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Wah Yan College Kowloon Alumni Association of Ontario

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“Last Day” 2022 - Reported by Yu Fong-ying (’61)

“Last Day” is a tradition started many years ago, perhaps dating back to the formation of the school’s Students’ Union. It might have started simply, as students came back on the last day of school to get teachers and friends to write some memorial lines and to have pictures taken together. It has evolved over the years. It usually takes place in the hall balcony where the principal might give a farewell speech. There would be tea and cakes for teachers and students in the common room in the East Wing, often subsidized by the Alumni Association. In the last decade or so, the graduates formed a big circle in the car park and there would be student-led chatting, chanting and singing.  

This year, for the sixth-formers of the Class of 2022, “Last Day” was June 10, a Friday. Two teachers, Mr Eric Kan (retired) and Mr Dominic Mok (current) took videos of the part when all the graduates formed a circle (video 1 and video 2 respectively). Mr Chiu Hai Kaw, retired biology teacher, sent the videos to me, and with their permission, I forwarded them to be uploaded.

As far as I can remember, in 1961 there was no graduation ceremony as such, no self-initiated mass gathering of all the graduates. Students went individually to the principal to get the results of the public examination, and met with some teachers and friends. There was of course the graduation mass, and some classes had graduation dinner or thank-the-teachers dinner.

“Last Day” is a tradition to be treasured. Viewing the videos, I was struck by the camaraderie, the display of the Wah Yan spirit. The uniforms, the probe into the meaning of such a gathering, the sometimes laughable marker-pen signings on the shirts, the joint shouts for WahYanites to be strong, the gratitude to teachers and comrades, the collective singing of the school hymn shoulder to shoulder – all these made for an unforgettable event. A friend of mine from another Catholic school found it “very moving”.  

As the Class of 2022 leave school, I hope that the graduates will get their bearings from the event “Last Day” as well as fortitude to find their individual adventurous path. Go, WahYanites! Go! A Sixty-One Grad salutes you sixty-one years after his graduation.

(I thank Messrs. Eric Kan, Dominic Mok, Chiu Hai Kaw and Wong Hin Shing for help which makes this report possible.)

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