The following was shared by Clarence Ng (1969) in February 2007.
During my high school time, Mr. Ip Wing-Lam was the most senior teacher at La Salle College. He had written several books teaching students how to write Chinese essays. Other La Salle College teachers referred him as the authority in the academic arena of Chinese Language and Literature in Hong Kong. It was my privilege that I had the very reputable Mr. Ip teaching me Chinese for one year. It was also the final year that Mr. Ip taught at La Salle College, before his retirement. I still clearly remember his first words when he stepped into the classroom, saying that he was well over 70, and if there wasn’t modern medical technology, he would not be existing; yet, he enjoyed teaching students despite his immediate family pressing him for retirement.
He was a real linguist; more than being learned in Chinese and English, he was a pioneer in Esperanto (世界語). It was also his interest to promote global communication, and he understood several foreign languages. In the 1960s, while the Hong Kong school system only emphasized Classical Chinese Literature, Mr. Ip stressed both linguistics and literature. With his Esperanto erudition, he explained Chinese linguistics with English and other Slavic languages. He employed the English writing methodology, thinking based on (5W & 1H), elaborated as Who, When, Where, What, Why, and How. Then, he taught students to write Chinese composition, by thinking (人,時,地,物,事).
Everyone knows that classical Chinese writing is just beautiful literature, and it would be handicapped if you want to use it to write things about modern technology. It was incredible that Mr. Ip had demonstrated an essay to our class, by composing a classical Chinese poem describing the Apollo Lunar Mission; on the way, he brought up a lot more classic Chinese vocabulary and their modern usage. His lecture was nothing less than holistic and heuristic; and in fact, it had created, for me, a memory that lasted for a lifetime.