Bro. Thomas Lavin - Down the Memory Lane – Lasallians Remembered

Bro. Lavin, Thomas

Date of Birth: 16th June 1943 Period of Service: 1965 – 1969; 1973 – 1982; 1999 – Subjects taught / role: Principal, Supervisor


Brother Thomas Lavin was born on 16th June 1943 in Country Roscommon, Ireland. He studied in a local school run by the Christian Brothers. He joined the Order at the age of 14. In 1960, he left for England to complete his secondary education. Brother Thomas entered De La Salle College of Education in Manchester, UK in 1962. He completed his training in 1965.

Brother Thomas arrived in La Salle College in August 1965. He was the Sports Master, and taught English, religious studies and mathematics. In 1969, he left for Dublin for university studies. He obtained a Masters Degree in Economics. He returned to La Salle College in 1973 and stayed until 1982. Working hand in hand with Brother Raphael and Brother Alphonsus, they planned the new school building. It was Brother Thomas, who designed all the sports facilities of the Quad – the track-and-field, the swimming pool, the indoor gymnasium, etc.

Brother Thomas pursued a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Manchester in 1982 – 1983. He was transferred to Nigeria in 1984. During his 14 years in Nigeria, thousands of students benefited from his teaching and guidance.

In September 1998, he visited Hong Kong and then left for Chicago. In 1999, he returned to La Salle College and became the Tenth Principal of La Salle College in 2000.

Brother Thomas is always active. He can run several projects at the same time smoothly. He maintains good communication with all parties concerned, be it student, old boy, teacher, parent or minor staff. His door is always open and everyone is greeted with a big smile.

Brother Thomas gave a sense of direction to the school during all these years. Unity among staff, student, old boys and parents was upheld. Academic results are superb. The Class of 2003 scored 501’A in the HKCEE, a record in the Hong Kong education. The Christian Brothers in the USA have a program called “No Child Left Behind”. It is a project that aims to help weak and average students. Brother Thomas, with the help of the teaching staff, implemented similar programs in La Salle College. Hence, the elite shine and the weak grow. In terms of achievements in sports, La Salle College retained the Omega Rosa Bowl and won the First Bauhinia Bowl.

Brother Thomas led the community in celebrating the 70th Anniversary of La Salle College. The Thanks-giving Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 12th October 2001 with Cardinal John Baptist Wu as the chief celebrant. There were five other concelebrants, two of which were old boys. About 1500 students, old boys, staff, parents and guests attended the Mass. Open Day and Fun Fair were held on 2nd and 3rd February 2002. On 23rd March 2002, the community enjoyed the 70th Anniversary Dinner. The whole year round celebration was closed with a musical concert and play on 28th and 29th June 2002. To double our joy, in 2002, La Salle College was named as a “Thriving School” in the Quality Assurance Inspection by the Hong Kong Government.

Brother Thomas is a man of vision. He wants La Salle boys to be all-rounders. Religious activities and cultural activities are encouraged. In order to bring the school to a new horizon, the School Improvement Project (SIP) was launched in 2002. Two new wings will be added beside the swimming pool. They will provide extra facilities for Information Technology, cultural activities and staff development. The SIP is due to completion in 2005.

Informaton courtsey of

Contributed by: GERALD CRUZ         2014-02-07 11:13:42
Description: Bro.Thomas coached me in Track & Field and every year I participated in the Inter-school events [in the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relays in Hong Kong Stadium back in 1969.
Contributed by: GERALD A.Da Cruz         2014-02-05 11:30:29
Description: Gerald Antony Da Cruz [year 1968] would like to contact with Bro.Thomas Lavin
Contributed by: Clarence Ng (1969)         2007-05-01 12:40:23
Description: One afternoon in early September 1965, as a Form 2 student, I was playing at LSC football field, where I met the newly arrived Brother Thomas from the United Kingdom. It was probably the first time Brother Thomas interacted with non-English Hong Kong kids, and he pointed at me and commented that I did not know English. Instantly, I felt very bad and shame for such words; later, I turned it into a positive and encouraging advice. Thereafter, I worked diligently in all subjects and especially English and constantly demonstrated myself as an able kid. That was exactly what education meant, knowing your weakness and then working hard to improve it. I believed Brother Thomas must have the wisdom to give me a big push, on his first sight at me.


Categories: Brother, Teacher