Bro. Aimar Sauron, a French Brother, was the most instrumental person in founding La Salle College. In 1928, he purchased a site at the very edge of Kowloon and in 1932 La Salle College was opened with the pupils of St. Joseph’s Branch School forming the nucleus of the student body. After the outbreak of World War II on September 3, 1939, the British War Department immediately requisitioned the campus as an Internment camp for German civilians as “enemy aliens”. The internment camp was run for around six months, and during that time the Brothers managed to run the school in a nearby annex. The school building was returned to the Brothers later in 1940.
When the Japanese attacked Hong Kong on December 8, 1941, the school building was first taken over by the British as a Relief Hospital. As the attacks on HK went underway, the Japanese also demanded use of the school building. After the surrendering of Hong Kong on Christmas Day, 1941, in February, the Brothers were expelled from La Salle College. During the Japanese Occupation, the College was used as a Military Hospital for the duration of the Japanese occupation until August 1945. A large number of the Christian Brothers in Hong Kong went to Indo-China, and the school’s operations was terminated until September 1946.
Only after reopening the school for three years, La Salle College’s schooling was once again affected as in 1949, the British Army took it over the school as a Military Hospital and the school was relocated to Perth Street. Although the army said the occupation would last only 18 months, they ended up taking the school for 10 years, until 1959. The school operated in cramped wooden huts in Perth Street for the duration. After returning to the La Salle Road campus in September 1959, recovery from these set-backs were rapid.
When La Salle was built in 1932, its architectural beauty and magnificence held people in awe. Forty sever years later, due to much misuse and ill-treatment by the military occupants, it was still magnificent from the outside but functionally rather inadequate, and maintenance was also becoming expensive. So in 1979, the school authority decided that in the long run it was more practical to knock down the old edifice and erect a new building with up-to-date facilities such as an all-weather-track, an artificial turf football pitch, central air-conditioned classrooms, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a spacious library, a sound-proof auditorium, two lecture theaters and one indoor gymnasium. It was hoped that with such modern facilities, the work and the progress in the College will be guaranteed for many years to come. La Salle College is justly famous both for academic and sporting achievements. The College crest bears as its Latin motto, Fides et Opera — which literally means Faith and Works – -and which reminds the school community that their spiritual values should be manifested in good works. (Adapted and modified from La Salle Brothers Schools Hong Kong)
LSCOBA Heritage Sub-Committee
If you are interested in the history of La Salle College, you will find the document below of interest:
A commemorative diary
On the 60th Anniversary of La Salle College
1932 – 1992