Mr. Tak-Chiu Daniel Chan - Down the Memory Lane – Lasallians Remembered

Mr. Chan, Tak-Chiu Daniel

Date of Birth: ~1916 Years of service in LS: ~30 years Period of Service: 1950 – 1980 Subjects taught / role: English and Mathematics Date of Death: ~1984


The following was shared by Clarence Ng (1969) in January 2007″ Mr. Daniel Chan graduated from Diocesan Boys’ School in Hong Kong, and then initially pursued an Engineering major at Saint John’s University in Shanghai; later he switched to Political Science and Foreign Affairs. At Saint John’s University, he met his professor’s daughter; when he was at age 30, they married and had three boys and one girl. Mr. Daniel Chan taught Mathematics and English at La Salle College for almost 30 years. It was a big misfortune that during his early teaching years at La Salle College, he suffered from a severe ear infection and finally led to a profound hearing loss. Thereafter, he had to use a hearing aid. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a hearing aid was a fairly large electronic gadget. Most mischievous students referred him by his hearing stigma. It was in my Form 3 year, he taught me geometry. During the class, he mentioned that he was looking for the smallest size battery for his hearing aid, but he could not find them anywhere in the market. I was the electronic hobbyist student in the class, and was able to purchase the exact battery for him. He was very amazed. Mr. Daniel Chan was such a well-known lower form mathematics teacher at La Salle College; yet, he was even a better English teacher. He taught me years of mathematics, from which I did not realize he was extraordinary. It was until my Form 4 year when he suddenly taught me English; he demanded every student to memorize one complete English sentence from the text book per lesson; that was the way he helped a routinely failing student, me, from deep trouble into competence, passing and self-confidence. He was head and shoulders above all other English teachers I had ever had in Hong Kong. He induced me the solid foundation in English structure and enabled me to write English accordingly. Emphatic grammar requirement is the stereotyped training methodology for teaching English as a foreign language, widely and successfully implementing, particularly in Asian counties. Subsequence to his intuitive instructions, I passed all the English examinations with good grammar in Hong Kong and then started my college studies in Canada and the United States. Since La Salle College is an elite school in Hong Kong, most of my Hong Kong compatriots would say that I was well trained at La Salle. If such hypothesis is true, I glorify all the credits to my respectful English teacher, Mr. Daniel Chan of La Salle College. During my 1994 Hong Kong visit, our fellow old boys told me that Mr. Daniel Chan passed away ten years ago, while teaching at our brother school CSK; so, this paragraph serves as an epitaph in memoriam to my greatest high school English teacher.

Contributed by: c h pang         2007-11-03 02:07:33
Description: After so many years of his passing, I have this fond memory of Mr. Daniel Chan… Oh, he was just HANDSOME, HANDSOME, HANDSOME!! …and more, he could relate to students well. He was very approachable at all times. He would give you a soft smile when you were good, …but his eyes would look like a tiger when you were not behaving, especially no homework! When explaining a complicated math theorem, “…can you follow?” said Mr. Chan to the class. He always made sure we understood the problem. Also, he taught my English class. He always graded my compositions A, B… never C. Thank you!! He had a good voice for a teacher… loud enough for boys in the back… and his ever stern voice kept us awake in those hot lazy summer days. …more, when Mr. Chan got angry, his voice was like a thunder … “STOP TALKING!” he yelled, …then the whole class fell dead silent. It was the same year I left for college in the States that Mr. Chan joined a new faculty at another new school. I was well finished my Master’s when I heard of his passing. It just broke my heart!… it still does. I wish I could now sit down with him to have a beer and thank him face to face. “…let me light up a Salem for you, Mr. Chan… want another round of San Miguel?… here, let me pour it for you… cheer, bottom-up!!” …and that’s my tribute to my favorite teacher of my La Salle experience. Thank you, c h pang California, US


Categories: Teacher