The following is contributed by Clarence Ng (1969) in April 2010.
Mr. Mann taught F.1 and F.2 Chinese at La Salle College in the early 1960s. He was one of the oldest teachers for the youngest boys at our school. Mr. Mann was born in the Qing dynasty and grown up genuinely in classical Chinese literature and Confucian education. His experience was teaching a variety of schools in China, including rural village schools, schools for the blind, and etc. The subjects he taught was mainly reading and writing Chinese.
He was the most talkative teacher in the classroom, but it did not mean he was always teaching. Most of the time, he was simply complaining that students did not respect elderly people (teachers), the same way as he did, when he was a kid. When he stood on the podium to lecture, he used artistic hand movements, very similar to crane style kung fu and/or a puppet show artist. Those made most students laugh. It must be the experience he acquired when he was teaching at rural village schools in China. He played seek and hide with students, and tried to tell jokes during the class section like a comedian. But his jokes were average and he upset some people to create those jokes.
Those old boys who had Mr. Mann as his Chinese teacher would likely remember him as an old style freelance comedian with his amazing artistic hand gestures, who likes to perform an entertaining show for young children.
Brother James Marcian, son of James Cullen, was born in Ireland on 31 August 1868. He never actually served in La Salle College, but it is believed that Brother Marcian composed the lyrics of the School Song. It is known that he also wrote the lyrics of many other Lasallian schools in Asia, including that of our sister school, St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong. Bro Marcian served two terms as Director of St Xavier’s Institute, Malaysia, the first was from 1912 to 1915, succeeding Brother James and the second for a brief period in 1917. Brother Marcian was greatly revered by many people as Novice Haster at the Novitiate in Pulau Tikus, Penang. He died on 2 September 1938 in Hong Kong at the age of seventy. See also: http://www.geocities.com/smi_ipoh_online/smi/history/Our-past2.html
Ronald Douglas Maxwell (aka Roy) was a student of La Salle College in the 1930s. Like many young men in Hong Kong in the early 1940s, he joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps (HKVDC) to defend Hong Kong against Japanese invasion in December 1941. Roy was Eurasian, and belonged to No.3 Company, where many other Lasallians were posted.
During the battle against the invading Japanese, on 23 December 1941, Roy was with his company in Wanchai guarding a post, and he kept looking out for the Japanese invaders. Arthur Gomes (33) recalls that Roy’s fellow soldiers told him to keep his head down, as there were Japanese snipers around. Before he had a chance to listen, Roy was shot in the head by a Japanese sniper and died immediately.
Three of his fellow comrades, including George Roylance and William (Willie) Sprinkle (St Joseph’s OBs) carried his body to Club Lusitano in Central, and consulted the commander on what to do. On checking the records, it was Roy’s wish to be buried in a Church ground. The closest church was the St John’s (Anglican) Cathedral along Garden Road, and so they brought the body there. There they found a foxhole (a defensive fighting positions large enough for a soldier’s entire body and his equipment), and so they deepened the hole and lay Roy’s body to rest there.
After the war in 1945, Roy’s family was ask if they wished to relocate Roy’s remains to the Sai Wan Commonwealth War Cemetery. Roy’s mother did not prefer the relocation as she would be farther away from the grave and would not be able to visit it regularly. Her wishes were respected, and Roy’s remains stayed where they were first laid to rest.
Even though the grounds was an Anglican Church, Roy was in fact a Roman Catholic, like many of his Lasallian classmates. According to the Church, it is the only known grave there.
According to Arthur Gomes (33) a gravestone was prepared for Roy at Sai Wan Commonwealth War Cemetery, but since his remains were not moved, his grave there remained empty, and the grave stone there states that he is buried within the Cathedral grounds.
In the book, “Streets-Exploring Hong Kong Island”, author Jason Wordie shared the following:
Roy Maxwell’s grave
Within the grounds of the Cathedral, under a spreading tree and surrounded by low chain railing, lies the grave of Private Roy Maxwell, a local Eurasian serving in the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps, who was killed in Wan Chai on 23 December 1941, two days before the British surrendered to the Japanese.
Maxwell was buried here shortly afterwards by three of his fellow Volunteers who were with him when he was killed. Surrounded by a low chain-mail fence, Maxwell’s is the only known grave in the Cathedral precinct. Maxwell has another gravestone at Sai Wan Commonwealth War Cemetery, which records that he is buried within the cathedral grounds.
End of quote
Here are details found on Maxwell in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
Son of Mrs. C.E. Maxwell of Kowloon, Hong Kong. Alternative Commemoration – buried in Hong Kong (St. John’s) Cathedral Grounds.
Nationality: United Kingdom
Regiment/Service: Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps
Date of Death: 23/12/1941
Service No: 3176
Additional information: Son of Mrs. C.E. Maxwell of Kowloon, Hong Kong. Alternative Commemoration – buried in Hong Kong (St. John’s) Cathedral Grounds.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: IX. E. 21.
Cemetery: SAI WAN WAR CEMETERY
An anecdote from Arthur Gomes: although Roy was Eurasian, he had dark hair and had a Chinese look.
At the time of writing this section (13 December 2006), Roy’s elder sister, Gladys and younger sister, Nancy, are together living in the USA. Two other sisters, Kathleen and Connie, and Roy’s parents, have passed away.
Updated by Mark Huang (85) on 13 December 2006.
April 2010 update
The grave of Maxwell was redone in February 2010.
Source of Grave Stone photo:
Brother Lewis McGiverin was born in the USA on 25th August 1864. He arrived in Hong Kong on 13th April 1934. He passed away in the USA in 1938.
Message from Charles Chan, President of LSCOBA 2009-10
Dr. William MONG, Man-wai RIP
Posted by: CHAN Kit Ying, Charles (77)
Date: July 22, 2010 05:07PM
It is with a heavy heart that I relay this piece of very sad news: Dr. William Mong Man-wai, loyal old boy, stern supporter and benefactor of La Salle passed away peacefully yesterday, 21st July 2010, with his family by his side. Known to many of us as William Si-hing or Uncle Mong, he studied in La Salle College from late thirties to mid-forties. He was a successful entrepreneur and benevolent philanthropist in every meaning of the words, having founded the thriving Shun Hing Group in the fifties as the sole agent of Panasonic (aka National) products in the territory and the charitable Shun Hing Foundation in 1984 which counts many educational establishments as recipients of his good deeds, with La Salle a special beneficiary, in Hong Kong and China. His keen business senses were legendary and in particular, his involvement in popularizing the electric rice cookers amongst the Chinese population is now folklore in the industry. I have met him on numerous occasions and he was always unfailingly humble, sincere and approachable, a true role model for all La Salle boys.
Uncle Mong was the first of three generations of Lasallian. One of his sons, David Mong Tak-yeung, is an OBA Past President and David’s son, is now studying in La Salle Primary. David is continuing his father’s good work, both in business and charities, and is actively contributing to the Lasallian community, financial or otherwise.
With Uncle Mong’s passing, we have lost a great Lasallian. May his soul rest in peace and may we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family.
Charles K. Chan
The following report from Wen Wei Po (文匯報) offers some background to Mong’s life and philanthropy deeds.
|Contributed by:||Peter T Cheung (81) 2010-07-23 11:51:33|
|Description:||May Mr. Mong’s soul rest in peace. He is a legend. His name “Mong” and “National” & “Panasonic” will always be remembered in our minds. Deepest condolences and sympathy to the Mong’s family, especially to David who is so active in La Salle community. With sympathy, Peter Cheung (81)|
Brother Wilfred More was born in Savoy on 28th January 1886 and arrived in Hong Kong on 16th May 1933. He taught Class 6 in the late 1930’s. He left for Indo-China (now called Vietnam) in March 1943 and retuned to La Salle College on 20th April 1946. He died in St. Teresa’s Hospital, Hong Kong in July 1960.
Born in the USA on 5th December 1901, Brother Celestine Morin arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd November 1938. He taught Class 8. He passed away in Canada in 1975.
Old Boy Peter Ma (70) shared the following (excerpted): I would like to let you know that one of ours – Thomas Moy Chi Ming, MD, class of 1970 just passed away after loosing his fight with cancer on Sat. Nov 10 (2001). Dr. Moy was a Gastroenterologist practicing in ChinaTown, New York. He emigrated to NY City 1969 after completing Form 4 at La Salle College. He started La Salle as a Primary 1 student in the year 1959. He is survived by his parents, 2 brothers & one sister, his wife Fannie & his 4 yr old son William. Please join us to pray for our brother, Thomas’ soul, and for Thomas’ family, in particular his parents, wife Fannie and young son William. May his soul Rest in Peace. The Wake was held on Nov 15, 2001 at N G Fook Funerals Inc., 36 Mulberry St., N.Y. The Funeral Mass was held on Friday Nov 16, 10 am at Transfiguration Catholic Church, 29 Motts St, New York, N.Y.10013. The Webmasters of LSCOBA.com received the above message from Peter Ma Lun Yan, MD (1970) on 13 November 2001.
|Contributed by:||Stephen Lee 2006-08-11 05:21:53|
|Description:||Tommy was a gentle soul, I remember him as a fun loving, free loving fellow scout in the mid sixties. Those were the days. As another fellow scout, also of his profession, said, on relaying to us the sad news several years ago: only the good die young. He will be remembered.|
|Contributed by:||Louis Kam 2004-08-25 09:46:25|
|Description:||I miss “Moy Chi” also as a fellow boy scout in our 17th troop back in the 60’s.|