LA SALLE COLLEGE
A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS
In 1694, 12 Brothers and St. John Baptiste de La Salle took vows to form a new religious order, the Brothers of the Christian School. This order was formed for educational work for young people and for forty years, and amid much opposition from schools, training of brothers continued, and indeed still continues today.
St. La Salle was born into a noble and opulent family at a time when nobility of birth was the social key to advancement. He displayed a great love of learning and piety eventually securing a Master of Arts in the University of Paris and a Doctorate in Divinity. At the age of 27 years, he was destined to the highest ecclesiastical dignities. He acquired a great interest in free school for poor boys in the city, and devoted much time to especially the training of teachers. He well recognized that schools would be of little use unless teachers were trained to manage them efficiently.
Today the Christian Brothers number thousands and are continuing their work in the spirit of their founder, the Patron Teacher of Saints, in various fields of education, including Universities, Teachers Training Colleges, Boarding Schools, Technical Institutes, Free Schools for the Poor, in over 70 different countries catering to hundreds of thousands of students. In these times, the Christian Brothers stand out as a symbol to all teachers and headmasters the worth and dignity of their chosen profession.
|St. Joseph’s College||Established in : 1875|
|La Salle College||Established in : 1932|
|La Salle Primary School||Established in : 1957|
|De La Salle School, Fanling||Established in : 1965|
|St. Joseph’s Primary School||Established in : 1968|
|Chan Sui Ki ( La Salle ) College||Established in : 1969|
|Chong Gene Hang College||Established in : 1971|
|Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School||Established in : 1972|
THE SCHOOL PREMISES
In the early 1920’s Kowloon was rapidly expanding. Brother Aimar-Pierre, then Director of St. Joseph’s College, foresaw the need to build a school to cater to the growing demand from the Portuguese and Catholic population. A central site was purchased and on 5 November, 1930, Sir William Peel, then Governor of Hong Kong, laid the foundation stone of the new building. In December 1931, the first students were admitted into the building and in January 1932, the school was formally inaugurated. For seven years the College thrived under the wise guidance of Brother Aimar. However, in September 1939, the government authorities exacted a cruel blow in requisitioning the buildings for the purpose of an internment camp. The school continued to function in the annex across the road.
Brother Felix was appointed Director of the School in 1956 and with untiring efforts, reacquired the College buildings from the Military Authorities on 1 August 1959. Twelve years of forced exile had come to an end. Student number grew steadily and this in turn led to a separation of primary and secondary divisions. La Salle Primary School was erected and Brother Henry was appointed Headmaster as it was formally opened by Lady Black, the wife of the Governor at the time.
Towards the mid 1970’s, the Brothers under the directorship of Brother Raphael, decided the then aged building was functionally inadequate and would have been too costly to refurbish. While classes were continuing, a portion of the school grounds were used to erect a new air-conditioned superstructure with modern facilities for both sports and otherwise. This was officially opened by the Governor at the time, Sir Murray MacLehose on 19th February, 1982. The old building with its majestic dome had to be demolished to make way for progress.
La Salle College has had the fortune of strong leaders with a good appreciation of both present and future needs, devotion and courage. The Brothers have led many an old boy to personal fulfillment and glory both in academic and sporting endeavours. Amongst others here are a few that are worthy of mention.
Bro. Aimar Pierre
Founder of La Salle College and its first Director. ” one cannot account for such a long spell of life energy given up exclusively to the cause of child education without the creative power of love. Brother Aimar loved children, and he was especially found of the unfortunate children whose start in life is hampered by some physical, intellectual or social disability.”
Bro. Cassian OBE
Re-established the School immediately after the war to make a remarkable recovery with 600 students on the roll up to matriculation class in a short time.
Bro. Paul O’onnell
The Headmaster of St Joseph’s College Junior School in Chatham Road, which later developed into La Salle College. It was once said that without him many a student would not have attended La Salle College.
In 1947, Brother Patrick arrived in Hong Kong and took over as director, following in the footsteps of Brother Aimar and Brother Cassian.
Bro. Felix Sheehan
For the decade from 1956 to 1966, Bro. Felix directed the College through the difficult times of getting back the College property from the occupying Military Authorities. Under him, the school thrived in numbers and otherwise.
Bro. Casimir Husarik
Director of the College from 1966-1971. Many remember Bro. Casimir’s ability with languages, but his history is the history of La Salle in that he was one of the architects with Bro. Cassian in planning the re-establishment of the College after the War.
Bro. Raphael Egan
Director from 1971 to 1982, and the pioneer guiding the College from the majestic old building towards the educational needs of the 21st century with a superbly equipped school.
Bro. Michael Curtin MBE
In November 1975, Bro. Michael received the insignia MBE from his services to education in Hong Kong. His contribution to the College date back to its earliest beginning and cannot easily be summarized.
Bro. Henry Pang
Founder and first Headmaster of La Salle Primary School from where many a College student had graduated. Brother Henry was active in painting and calligraphy.
THE SCHOOL BADGE
The school badge has been worn proudly by La Sallians ever since the school opened 60 years ago. The symbols within it each bear their significance and deserve close attention.
THE LAMP and OPEN BOOK are allocated on the right or ‘dexter’ side, that is on the right for the wearer of the badge. Together they symbolize study, or the continuous process of learning, the lamp on its own being a symbol of the light of knowledge.
THE CHINESE CHARACTERS are a Confucian motto which can best be rendered as “By self-culture bring yourself to behave rightly to everyone and on every occasion. Keep in tune with men, events, even with nature.”
THE THREE INVERTED V”S to the left or ‘sinister’ side of the wearer were taken from the coat of arms of the Rheims branch of the family of St. John Baptiste de La Salle, the Founder of the Christian Brother order. They symbolize the long and faithful service which the members of that family had rendered to both Church and State. Such bent bars, or chevrons, stand for firmness and constancy.
THE RADIANT STAR at the top of the badge was adopted from the coat of arms of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. A star has always been a symbol of the high ideal that we should set ourselves to attain. The star also brings us to think about the guiding star which led the Wise men of the East to Divine wisdom and knowledge.
FIDES ET OPERA at the bottom mean literally ‘Faith and Works.’This moves us to think of the need to prove our religious beliefs by our good work and reminds us of the saying of St. James: “Faith without good works is dead”.