Date of Death:23rd July 1990Date of Birth:1910homeYears of service in LS:15workfaxUsual Classes Taught:Matriculation ClassPeriod of Service:1971 – 1984cellSubjects taught / role:Sixth Principal of LSCwork
Brother Raphael Egan belonged to a family with a long association with the Christian Brothers. His mother,Mary Maher, was first cousin of the gentle Brother Gordian Maher. Two of his uncles were members of the Christian Brothers – Brother Gerald Patrick and Brother Justin Declan.
Brother Raphael was born on 3rd December 1918 in County Laois, Ireland. Three days later he was baptized and was given the names Patrick Joseph. He was second in a family of nine. One of his brothers joined the Christian Brothers as well. All five of his sisters became nuns.
The young man left for the Juniorate in Castletown on 17th August 1932. Following his novitiate, he went directly to Faithlegg for two years of Scholasticate. He was then posted to Ardee for some practical experience. In 1939, he went to De La Salle College, Waterford for teacher training. Two years later, he returned to Ardee. After teaching for four years in Ardee, he was sent to Dublin to study for a university degree.
In the late 1940s, La Salle College faced many difficulties. Resources and quality teachers were in short supply in this post-war era. Classrooms were packed with young people hungry for education. By God’s grace, Brother Raphael arrived at La Salle College in 1947 to teach the matriculation class. His students shone in public examinations.
His initial stay with La Salle College was brief. At the age of only 32, he was appointed Principal of St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong in 1949. The staff and students considered him a great educator. He extended his care to other Brothers, priests and missionaries who were expelled from the Mainland China. He provided shelters and support to these servants of God.
Brother Raphael was recognized as an iron man with a strong body, mind and spirit. Hence in 1958, his former Director of novices, Brother Fintan Blake, selected him to become a member of a 3-man pioneer team to Borneo. Over there, Christian Brothers took over a school, which was situated in a very underdeveloped swampy area. Dogs, ducks, hens and goats roamed freely. The first morning Brother Raphael entered the Teacher Common Room, a hen hopped gracefully onto his desk. The hen laid an egg in front of him and cackled. Everyone present was embarrassed but was soon relieved with laughter as Brother Raphael commented that was the nicest welcoming gesture.
The students were academically weak and many were above average age. With his hard work and determination, the school grew in size and strength. He developed a close and lasting relationship with students, staff and the community. Brother Charles said, “He was the boss, made the decisions, results were achieved and nobody was unduly worried how they were achieved. He could be gruff, moody and sharp. On the other hand, he was kind and thoughtful in little ways as in big. He gave you a lot of rope, let you do your own thing; develop your interests with minimum interference and lots of encouragement. He was generous and people found it easy to relate with him.”
After being absent from La Salle College for 14 years, Brother Raphael returned in 1971. He was to be Principal for the coming 12 years. During his tenure, Brother Raphael made lots of innovations. In 1975, he turned the old Prefect Board, which helped the principal oversee students, into the Student Association, which represented the students. He established the Guidance Centre, Religious Centre and implemented Computer Studies in the curriculum. He allowed the old boys to use sports facilities on Sundays. Under his tutelage La Salle College grew in strength. In the academic aspect, there were 9-As scholars. In sports, La Salle College captured the Omega Rose Bowl for 10 consecutive years.
Needless to say, the greatest innovation achieved was to turn the Dome into the Quad. Brother Raphael considered that the Dome was majestic but could not meet up with needs in the coming decades to provide excellent education. His idea was approved. Work began in 1977. On Friday, 8th June 1979, the La Salle community took possession of the new La Salle College. The whole building has central air-conditioning. Sports facilities include a 50-m swimming pool, a 6-lane 400-m track, an indoor gymnasium and a full-size astro turf soccer pitch.
In 1984, Brother Raphael reached retiring age. He passed the baton to Brother Alphonsus Chee and became the supervisor of La Salle College. At the end of September 1988, Brother Raphael underwent a major operation. This marked his two-year personal Calvary. He lost his physical strength and appetite. His spirit, however, was kept strong. Brother Henry said, “He is very cheerful and bears his sufferings very bravely trying his best not to show it and sometimes even venturing into my art room in order to crack a joke. He is full of faith and very prayerful, making regular trips to the chapel when he can walk.”
Despite his ill health, he cared about students and the schools run by the Christian Brothers. Brother Kevin Byrne, the principal of St. Joseph’s Institution in Singapore wrote, “Although Brother Raphael never served in Singapore, he was a great supporter of the New St. Joseph’s Development Project. When first approached for help he said nothing whatsoever. The Brothers who knew him informed us this was a good sign. We were greatly encouraged shortly afterwards to receive a substantial donation with a few words of good wishes. About a month before he passed away he invited a wealthy property developer in Hong Kong to donate to our New SJI Endowment Fund and we were pleasantly surprised to receive a cheque of $100,000 (in Singapore Dollars). He was a man who didn’t wear his heart on his sleeve but for all that he was very thoughtful to those in need.
Brother Raphael returned to Ireland in 1990. He visited many of his relatives in Ireland despite repeated episodes of fever and hospitalization. Although he was thousands of miles away from La Salle College, his heart was with us. Brother Raphael told his family, “If I feel alright, I want to return next month to Hong Kong which has 85% of me, of my heart and soul.
On 23rd July 1990, Brother Raphael was again hospitalized. On 23rd July 1990, at 04:20, the great man left for heaven.
Brother Raphael Egan joined the Brothers in Castletown, Ireland.
He was posted to Hong Kong in 1947 and took up a teaching post in La Salle College and his past pupils still speak of his kindly manner and of the new impetus he gave to their formerly boring hours in the classroom. After two years he was appointed Director and Principle of St. Joseph’s College which was still recovering from the ravages of war. He set about re-furnishing and reorganising, recruiting better teachers and encouraging the pupils to make up for the four years of schooling they has missed as a result of the Japanese Occupation.
When he left after nine years, St. Joseph had regained its former reputation of being one of the leading schools in Hong Kong.
After a lapse of some thirteen years, Brother Raphael was later transferred back to Hong Kong and took charge of La Salle College, Kowloon. He discovered that the school was over-crowded and some of the classrooms were not up to the standard he would like. He soon set his mind on a new College. We now see the result of his planning in the new College on La Salle Road, acclaimed by many to be the finest school building in Asia. Even some Brothers on holiday from famous colleges in America were heard to say “Gee, Brother, we have nothing like this in the U.S.”
One of his great assets was his candour and the hold he had over people who got to know him; they were willing to spend time, energy and where possible, money to help him to adchieve his plans. He never lost a friend and even during the painful days towards to end of this life he was constantly writing letters to rich and poor alike in Europe, Asia and America. He was always very concerned about the pupils in his school and very generous in a quiet way to those in financial need. On one occasion a little boy fell on a broken bottle near the school and received a deep gash. He was brought into the Office bleeding profusely. Brother Raphael immediately phoned an ambulance and accompanised the boy to Queen Mary Hospital. The Doctor decided that a blood transfusion was advisable. A Nursing Sister come to Brother Raphael and said there was a severe shortage of blood and if no donor came forward they would have to charge a fee. Brother immediately stretched out his arm, pulled up his slieve saying: “plenty of it here Sister.” There is no doubt but he will he remembered by many and his passing will be deeply mourned.
He was always a very deeply religious person, but it came so natural to him that it could pass unnoticed to casual observers. He had a strong devotion to the Mass and to our Blessed Lady. During his final painful months he never complained and it would seem that during much of his time alone was given to prayer. He died in Ireland on 23 July 1990.
Robert Yuen Kar Ngai (71) 2009-01-18 15:55:15
I was the Head Prefect of the School when Brother Raphael came to HK to take up the post of Principal of La Salle College in 1972. He was very kind to me and introduced the major reform in the structure of students’ activities – ie the formation of Student Association. I can still vividly remember that we organised several brainstorming meetings in the grand old Hall. May his kind soul rest in peace in the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Herman Fenton was born in County Limerick, Ireland in April 1913. He taught in La Salle College from 1947 to 1969 and was once the Sports Master. In 1965, he became the First Principal of La Salle Evening School, which in September 1969, evolved into Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College in Homantin. Brother Herman passed away peacefully in February 2009 at the ripe old age of 96. At the 40th Anniversary of Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College, held in February 2009, Brother Patrick Tierney, Guest of Honour of the opening ceremony shared the following on Brother Herman, the Founder of the school: “Although we are sorry he cannot be with us today, we thank God that Brother Herman is still alive and still keenly interested in the affairs of the College. In fact he holds the distinction of having founded 3 schools in all: La Salle Evening School, Chan Sui Ki(La Salle) College and Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School.” Brother Herman’s funeral mass will be held at 9:30 am on 25th February, 2009, at St Teresa’s Church. The burial will be held immediately after at the Happy Valley St Michael Catholic Cemetery.
Historic P. M. Section Students 2009-03-10 11:22:17
As conducted by the De La Salle Brothers, today, St. Joseph College, La Salle College, and Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College are prestigious schools with outstanding scholastic achievements, making news headlines in Hong Kong. But the mostly forgotten, yet brilliant event in La Salle College history was the day when Brother Herman re-enacted as Saint John Baptist de La Salle educating the poor boys in the neighborhood. Brother Herman founded the La Salle Evening School, by extending the LSC teaching hours to the evening, employing the same LSC teaching staffs, using the same LSC text books, sharing the same LSC campus. During the evening hours, Brother Herman was offering the same elite LSC education to the less fortunate boys, who otherwise could not afford a secondary school education. Thank God! I was one of the poor boys benefited from the Evening school. The elite LSC education has changed my life, and changed so many other poor boys like me. It is unaccountable for how much we should thank to Brother Herman or how much we owed him. I cannot hold my tears when I learned that Brother Herman has passed away. On behalf of all the La Salle Evening School students, I pay tribute to Brother Herman, and may God bless the soul of Brother Herman, resting in peace.
Thomas Lee (70) 2009-02-25 11:50:18
I was a student of Bro. Herman in the late 60s at La Salle College. I remember Bro. Herman as a very gentle and dedicated a teacher. Last April, I visited Bro. Herman at LSC Brother Quarter and he was very alert and happy to meet one of his former students. Bro. Herman, as expected, didn remember me. However, when I told him that I still remember the book that I learned from him, inds in the Willows?and also told him that I active in the church, he gave me a big smile. I thank God for mentors and teachers at LSC like Bro. Herman. May Bro. Herman rest in God eternal peace.
Alexius Wong (69) 2009-02-25 00:02:43
Several years ago another classmate and I went to Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College to visit Bro Herman. He taught us in the 60s. We had not seen him for almost 40 years. He, of course, could not recall our names or recognize our faces. We told him we were his students and expected him to ask us our names, year of graduation etc. To our great surprise, his very first question was “How can I help you?” That was a deeply moving moment I will never forget. Being weak and old, in his mind Bro Herman was still thinking of the goodwill of others. He devoted his whole life to the Church, to education, and to love. May his soul rest in peace!
Mark Huang 2009-02-24 11:27:33
Brother Herman spent some 60 years in Hong Kong. He devoted his life to educating the youth in Hong Kong, be they from LSC, La Salle Evening School, CSK (La Salle) College or juniors in CSK (La Salle) Primary. Let us not take what the Brothers have sacrificed for granted. Without them, there would be no La Salle, no CSK.
Bill Wong (66) 2009-02-23 01:36:08
I am saddened to hear the passing of Brother Herman. Brother Herman was a selfless and keen educator, who had influenced many Lasallians. His kindness, mild manner and dedication to the La Salle community will always be remembered. May his soul rest in peace! Bill
Mark Huang (85) 2007-02-16 23:13:34
Well said, Historic P.M. Section students! Thank you for the sharing.
Historic P. M. Section students 2006-12-27 03:10:48
La Salle Evening School was also known as the La Salle College P. M. Section. Now, it is part of the La Salle College history; and also part of Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College history. La Salle College was just like a mother carrying with her a fetus, the Evening School. After years of gestation, she gave birth to a new school, the CSK (La Salle) College. All this great work was relied on the strong leadership and robust effort of Brother Herman. The energetic Brother Herman again founded the Chan Sui Ki Primary School. It is no doubt that Brother Herman is one of the greatest LaSallian educators enhancing the LaSallian spirit, in Hong Kong.
The following was shared by Alexander Cheung (82) on 14-Jun-03 00:14 Dear Fellow Old Boys, I am sorry to inform you that Eddy Fong, Shek Kong(42) has passed away, and his funeral will be held at the R.H. Kane Funeral Home on Yonge Street on Monday(16th), details are in today’s Chinese newspapaers.Eddy was one of the pre-war students in LSC, and his son Albert Fong and his grandchild are both Lasallians. Eddy served as director for our Chapter in the capacity of VP in the 80’s. I had the privilage of meeting See Hing Fong recently in May, and am indeed sadened to know of his passing. Let us pray for his family and may his soul rest in peace. Alexander K.Y. Cheung President Toronto HKLSOBA
The following was posted by Mark Huang (85) on 04-May-2001 Dear all, especially those from Year 85, With a heavy heart, I announce the news that Peter Fung (Tak Bong) of Year 85 left us peacefully on 24 April 2001 after suffering from a tumor growth near his spine. He had been fighting the illness for several years, and his condition had improved for two years, before the condition returned recently. I personally did not know Peter very well, but remember him as always being a gentle-man (or gentle-boy), soft spoken and always very tidy – unlike some of us who are more rowdy! I have fond memories of him. May God take good care of Peter’s soul. Regards, Mark
Brother Fridolin Gaughran was born on 15th November 1915 in Trim, on the plains of Math, Ireland. He received his early education at a local school. In 1930, he joined the Juniorate in Castletown. He entered the Novitiate the following year and took the Holy Habit and was given the name Brother Fridolin of Jesus. Brother went to Inglewood in England to compete his studies. It was in Inglewood that he felt called to serve in the East. In 1934, not yet 19, Brother Fridolin started teaching in Singapore. He taught in different schools in Malaysia including those in Sarawak and Sabah. Brother completed his tour in the Penang District in 1971 ** when he arrived in Hong Kong. He came to La Salle College and taught English and Bible. On year later, he was transferred to St. Joseph College, Hong Kong. He continued to teach there till 1976. After his retirement, Brother Fridolin stayed on in St Joseph until 1986. Although he could not teach classroom lessons officially, Brother conducted religious instructions and was a beloved Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary. He was transferred to Castletown due to ill health. He passed away on 6th August 1988. (Copied from “The Brothers” published by LSCOBA in 2003 [** but slightly modified with some old boys input])
Felix Goebel-Komala, son of the late Joseph Padang Sastrono Komala and the late Kathleen Klin Pualam, passed away peacefully in his home from cancer and a stroke on November 2, 2016 at 8:58 pm in Findlay, Ohio. Felix was born May 11, 1961 in Hong Kong and attended La Salle Primary School and La Salle College in Hong Kong. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Iowa in 1983, and served in music ministry at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, St. Francis Catholic Church in Moorhead, Minnesota, and St. Philip the Apostle Church in Bakersfield, CA before coming to St. Michael the Archangel Parish in 1995 as Director of Liturgy and Music.
Felix was united in holy Matrimony to Mary Goebel-Komala, whom he met in 1986 in Moorhead, MN, and they were married on June 14, 1987. In December 2005, they adopted Felicity, their daughter from the Jianxin Orphanage in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China.
Felix was passionate about music – listening, playing, composing, performing and mentoring young musicians. Among the many compositions he created, including several hymns and Psalm settings, he is most known for his signature piece entitled “Psalm of Hope,” which is published by GIA Publications, and is sung during Masses in many Catholic parishes throughout the United States. Additionally, Felix was an active member of the Toledo Diocesan Liturgical Commission for many years, as well as the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and the American Guild of Organists. His knowledge of both music and Catholic worship was appreciated by many, and his expertise was highly valued.
Felix also enjoyed regular visits with family members and friends in his native Hong Kong, and he displayed his affection for his native land and its culture by the clothing he wore and the food he enjoyed. Additionally, Felix was actively involved in the Women’s Resource Center of Hancock County, and was an avid tennis player.
Felix’s Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in St. Michael the Archangel Church, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Felix is survived by his wife of 29 years, Mary, and their daughter Felicity, and sisters Sussy Komala, Wilma Komala and Merly Khouw.
Eulogy for Felix Goebel-Komala
Delivered by Sussy Komala, Sister of Felix on November 8, 2016
Let me begin with a story. The year was either 1984 or ’85, possibly even ’86. It was early morning on Good Friday, sometime between 2 and 4 am. I started awake, crying, from a dream that my brother Felix had died. Disturbed, I called him. He was also awake. How strange, he said, I’ve been feeling depressed recently, and then we spoke for an hour or so, during which time he talked about all that was on his mind, his music, dreams, religion, work. Life.
I share this intimate memory of Felix when he was a young man, long before he became a member of this community, at a time when he was still trying to shape the path of his life, before he met our sister-in-law Mary and became Felix Goebel-Komala.
My brother has always lived the examined life. He was never afraid to share his feelings and struggles and uncertainties, in conversations over long distance phone lines, or in person, while in transit, later on email, in the myriad ways our family connects and meets. My brother Felix instinctively knew the need to seek the truth, the way all artists must, which is not to be satisfied with the surface of things, but to dredge the heart in the darkest and most painful moments of our existence. Felix always had the courage to confront his fears, to give voice to his doubts. In time, he would give voice to that truth in his beautiful composition “Psalm of Hope” — my God, my God, why have you abandoned me. And in its existential crisis the song returns to the amazing grace that saved and set me free.
But I also tell you the story of this brief, private moment to speak to the importance of family for Felix. We who have always been a part of his life know the consolation of family for our darker times. When my father died unexpectedly and abruptly, it was Felix’s voice that comforted us. He sang “O Holy Night,” recalling the way Dad sang every Christmas. The power and purity of our brother’s voice was uplifting, inspiring, and allowed us to grieve into the sanctum of eternity.
Felix is the youngest of four siblings, the only boy among three sisters who teased, bullied, harassed him — “Wait first, wait a minute!” — he would exclaim in exasperation when we rushed him, pushing the limits as children will. He was our Felix the Cat, of course, the boy who made us laugh, who became the joyous, creative man, a loving and generous human being, the brother who was there at our side when family celebrates, laughs, explodes and cries.
When my mother’s behavior choked into a sputtering, inexplicable mode, it was our brother who had the courage to obtain that devastating diagnosis, Alzheimer’s. And it forced us to face the truth of what that meant, of how all our lives would have to change. It was easier to confront with Felix, because he knew Mum in a special way that allowed him to help her, which eased the path for the rest of us to do the right thing.
And here we are today, to honor his memory, and we see who our brother became, the legacy he leaves us as composer, singer, musician, tennis player, liturgist. A member of this community. In the days before today, we sifted through messages from relatives, friends and strangers who care about him. Right now, I am staring at a sea of mostly strangers, and I know Felix must be greatly loved and cherished for so many of you to be here today.
For us, his sisters, we are most grateful for the loving people Felix brought into our lives. When we met Mary Goebel, the woman he wanted to marry, we all instantly liked her, and in time, she became much more than a sister-in-law, because we named her our “fifth sib.” Together, Mary and Felix gave us the even greater gift of their daughter Felicity.
So let me leave you with this image of Felix and Felicity when she was just a little girl, in Hong Kong on board the MTR, the city’s subway that the three of us were riding together. Felix was carrying Felicity. Suddenly, she stuck her hands up in the air and grabbed the handlebars across the top of the carriage and swung herself forward across the car, legs dangling. My brother followed her as the passengers gazed, amazed, at this agile little monkey girl up in the air. Fearless, Felix said. Just fearless.
I’ve told my niece that her dad will always be with her. Felix Goebel-Komala is indeed The Man in our lives, and more importantly, he will forever be that man in all our hearts.
Sister of Felix
Mary Goebel-Komala 2019-04-04 03:15:57
Thank you for the beautiful tribute to my husband, Felix Goebel-Komala, on your website.
Message from Mark Huang (85) announcing Arthur’s death.
(Please click on the blank file with on the left to see the Obitary from South China Morning Post.)
It is with greatest sadness that I announce the passing away of Arthur Gomes (aka Gomez), on 24th April, 2007, at the age of 90. Arthur was a graduate of La Salle in 1933 when he finished Class 1.
Arthur was a Portuguese, born and raised in Hong Kong, and he studied in St Joseph’s Branch School in Tsim Sha Tsui (the fore-runner school of LSC, 1917-1931), in St Joseph’s College, and La Salle College. In 1938 he joined the HK Volunteer Defense Corps. On 8 December 1941, at the commencement of the Japanese attacks on Hong Kong, Arthur, being lance-corporal, was ordered to protect British families living in May Road, Central. He was therefore not involved in the fighting.
The title of the Arthur’s obituary in the SCMP of 25th April stated: “A Life Marked by Courage and Determination to Survive” The obituary remarked on his being taken as a prisoner on Christmas Day 1941 after HK surrendered.
“He reflected later that as a Portuguese, he could have taken off his uniform and melted into the general population, perhaps getting to Macau. He stayed for the honour of our regiment,’ he said. ‘We had to face what was coming to us. We thought we were going to be marched to Guangzhou but the road stopped at the ransacked and looted barracks at Sham Shui Po.’ ” Arthur was imprisoned there 3 years and 8 months.
I met Arthur on several occasions interviewing him for information on the old school, and also on getting information on the war dead of La Salle. He recalled with amazing clarity his days in St Joseph’s Branch School in TST, as well as his memories of the war, including of Roy Maxwell (3-), his cousin and fellow Lasallian, who perished in the battle against the Japanese on 23 December 1941.
Arthur was helping Elden Lai (82) and I review some material of war dead Lasallians, just weeks before his unexpected passing away.
When the opening of the new wings and the Thanksgiving Mass for the school’s 75th Anniversary was held in December 2006, Arthur was also present, standing straight and attentive, only requiring a walking stick.
Arthur was thrown a party for his 90th birthday recently, and I was told it was a lovely and very happy occasion for him and all who attended it.
Arthur, our Lasallian brother, has lived a remarkable life through HK’s peaceful times before the war, when Bro Aimar began offering schooling to boys like him in Kowloon; then Arthur endured war, and imprisonment in very hard conditions. After the Japanese surrendered, he continued to do what he believed in. He founded the HK Prisoners of War Association in 1954. He was also active in servicemen’s associations and he worked hard in the interests of the sevicemen’s families. Arthur worked till he was well into his 80s. Among many recognitions, he was awarded an MBE. He is a role model for each one of us.
Arthur is survived by his daughter Cynthy.
Please remember Senior Gomes in your prayers, and may God grant him eternal rest in heaven.
I will miss Arthur very sorely.
-end of quote-
Arthur Gomes is seen on page 8 of the June 2004 OBA Newsletter
Here are some remarks of the second photo by Mark Huang (85) on 14 May 2007:
The street scene is Tsim Sha Tsui in 1902 as seen from Signal Hill, looking north. Chatham Road is the main road on the right. In 1917, the Christian Brothers established St Joseph’s Branch School on Chatham Road, mainly for the Portuguese boys whose families migrated to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island early in the century. Arthur studied in that school for a few years (Classes 8-5), before moving to higher classes in St Joseph’s College (Classes 4 and 3), and then to La Salle College in 1932 when it opened (Class 2 and 1).
Elden Lai (82) 2007-05-02 19:32:09
I was saddened to learn of the unexpected passing away of senior Arthur. I have not had the pleasure and honour of knowing senior Arthur in person, although I have known of this legendary old boy for a long time, and indeed I had seen him around on numerous occasions during church services at Rosary Church, TST. He impressed me as a very devoted Catholic. I was recently put in contact with senior Arthur through Mark Huang(85) in the course of conducting my research on the fallen Lasallians during the defence of Hong Kong, 1941. I last wrote to him a few weeks ago asking him to comment on some research materials I had compiled. Sadly, I will never get a reply from him. Senior Arthur’s passing is indeed a great loss not only to the Lasallian community, but to Hong Kong society at large. I offer my deepest condolenses to Arthur’s family. May his soul rest in peace.
Bernard Kong (76) 2007-05-02 00:13:43
Mr. Arthur Gomez remained closely connected to the school in the past few years. LSCOBA invited him as a guest of honor in the “Days under the Dome” in May 2004. He talked about his school life and it was a very successful event. His pictures appeared in some of the war history book e.g. Not the Slightest Chance – Albert Manson from Vancouver may have more to say about this. I found this in the internet for sharing: http://www.rhkr.org/history/memory/Battle_for_Hong_Kong.html ************************************************ A Volunteer in the Battle for Hong Kong December 1941 One of the vivid memories I have is that of leading a fighting patrol of 7 men from our pillbox in Pokfulam at the foot of Mount Davis. I had to report to the Adjutant – Capt Neville Thursby of the KSLI. The HQ at the time was on the Murray Parade Ground in Garden Road – what was to become the Hilton Hotel. On arrival at the HQ, I met the Adjutant. He was a man who commanded respect – he was short tempered and had a habit of rolling his eyes heavenwards as though seeking patience or inspiration – or both. He had a slight stutter and on this meeting, I stuttered as well in my nervousness. As we both stuttered, he laughed and broke the tension. He then told me that I was to lead a patrol up May Road to where the Volunteers’ and other families were billeted for safety in Tregunter Mansions. The ration party had reported that there were suspicious movements in the area and that lights had been seen – possibly 5th columnists signalling the Japanese in Kowloon. The Japanese had a small but powerful gun hidden in the Kowloon Godowns where Ocean Terminal is now. My task was to investigate and flush out any intruder from where the families were and make contact with the QM who was in charge of supplies to the families. To men who had not had a regular meal for some time, the thought of meeting a supplies officer was indeed heart warming! We headed up hill towards our destination – and our next meal. We proceeded towards Tregunter Mansions with utmost caution and minimal noise up the hillside in single file; some looking left some right and others straight ahead. In fact our heavy leather boots on the gravel and rocks made the patrol sound like a herd of wild elephants. No wonder we encountered no-one on our way. At any rate the disturbances – 5th Columnists or whatever – were cleared and our task complete. It was there that I met my wife and other families for the first time since 5th December and I was able to bring back news of them to the men in my pillbox. We stayed with the families overnight and the next day we were ordered back to report to Capt Chris D’Almada at our Company in Pokfulam. Epilogue. I subsequently read that there was a meeting on the night of the l2th December between the Triads and Insp Shaftain, Admiral Chan Chak and his Chief of Nationalist Police. As a result of the negotiations and in return for payment of a certain amount of money, the “Celebration of the l3th” was called off. This was to be a massacre of all foreigners by the 60,000 Triads in Hong Kong. This explained our sudden dispatch on the fighting patrol to the families but we too could have been wiped out that night if the negotiations had failed. Arthur E Gomez ************************************************ Thank you Arthur for defending Hong Kong and for your courage. We are all proud of you as a Lasallian. God bless your soul and rest in peace. Bernard
Clarence Ng (1969) 2007-05-01 04:49:31
Here, I would like to commemorate our senior Lasallian, a WWII veteran, Lance Corporal Arthur Gomes of the Alliance Forces, for his righteous choice to serve the British military, and to his endurance of the atrocity as a prisoner of war, and also to his contribution to the post-war veterans association in Hong Kong.
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.
Alumnus and former RTV General Manager, Mr Steve Huang passed away in March 2005.
Erwin Huang 2009-02-24 11:31:14
Mr Huang has been a dedicated person to help define the media industry in the Chinese world. He was a pioneer in helping the startup of HK-TVB and then moved on to become the managing director of RTV (later called ATV)
Brother Casimir Husarik was born on 22nd July 1914 in Czechoslovakia, gifted with a marked aptitude for languages. In early years, he studied in Lembecq, Belgium and Dover, England. He later obtained an Honours Degree (French) from the University of London. Brother Casimir came to La Salle College in 1933, just one year after its establishment. From this time onwards, he spent 44 years here. This is an unbroken record. He was involved in all major events in the first four decades of the school. Brother Casimir started off as the Master of Class 2 (equivalent to Form 5). He took special interest in the establishment and development of the LSCOBA. He was the 2nd Vice-President and the Hon. President of the LSCOBA in 1960’s to 1970’s. Whenever he met an old boy, he would check whether he had joined the LSCOBA or not. Our strong foundation is in debt to his contribution and devotion. As with many Brothers, he had to leave for Indo-China (now called Vietnam) during the Japanese occupation. He was one of the architects, with Brother Cassian, who planned the re-establishment of the school after the war. He served diligently during the Perth Street era. In 1957, he was appointed Sub-Director and Vice Principal upon the death of Brother Cassian. Brother Casimir then witnessed the glorious return to La Salle Road in 1960. Brother Casimir became the 5th Principal and Director of La Salle College in 1965. He stayed in office for 6 years. Brother Casimir proved himself to be a teacher of merit and a wise administrator. He showed great energy and perseverance in teaching, sports administration, school magazine, Legion of Mary, etc. Being the longest serving Christian Brother of La Salle College, he is the right person to define the La Salle tradition which he identified as: “the tradition that stands for high academic standards, excellent moral tone and intelligent discipline” Mr. Christopher Wong (1967) of Chicago shared: “In 1965-6, Brother Casimir agreed to change the school blazer to black, after Maryknoll Convent School changed their uniforms. The universal Lasallian badge was allowed to replace the embroidered school badge.” On 10th May 1977, Brother Casimir died suddenly from a heart attack while in La Salle College. His students would remember him for his cheery disposition and capacity for hard work. The real secret of his success and popularity was his genuine unfailing kindness.
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.
Brother David Jones was the second youngest in the family of 7 boys and 1 girl. Brother David loves to have everything in order and well planned. He joined the Christian Brothers in 1950. Like Brother Mark, Brother David followed the example of his own brother who had joined the Order earlier. Before coming to La Salle College, he taught in St. Joseph’s School in Kuching, St Mary’s School in Borneo, St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong and Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College. He then taught in La Salle College for 3 years before retiring in 1994.
Born in Ireland on 19th July 1907, Brother Martin Kelleher took the Holy Habit on 29th August 1927. He came East in 1933 and was posted to St. Xavier’s Institution in Penang, Malaysia. From that time onwards, he served in Singapore and Malaysia. He joined the St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong in 1937. In 1946-1947, he was on home leave in Ireland due to the War. In 1948, he returned to St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong. Then he was transferred to La Salle College in 1949. He was also the Prefect of Boarders during the Perth Street era. Brother Martin paid much attention to the two most important items for boarders – food and recreation. He was also active at works of charity for the local community like fund raising for St. Teresa’s Church, collecting clothes and Christmas toys for the needy. In 1954, he left for Malaysia. Brother Martin returned to Hong Kong in 1967. He stayed in St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong for the next 15 years.
Location of grave:
Joseph’s grave is in St Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
The grave is located in the Section I of the cemetery. As one enters the cemetery from the gate close to the cemetery office, walk straight along the path parallel to the main road. Almost reaching the very end of the path and the last grave, look left and up one row, Joseph’s grave is the second or third one from the end of the second row. It’s not difficult to find. There is no grave number.
Date of Birth:28th October 1916homeYears of service in LS:9workfaxPeriod of Service:1956 – 1975cellSubjects taught / role:Spiritual Director of a Legion of Mary PrasidiumworkDate of Death:28th July 1981
Brother Anthony Knoll was born in Toronto on 28th October 1916. He received his elementary education at St. Helen’s School in Toronto where he had his first contact with the Christian Brothers. He was deeply influenced by a Brother Clement. Eventually he decided to join the Order. In October 1938, he arrived in Singapore with three other Brothers. He was posted to St. Joseph’s Institution. During the Japanese invasion, he was imprisoned in Changi Prison and later in Sime Road Camp. In prison, he took care of the sick and the old. After liberation, he became the Director of St. Joseph’s Institution, Singapore. In 1953, Brother Anthony became the Director of St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang. In short, he rebuilt these two schools, which were ruined by the war. His hard work cost him ill health and he was advised to take leave. He spent a year of rest and treatment in Canada. In late July 1956, he was posted to La Salle College, Perth Street campus. For the next twenty-five years, he served in Hong Kong, by preference as a simple teacher. He was always concerned about the spiritual development of students and recruited boys for Rosary Crusade. Brother Anthony was a devoted spiritual director of the Legion of Mary in La Salle College. In 1972, Brother Paul Sun, superior-general in exile of the Sacred Heart Brothers in Mainland China, invited Brother Anthony to help out as Vice-principal of St. Joseph’s Anglo-Chinese School. Brother Anthony could not disappoint his dear friend, although it meant that he had to live outside La Salle College. He faced this challenge with full perseverance. In May 1975, he reached a stage of physical and emotional collapse and was brought back to La Salle College. He was later sent to Canada for rest and treatment. He returned to La Salle College and served in the library. Once or twice he collapsed in the library but he always returned with minimum delay. On 28th July 1981, he was up with other Christian Brothers and said the Morning Office (prayer). He placed his host in the communion plate and left the chapel for his room. After breakfast, he was found dead fully dressed in his white robe. ___________________________________________ The following information was obtained from the HK Catholic Archives: http://archives.catholic.org.hk/memory/A-Knoll.htm On Tuesday morning, 28 July 1981, Brother Anthony left the Oratory in La Salle College evidently feeling unwell. Shortly afterwards another member of his community, feeling concerned about him went to his room and found him dead in his bed. Thus suddenly came to a close the life of one beloved both by his confreres and by his pupils. He died at the age of 64. Brother Anthony came from Canada to the mission-fields in 1938. His first appointment as a teacher was to St. Joseph’s College in Singapore. Here he became a very able teacher, very thorough in method and very devoted to his pupils, who liked his kindly ways. Came the Second World War. The Japanese invaded Malaya and advancing southward very soon besieged Singapore. The city fell and Brother Anthony, while sleeping in a corridor, contracted a severe cold. In that condition he was taken away by the enemy for internment in Chanji Gaol on the island. There with a few more Brothers he undertook the task of teaching the imprisoned children as well as attending to the sick. After the capitulation of the Japanese Brother Anthony was repatriated to Canada to recuperate. Then he returned to Singapore and resumed his professional duties this time in St. Anthony’s School close to his former school. Not long after that he was appointed Director of St. Joseph’s Community and school. During his term of office he endeared himself to all, both staff and community, by his refined and kindly ways. His was never the harsh word to utter. From this community he was transferred to St. Xavier’s College in Penang as Director. Here his health began to deteriorate rapidly. Though suffering much he bore his infirmities with heroic, Christian fortitude, never losing his equanimity. Once more he was advised to take a holiday home with the hope of a restoration of health but this was not to be. He returned to the Far East as a member of the La Salle Community in Kowloon. Here he laboured assiduously in the classroom until his retirement in 1977. It has been said of him that he always preferred to teach the backward or retarded pupils and in this he was very successful. After his retirement he assumed the office of School Librarian which office he held until the morning when Divine Providence chose to call him to his eternal reward.
L.K. Wong 2007-10-19 16:49:07
Bro Anthony came to LaSalle, Kowloon as master of our Form 2 class and remained with us in Form 3. We knew him to be warm and caring right from the start through a serious accident Chris Wong had early in the school term. He made frequent visits to Chris during the recuperation and though he never mentioned it to us, we felt he was caring for us all. Bro Anthony always came into class well-prepared and gave his lessons slowly and clearly, whatever the subject. He was especially nice to the slower students. I remember one hasty homework I handed in and was afraid he would really get mad, but he looked at it, trying hard to find some merit, and…at last, said softly, “Not famous!” Bro Felix was our Principal at the time and he was a pretty strict master. He had great regard for Bro Anthony and so we in turn were spared some of his sharp remarks. He came in to give out the term reports one day and looking at Wong Cheung Fat’s grades almost blew his top. But he got hold of himself, turned to Bro Anthony, smiled and then threw the Report Card toward Cheung Fat. And the guy picked up the Report, stuck it in his back pocket and sauntered back to his seat. Bro Anthony was a humble gentle spiritual person. He would lead us in morning prayer and then give a short chat on a Christian topic. I was baptised during that period, as were some of my other close friends, among them Wong Hon Fai, who passed away a couple of years ago in Vancouver. The last time I met Bro Anthony was at the Hong kong airport. He had serious eye trouble then and was on his way to Canada for some rest. Since then, he had of course returned to many more years of devoted service to his adoped country and people.
sk chow (72) 2006-07-05 18:36:43
The Birth Year is probably incorrect, given that Bro Anthony started his missionary work in 1938. And by golly, we haven’t had a 3rd World War yet. Two was bad enough! (3rd paragraph) Editor postscript (27 July 2006): Thank you, SK Chow, for pointing out the possible mistakes. The text has been updated with available / rechecked information. 29 Nov 2006: The blatant error of “3rd world war” has also been corrected.
Ng Soon Hong of St. Xavier’s Institution, Peneng 2005-03-23 11:19:33
Brother Anthony was the Brother Director of St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang at the time when I was privileged to be admitted as a Form 1 student in 1954. The new SXI building which had been under construction for some years was completed and the whole school moved into it from the attap shed classrooms across the street. This was April, 1954. I remember Brother Anthony as a genteel, soft spoken person with fairly thick eye glasses, his hand invariably shaking as he smoked cigarettes to calm his nerves, I was told. This infirmity was the result of the days he spent in the Changi Gaol, Singapore, imprisoned by the Japanese. My memorable experience with him was during the ceremony whence the whole school assembled at the school hall waiting for the mid-term examination results to be announced. I was in Form 1C and my results excelled over all the top boys of the Form 1 classes. Bro. Anthony then turned to Brother Irenus Joseph Yeoh (deceased) on stage and asked why I was put in the C Class with such good results and directed that I be transferred to the “A” Class straightway. It was a priceless moment of encounter with Brother Anthony Knoll.
The Old Boys community is saddened to learn of the passing away of the school’s former soccer team captain, Ko Bo Keung on 17 June 2009. Ko was a soccer legend in Hong Kong, and had been captain of the South China and the Eastern soccer teams, capturing numerous honours. The following are some news reports of his unexpected death, at age of 79. The last paragraph in the Apple Daily report reads: “Ko, a very respected player in the professional HK soccer circle, graduated from La Salle College. Ko was also a top sprinter, and was recruited to South China’s A Team at the age of 17 [in 1947], becoming the youngest midfield player of the time. He was later also recruited into the HK team, and two years later he was made captain of South China.” Ko also subsequently became the captain of the HK team. May Ko’s soul rest in peace. And thank you to Senior Ko for leading La Salle to its glorious soccer achievements immediately after WWII. If any old boy has personal stories or memories of Ko, or found interesting stories of Ko from any media, please share them at the entry for Ko in the Lasallians Remembered section.