we not begin with what occupied the minds of people on all sides, namely, the converting of our buildings into concentration camps.”

Right from the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War in the summer of 1937, we had occasional visits from high ranking officers of Great Britain in the Far East.


Seven lean years followed by a decade of progress in exile
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


The government sequestered funds for the relocation of the school and land was provided in Perth Street, Kowloon. The building of 22 wooden classrooms was completed in time to open the school at its temporary location on 17 October 1949.

The period of exile in what looked more like racehorse stables than an educational institute, proved to be one of tension and argument over who was responsible for the repair...

A quintessential missionary
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


Brother Aimar belongs to the type of missionary who interpreted God’s call in the words spoken formerly to Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee” (Genesis 12:1).

They cut off all relations with their country of origin and family to become part and parcel of their adopted country.

The Brothers of the Christian School
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


The Congregation of the Brothers of the Christian School, better known in Hong Kong as the De La Salle Brothers, was founded by a French priest, St. John Baptist de la Salle, who lived from 1651 to 1719.

However, he was adamant that no one from his newly founded congregation would ever be ordained a priest, as he believed that this would distract them from their primary vocation, teaching; and he firmly...

The Lasallian spirit lives on
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


The modern concrete, steel and glass school that houses the 1,600 enrollment of La Salle College today reflects the ever changing nature of education. 

After the school was reconstructed from scratch in 1979, it did not take two decades for the developing needs to demand more classrooms, space and facilities.

But more than education has changed, so have the...

Brothers of their times
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


The De La Salle Brothers have a long and proud history of education in Hong Kong and none more proud that La Salle College in Kowloon.

“And if today there is a flourishing Christian community in Hong Kong, it is thanks to the education that the youth received from the brothers,” Bishop Enrico Valtorta wrote in a letter to the brothers in 1931.

The brothers...

After 80 years yet another era is dawning for La Salle College
(Thursday, 22 September 2011 )


A visitor leaving an exhibition on the life and times of Father Matteo Ricci, at the Shanghai Museum, commented on how much the famous, 16th and 17th century Jesuit missionary and his companions knew, but also how little there was to know.

The current principal of La Salle College in Kowloon, Brother Steve Hogan, says that the challenge facing modern education relates to this very same reality, as the era...