I was an active and rebellious boy since I was born, always challenging other people's conventional thinking.
With the kind recommendation of my Uncle, who is an old boy of Graduating Class 1966 and an engineer trained in the US, I entered St. Louis School as a primary-four student. Putting most of my time in sports, I scored badly in my primary-six public examination and was allocated to Mateo Ricci for secondary school. Luckily, the Principal at that time, Father Smith, offered a place to me at St. Louis, probably because I was a student of St. Louis Primary School. I am grateful to him for his generosity and open-mindedness. It was his decision which changed my fate.
Not focusing on my studies, I did badly in my form-one and was barely promoted to form-two, where I met some top students of my school. They had great influence on me. With the motivation of Mr. Tony Sun, the form master, I started to work hard and catch up. Not only academically, I was able to excel in some sports. The big school campus provided ample spaces for various sports and extra-curricular activities. I took part in many inter-school competitions and was able to get medals. Something happened in form-four, which changed my self-image completely. One day, Uncle King, the Chemistry teacher, told our class that there was a "black horse" in the entire form-four. This "black horse" had got an incredibly high mark in exam. The mark was 92. I was wondering who that "black horse" was. To my utmost surprise, this boy turned out to be myself. With this small academic success, I have developed faith in myself. I am not going to sell myself to you by telling my story. This is to show how St. Louis transformed a “lazy” boy to a “good” boy. She always gives chance to students to fully express their hidden potentials. With the achievements I got at school, I have become a man of confidence. In my later life, when confronted with difficulties, I am able to handle them calmly and independently.
The school culture can be seen in the diversity of its students. I want to illustrate this with a few examples from my own class. Father Ng Dor Lok Peter is a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the previous Principal of St. Louis. Sung Ming Wah Patrick is the Chair Professor in Biochemistry of Yale University. Lee Sing is Professor in Psychiatry of Chinese University of Hong Kong. Chan Kwok Sum is Professor in Physics of City University of Hong Kong. Tsui Ying Yin is Professor in Engineering of Alberta University of Canada. Leung Man Kwong is Professor in Accounting and Finance of Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. Chan Chi Kin is Professor in Statistics of Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. Tam Ka Kit Joseph is a famous pianist in Canada. Chong Hok Hei Charles is an entrepreneur and philanthropist in Hong Kong. There are also architects, surveyors, engineers, executives, businessmen, lawyers, teachers and accountants. The list is by no means exhaustive and only exemplifies the openness of the school culture.
I can use the term “laissez faire” in the educational style of St. Louis. This means allowing students to learn with the minimal amount of interference. The role of education is to provide guidance rather than to impose control. It is like the Taoist philosophy of China “if you want to achieve something, first try not to do anything”. 為無為而無不為
Dr. Tang Shun Cheung
Graduating Class 1976