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《First-Day Activities of WYK 1967 Class 50th Anniversary Reunion in Hong Kong – A Cursory Report》__Daniel Ho

First-Day Activities of WYK 1967 Class 50th Anniversary Reunion in Hong Kong – A Cursory Report

Time flies!  Fifty years have come and gone.  The much-anticipated 50th anniversary reunion in Hong Kong of the 1967 class of WYK boys has finally arrived.  All the teenagers of the five 1967 Form 5 classes of Wah Yan College, Kowloon have been transformed, almost instantly and seemingly magically, into much more mature and experienced, less physically agile and, perhaps, wiser men.  Some have remained in Hong Kong for their past 50 years, where they had developed their career, reached their potential and started their family here.  Others had tried to fulfil their dreams and ambitions overseas.  There are also schoolmates who had spent some parts of their half century abroad and other parts here.  On the other hand, regrettably, some of our dear schoolmates of the 1967 class had left us early and had rested in peace. 

Thanks to the initiatives and labor of the group of schoolmates, who have planned and organized the event, the 50th anniversary reunion of 1967 class in Hong Kong has become a reality.  The class co-ordinators or members of the Organizing Committee are Simon Y. W. Mak, James K. Y. Wan, Joseph K. T. Lau, Edward K. K. Tsang, Andrew L. N. Chu, Sonny C. C. Poon, Lamson L. S. Ip, Edward C. Wong, Joseph C. C. Wong, Larry Y. K. Yip, Leslie S. C. Chang and Kevin C. C. Ko.  Special gratitude should be given to Sonny Poon who has volunteered untold hours of time and hard work to make this event a success.

Campus Visit

 

 

 

The one-week event kicked off (using the term easily comprehended by the generations of WYK boys who invariably greatly enjoy playing soccer, if not being “fanatics” of football) in the afternoon of Saturday November 4, 2017.  The first event was the visitation of the WYK campus.  Mr. Warren Chung (the current principal), 姜耀 (one of the current vice-principals), and the CEO of Way Yan One Family Foundation Ltd came to greet us and give welcome and introductory remarks.  The vice-principal led us in a guided tour of the campus which lasted for over two hours.  We were shown some nooks and crannies of the school, which many students of our days overlooked or rarely went to.  We were also able to enter some places (including the living quarters of the priests on the top floor) which previously were out of bound for students. We visited parts of the newer buildings.  The tour ended with walking on the artificial grass of the new football pitch.

The contingent of 1967 class graduates showing up for the campus visit was relatively small. However, they all seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.

As for me, the following have impressed me or especially have drawn my attention.

  • The appearance or erection of newer wings, including the Ricci Building, the Law Ting Bong Building

It is rather amazing that the old building and the newer wings manage to blend nicely into one.

  • The spaciousness of the school campus and the soothing feeling of a “school on the park”

I believe that WYK still has the largest school ground among all schools in Hong Kong and, most probably, has more grass lands/patches and trees than other schools.  The physical exercise facilities (two football fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pool, 4 ping pong tables) must still be the envy of other schools.

  • The design and construction of the original building in the 1950s were way ahead of tis time

Even from to-day’s perspective, some features are still better than average or still adequate, for example, the staircases from one floor to another are so wide; sky-light type of large panes of glass windows beside the staircases; a large, detached school hall; a sloping “auditorium-like” floor in the school hall; “luxurious box-like” balconies overlooking the grass football field; a large parking lot in the centre.

  • The current WYK students are much blessed or much more fortunate than our generation

The classrooms are now air-conditioned.  Teaching and learning are greatly enhanced by modern I.T. gadgets and audiovisual aids.  The classes are much smaller.  I learnt that for English, Chinese and Mathematics, some learning groups during class time are as small as 12 students.  There are about 70 teachers teaching only around 1000 students. The current students have opportunities to go abroad as part of extra-curricular activities.

  • The caretaking staff of the school are now predominantly female (instead of exclusively male caretakers of our time)

This reflects the change of time and values.

  • The side staircase from Waterloo Road up to the school is a good test of physical fitness or a rather objective indicator of age

Even though I still manage to go up and down this steep staircase, now I have to do it slowly and with extra care/caution.  I guess that it is not surprising since now I qualify to possess the senior Octopus. I remember that when I was a student, I went up and down the same staircase carefree, with ease and much faster.  

Time has changed.  We have all changed.  WYK has changed and I believe mostly for the better.  Perhaps it remains to be seen that if the standards of English, Mathematics and Science of the current students and their motivations for learning and for life, hard-working and persistence are superior or inferior to schoolmates of our time.

Welcome Dinner

In the evening of November 4th, there was the Welcome Dinner.  It was held at the Police Sports and Recreation Club in Kowloon.  I was told that November 4th happens to be considered a good day for marriage by the traditional Chinese calendar and so most restaurants have been reserved for wedding banquets.  Apparently, a WYK alumni member, who is a senior police officer, helped us to secure this venue for our Welcome Dinner.

The total attendance at the Welcome Dinner was around 90.  The attendees included approximately 40 folks (and spouses) of 1967 class, some graduates of 1965-1968 classes, and a few current senior school officials.  Father Deignan, Mr. Chin Wah Wong (98-old year former Chemistry/Physics teacher) and Mr. Poon Leung Yu (former Chemistry teacher) were also at the dinner.

Larry Yip (Canada West Coast) acted as master of ceremony.  The dinner began with singing of the school hymn and prayer by Fr. Deignan.  All attendees spontaneously and voluntarily stood up to sing the school hymn (not requiring the assistance or facilitation by any “anthem law”).

The welcome dinner was a very memorable and joyous occasion.  There are not too many 50th reunions in life.  For some, schoolmates who have been separated by physical distance for 50 years have a chance to re-connect.  The bond is there, and it does not need much time to rekindle the friendship.   WYK had been a place for us to acquire the basic, useful academic tools to pursue higher education and to launch into the next phases of our life and was also the ground for us to start and nurture our mutual friendship and bond.  I am very glad and feel very blessed that I was a WYK student.

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