Bro. Gerfried Hastreiter - Down the Memory Lane – Lasallians Remembered

Bro. Hastreiter, Gerfried

Date of Birth: 23rd August 1912 Subjects taught / role: Chemistry, Mathematics, Religious Knowledge Period of Service: 1933 Date of Death: 6th February 1945


Brother Gerfried Hastreiter was born on 23rd August 1912 in Germany. He arrived in Hong Kong on 25th April 1933. He taught Classes 2 and 3. Mr. Henry Lau (1940) who later taught in La Salle College, said,” He was my Form Master when I was a pupil in Class 2B, equivalent to Form 5B nowadays. He was a German, and as such, he exhibited all the characteristics of a German stereotype: disciplined and pedantic. He taught Chemistry, Mathematics and Religious Knowledge. In class, he seldom smiled, and had no time for diversion of any kind. Hence, his was a solid lesson. Invariably, he began his lesson with oral questions on topics taught during previous lessons, mainly on definitions of chemical terms and chemical reactions. We had to rattle off from memory because we were taught neither the Ionic Theory nor the principle of gain or loss of electrons or protons during a chemical reaction to be able to balance a chemical equation. Dialogue between Teachers or Brothers with pupils was very minimal because the Staff Room was regrded as a Sanctum Sanctorum and was thus off-limit to pupils. Though the pedagogy was outdated and might even be condemned by modern educators, it provided most of us with a solid foundation of basic skills and knowledge which stood us in good stead when we were in the university.” Brother Gerfried was one of the sixteen Christian Brothers who were massacred by the Japanese in Manila on 6th February 1945.

Categories: Brothers, Deceased, Teachers