St. Paul's College, Hong Kong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
St. Paul's College, Hong Kong
Chinese: 聖保羅書院
School Badge of St. Paul's College
TypeDSS, Day
MottoThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
(寅畏上主是為智之本 (Chinese)
Timor Domini Principium Sapientiae (Latin))
Established1851; 171 years ago (1851)
FounderRev. Vincent John Stanton
Principal"Dennis Yuen Dick Yan"
SupervisorPong Yuen Sun, Louis
GradesSecondary 1 – Secondary 6
Enrolmentaround 1200 (Secondary)
around 600 (Primary)
Campus typeUrban
HousesPine, Rosewood, Banyan, Ginkgo, Oak, Yew (Arranged in house competition results)
PublicationWayfarer (弘道, school magazine)
Scope (文苑, school newspaper)
St. Paul's College, Hong Kong
HK St. Paul's College View From HKU.JPG
St. Paul's College campus, as seen from HKU.
HK StPaul'sCollege NorthWing.JPG
Exterior of the North Wing (Classroom Block)
Traditional Chinese聖保羅書院
Simplified Chinese圣保罗书院

St. Paul's College (SPC; Chinese: 聖保羅書院) is an Anglican day school for boys in Hong Kong. It was established in 1851, the oldest continuously-operated school in Hong Kong. The college first opened in 1851 with only one tutor and nine pupils. Today, it has more than 1,200 pupils in the secondary section and nearly 600 pupils in the primary section.[1]

St. Paul's comprises an all-boys primary school section (Primary 1–6) and secondary section (Forms 1–6). The secondary school campus is situated in the Mid-Levels area, part of Hong Kong Island's Western District, whilst the primary school operates in a dedicated campus at Pok Fu Lam in the Island's Southern District.

The College Council enjoys a special status in Hong Kong, in that it is a statutory body incorporated by a local ordinance, the St. Paul's College Council Incorporation Ordinance (Cap 1102, Laws of Hong Kong). The aim of the college is to "provide a liberal education to Chinese youths in the English language upon Christian principles."


The old campus, now called Bishop's House, Glenealy


St. Paul's College is the earliest Anglo-Chinese school.[1] Its founder, Rev. Vincent John Stanton, was the first colonial chaplain of the former Colony of Hong Kong, appointed in 1843. In 1841, Rev. Stanton, raised funds in England to start an Anglo-Chinese school in Hong Kong. The original purpose of such a fine establishment The Church of England Anglo-Chinese School was to train a body of native clergy and Christian teachers for the propagation of the Gospel in China...[and] to aid in the diffusion of Christian principles among the Chinese'.[2] Thus, the school opened for the purpose of teaching English to Chinese boys in 1849. St. Paul's College was officially founded in 1851, located at Glenealy in what is today the Central District.

The school opened with James Summers as headmaster, Rev. Edward T. R. Moncrieff as the tutor with nine boys. The number of students soon swelled to 33. Rev. Moncrieff, the school's only tutor at the time, traveled to India, where he was killed in 1857 in the Indian Mutiny.

The college was suspended from 1857 to 1861. It reopened under sinologist John Fryer and was led by him for the ensuing two years.[3]: 146 

Bishop Burden turned the building into a school mainly for English-speaking boys, which operated from 1873 to 1878. During this time, St. Paul's College and St. Joseph's College competed in the earliest inter-school football matches ever played in the colony. The college again became an Anglo-Chinese school, under the headmastership of A. T. Fryer in 1878. The college was suspended in 1899, and the building was used as a training school for Chinese Catechists under the leadership of Rev. P. A. Bunbury.

Early 20th century[edit]

The Church Missionary Society took over the school building, and St. Paul's College reopened with Rev. A.D. Stewart as headmaster in 1908. Rev. Stewart's brother Col. E. G. Stewart highlighted the primitive facilities of the school at this time in his article about St. Paul's history. "Some of us can remember the old south wing – two enormous classrooms on the first floor and one on the ground floor – the rest of the space taken up with wide verandas and staircases, the whole constructed of ancient and somewhat worm-eaten wood, which must have caused a headache to the insurance company; the bad lighting and amazing discomforts which would not be tolerated by modern schoolboys."

During this time, the enrolment soared to 300 and extensions became necessary. In 1911, the Wu Ting Fang Hall and St. Paul's Church were erected. In 1914, St. Paul's Girls School (now St. Paul's Co-educational College) was founded by Rev. A.D. Stewart's sister, Kathleen Stewart. Headmaster Rev. A.D. Stewart retired and his brother Colonel E. G. Stewart took charge in 1930.

Japanese occupation[edit]

In December 1941, the school closed abruptly when Japan invaded Hong Kong in the Pacific War. Col. Stewart, along with some school staff and students, risked their lives for the defence of the colony. After World War II, Colonel Stewart was awarded Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Order of the British Empire (OBE) honours in 1948. He was appointed Royal Hong Kong Regiment, honorary colonel.

Post-wars years and the Bonham Road era[edit]

After the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the school was briefly merged with St. Paul's Girl's College, and renamed St. Paul's Co-educational College. The school resumed its individual status in 1949, known as St. Paul's College once again, when its campus on Bonham Road was completed. St. Paul's Co-educational College remained co-educational. Rev. G.L. Speak was appointed principal in 1959.

During the Hong Kong 1967 leftist riots, Form 6 pupil Tsang Tak-sing was expelled from the school and prosecuted for distributing leaflets promoting Communism and public order crime. Tsang was sentenced to two years in prison. He later went on to become a deputy in the National People's Congress of Communist China, a member of the Central Policy Unit and, on 1 July 2007, the Secretary for Home Affairs in the Hong Kong Government. Ha Wing Ho was appointed principal in 1969.

St. Paul's College bloomed quickly in the late 20th century. In 1979, the completion of St. Paul's College Alumni Association Tse Yu Chuen Swimming Pool marked the completion of one of the greatest building projects of the decade. Its construction was made possible by funding from parents, older boys and the Alumni Association. In 1992, St. Paul's College was the first aided school to opt for the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS). However, the scheme was eventually suspended when the government policy changed. Under DSS, the school would have been given maximum freedom with regard to curriculum, school fees and entrance requirements. St. Paul's College Primary School was relocated to Hill Road in 1993, which formerly housed a secondary school. The vacant block at Bonham Road was transformed into a series of special-purpose rooms including an art room, music room, staff room, teaching resource room, computer room and teachers' common room.


The year 2001 marked the 150th anniversary of the school. In the same year, the school elected to join the DSS, under which the school was given more freedom in the enrolment of students, appointment of teachers and the design of the curriculum.

In 2006, the college celebrated its 155th anniversary. In that year, John Richard Kennard was appointed as the 11th principal. In the same year, under the DSS, the new South Wing was opened by Archbishop Peter Kwong. The Wong Ming Him Hall was renovated in 2008 and the College Hall in 2010.

A new SPC Primary School campus was built in Pok Fu Lam. The project resulted in the SPC Primary School relocating from its current site on Hill Road. Located at the corner of Victoria Road and Pok Fu Lam Road, the new campus opened in January 2013.

St. Paul's College celebrated its 160th anniversary during the 2011–2012 academic year. As the first event of the anniversary calendar, the Chapel Choir and Chinese Orchestra visited London in July 2011, and performed at St Paul's Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields. The 160th Anniversary Concert was held on 26 October 2011 at the Jockey Club Auditorium of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In 2014, Mr Yuen Dick Yan, Dennis was appointed as Acting Principal of the college and he was subsequent appointed as Principal on an acting basis in 2015.

The Motto, Missions and Visions[edit]

The Entrance to St. Paul's College at Christmas

The school motto is "寅畏上主是為智之本", which is the translation of Proverbs 9:10 in classical Chinese. Its English translation is "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (KJV). ("Timor Domini Principium Sapientiae" in Latin can be found in graduation certificates of earlier days.) The fact that the motto is in Chinese is significant. While it was the fashion at the time to use Latin for such a purpose, the far-sighted founders of the school saw St. Paul's College as a hub to foster bilinguals and to bring together the cultures of the East and the West.

The mission of St. Paul's College is to offer modern, liberal education to Chinese youths in the English language (while including the subject of Chinese language in the curriculum) upon Christian, Protestant and Evangelical principles, as professed by the Sheng Kung Hui.

The educational goals of the college, in accordance with its mission, may be described as:

  • to cultivate a healthy attitude toward life and the world, and to expose students to the Christian message;
  • to inculcate civic awareness in students and develop them into responsible and useful citizens of the community with respect for intellectual property, human rights, freedom and justice;
  • to enable students to fully develop their intellectual potential, think logically and creatively, study and solve problems independently, and communicate effectively in English and Chinese;
  • to develop students' skills and abilities in information technology and an interest in lifelong learning;
  • to develop students' physical and musical skills and abilities, and to encourage enjoyment in sports and music;
  • to encourage the appreciation of the arts and development of artistic talents and skills;
  • to promote respect for the views and opinions of others, harmonious relationships in school, the family and the community, and participation in community affairs; and
  • to develop in students the ability to cope with adverse situations and emotional problems.

The School Badge[edit]

The School Badge

The Coat of Arms[edit]

The college's coat of arms is similar to the coat of arms of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, indicating that St. Paul's College is a school sponsored by the Sheng Kung Hui.

The Scallop Shell[edit]

The scallop shell was the emblem of St. James the Great, who was the patron saint of pilgrims. One legend describes how he travelled to Northwest Spain, and preached there for seven years. He was later beheaded in Judea by King Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:2). According to the legend, his body was eventually taken back to Spain and buried at Santiago de Compostela. From the ninth century to the 16th century, hundreds of thousands of Christians came to Santiago de Compostela on pilgrimages, expeditions made by individuals or groups to places where God had shown His power in some special ways. Often the journeys were long and dangerous. The pilgrims did not mind, because they believed their spiritual lives would be enriched and deepened by their pilgrimage.

Often the pilgrim wore on his hat or cloak a badge indicating his destination. Those going to Santiago de Compostela wore a scallop shell. Perhaps it was a reminder of the small boats in which many of them travelled. Perhaps it had a more practical use as a vessel used in baptism or a drinking vessel. At any rate, the scallop shell eventually became a sign of pilgrimage in general, a symbol of baptism, signifying new life. The pilgrims carried new ways of thinking and of doing things to places that were deeply isolated from the larger world. Pilgrims were people on the move, people on the way to somewhere else. Like the pilgrims of old, Paulines are people on the move. When they leave school, many of them go to other parts of the world, bringing with them new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things. Even those who stay in Hong Kong are also pilgrims of a sort, for life itself is like a journey from childhood to youth, to middle age and beyond.

The Shepherd's Staff[edit]

The shepherd's staff was used by the shepherd to keep the sheep on the right path. Jesus often used this illustration in his teaching, so the shepherd's staff has become the symbol of the care and guidance which the church minister (pastor or priest) gives to others. This care involves showing active concern for the physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being of a person in practical ways. It is not only clergymen who show this kind of care; teachers and social workers often show this level of concern for many.

The Key[edit]

The key is symbolic of the words of Jesus to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 16:19). William Barclay, a well-known Christian author, wrote: "The promise that Peter would have the keys to the Kingdom was the promise that Peter would be the means of opening the door to God for thousands upon thousands of people in the days to come. The plain fact is that it is not only Peter who has the keys of the Kingdom, every Christian has, for it is open to every one of us to open the door of the Kingdom to someone, and to enter into the great promise of Jesus Christ."

The Open Book[edit]

The open book symbolises the Bible – open for all to read. The Bishop of Guidford wrote: "The whole Bible is a gift of God to the world. He guided its many writers and he watched over its editing and completion during many generations. For many years he has strengthened and guided his people through the pages of the Bible ... He continues to speak to us and our contemporaries as we read and study its pages." The open book also suggests knowledge.

The Crown[edit]

Above all of the other symbols is a crown, possibly reminiscent of the tradition that the three wise men, or Magi, who came from the east to worship the infant Jesus, were also kings. Tradition has generally supposed that they came from Persia or Arabia, but they may have come from as far away as China.

The crown may also symbolise the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12). "The Christian," wrote William Barclay, "has a royalty that other men have never realised, for, however humble his earthly circumstances, he is nothing less that[clarify] the child of God."[citation needed]

The Cross[edit]

In the school badge, the diocesan emblems are surrounded by a cross, which symbolises self-sacrifice, such as when Jesus died on a cross.

The Motto[edit]

The Chinese characters in the motto under the cross are from Proverbs 1:7, translated in English as "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (some translations wrote knowledge. Although both are correct, the most accurate one is wisdom)." The Hebrew version could be translated as "The most important part of knowledge is reverence for the Lord." The fact that the motto is in Chinese is significant. It was more the fashion at that time to use Latin for such a purpose. When St. Paul's College was founded, the primary focus was to offer Chinese youths a modern, liberal education in the English language, while including the subject of Chinese language in the curriculum, upon Christian principles. Bringing together the cultures of East and West and the fostering of bilingualism have been well-established traditions in the school.

Recent Results in public exams[edit]

St. Paul's College improved a lot from the early 2000s, to 2021. It was at first a band 1C secondary school (around 2011), which turns out, into a band 1A secondary school, and achieved the best result in DSE during 2019-2021. The college's result is better than any other boys secondary school.

List of Principals[edit]

English Name Chinese Name Tenure Remarks
Secondary Section
1. Rev. Vincent John Stanton 史丹頓牧師 1849–1850 Stanton is the Founder of St. Paul's College and also appointed as the First Colonel Chaplain in Hong Kong.
2. Bishop George Smith 施美夫主教 1851–1861, 1864-1866 The wife of Smith helped establish Diocesan Girls' School
3. Mr. John Fryer[4] 傅蘭雅先生 1861–1863 later head of the Anglo-Chinese School, Shanghai, and Shanghai Polytechnic Institute, and Professor of Oriental Language and Literature, UC Berkeley
4. Bishop Charles Richard Alford 柯爾福主教 1867–1872
5. Bishop John Shaw Burdon 包爾騰主教 1874–1897
6. Bishop Joseph Charles Hoare 霍約瑟主教 1898–1906 Hoare was shipwrecked along with four other students when they were on a boat to Castle Peak, Tuen Mun for a missionary visit.
7. Bishop Gerard Heath Lander 倫義華主教 1906–1909
8. Rev. Arthur Dudley Stewart 史超域牧師 1909–1930 The Reverend Stewart's sister, Kathleen Stewart founded St. Paul Girls' College The Stewart Building is named after him and his younger brother Colonel Stewart who took up the principalship after he retired.
9. Col. Evan George Stewart, DSO, OBE, ED 史伊尹上校 1930–1958 Colonel Stewart participated in both World War I and World War II The British Government awarded him as colonel because of his contribution in the Battle of Hong Kong.
10. Rev. Geoffrey Lowrey Speak, OBE 史璧琦牧師 1958–1967 Speak was asked to be the founder of Island School when Hong Kong embroiled in the 1967 Leftist Riots where there is a clash of Pro-Communist activists and the Hong Kong Government.
Mr. R.G. Wells 韋爾思先生 1967–1968 Wells served as the Acting Principal during the interim period.
11. Mr. Timothy W.H. Ha, MBE, JP 夏永豪 MBE 太平紳士 1968–2006 Ha is the first local-trained Principal. Unlike many of his most predecessor, he did not attend Oxbridge and he is the longest served principal at St. Paul's College.
12. Dr. John Richard Kennard 甘納德博士 2006–2014 Kennard is an Australian-British and the only principal with a doctorate qualification. He left the college to become principal of The British School Warsaw.
13. Mr. Dennis D.Y. Yuen 源迪恩先生 2014-now Yuen was appointed as Acting Principal in the school year of 2014–2015. He assumed the post of principal on an acting basis after September 2015
Primary Section
1. Rev. Chiu Lin Chun 招練俊牧師 1960–1970
2. Mr. Leung Chung Por, MH 梁松波先生 MH 1970–2001 Leung was the longest serving headmaster
3. Mrs. Yvonne Chan Chin Mo Chun 陳陳慕珍女士 2001–2016 Chan was the first headmistress. All her predecessors were men.
4. Mr. Mak Chi Ho, Michael 麥志豪先生 2016–20 Prior to his appointment, Mak was the Vice Principal of the Secondary Section


Bishop's House, the campus of St. Paul's before 1941

The current campus is located at 69 Bonham Road, Western District, Hong Kong.[5]

For 100 years before World War II, St. Paul's College was located in Glenealy (also known as "Tit Kong"), in the Central District, in the buildings currently called Bishop's House, which are presently the headquarters of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. The college buildings were occupied during the war, leading to St. Paul's College being merged with St. Paul's Girls' School to form St. Paul's Co-educational College (SPCC).

At the end of the occupation, St. Paul's College was re-established in its own right and granted permission to use the former HKU St. John's College site as its new campus. By the mid-1960s, all of the former St. John's Hall buildings had been replaced.

Current campus at Bonham Road[edit]

The land (Inland Lot No. 7935) at Bonham Road on which St. Paul's College now stand was a private property known as "Fairlea" in the early colonial days. In the 1880s, the small boarding school for Chinese girls founded by missionary and educator Margaret Johnstone (莊思端) moved into Fairlea. The boarding school was taken over by the Church Missionary Society in 1886 and named Fairlea Girls' School (飛利女校), and is one of the predecessors of the current Heep Yunn School.[6]

The University of Hong Kong was formed in 1911, and in its early days, it was compulsory for all students to live in a residential hall. Being directly opposite the Main Building of HKU, Fairlea was converted into St. John's Hall, the first hall of the newly founded university. Fairlea Girls' School moved to 4–6 Babington Path as a result. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, St. John's Hall was occupied by an infantry company and also acted as a shelter for local Anglo-Indian and Eurasian refugees, and the Hall was extensively looted after the surrender of Japan. As HKU recommenced classes in 1946, St. John's Hall reopened in 1947 with the aid from the Education Department, with the condition that the latter could use the West Wing of St. John's Hall, location of which is now SPC's Stewart Building. The affiliated primary school of Northcote Training College soon moved in. When SPC regained its independence in 1950, it initially occupied the West Wing as well.[7]

The Anglican Church proposed merging St. John's Hall with St. Stephen's Hall, a female-only hall, into the co-educational St. John's College (SJC). SJC subsequently moved into its new premises at 82 Pokfulam Road in 1955,[7] leaving the whole premises at Bonham Road for St. Paul's College's use. The Wong Ming Him Hall, the oldest building existing in the campus nowadays, was built in 1951. The three-storey, multi-purpose building once housed a table tennis room, art room and music room. The building was renovated in 2007–2008 and now houses a multi-purpose rehearsal room, a board room and the archives.[1] The college swimming pool, known in full as "St. Paul's College Alumni Association Tse Yu Chuen Swimming Pool" (聖保羅書院同學會謝雨川游泳池), was officially opened on 8 November 1979. The pool is next to the Wong Ming Him Hall and was named after the alumnus who initiated the fundraising campaign for its construction.

The original St. John's Hall building as well as Wong Ming Him Hall was deemed inadequate owing to the college's rapid growth, to an extent that AM PM double-shift schooling was adopted in 1961 and 1962. As a result, the college started the planning of a thorough campus redevelopment scheme with alumnus-cum-architect Szeto Wai (司徒惠) in 1962, and construction started in the same year. The old St. John's Hall building was torn down and replaced by four new blocks, namely the North Wing, East Wing and West Wing (now renamed Stewart Building), as well as the now demolished Primary School Block. This layout remained unchanged until the 2000s, when the college carried out a School Improvement programme.[8]

School Improvement Programme[edit]

View of St. Paul's College's New South Wing from the University of Hong Kong, 2009

In 2003, the college implemented a School Improvement Programme (SIP) with a view to construct a new administration and teaching block above the swimming pool area. To make way for the new building, the college demolished the former primary school building.

The intake of the New South Wing occurred in October 2006, and was officially opened by Peter Kwong Kong-kit, the then Archbishop of Hong Kong, on 15 December of the same year.[8] It houses the college office, a principal's room, art rooms, music rooms and staff rooms.[9]

Primary school campus[edit]

The Primary School's new campus at Victoria Road

In 1993, St. Paul's College Primary School (SSCPS) moved to its own campus at 70 Hill Road, which formerly housed Hill Road Government Primary School (before 1977), Buddhist Chi Hong College (1977–1990) and Lok Sin Tong Leung Kau Kui College (1991–1992).

In addition to 18 classrooms, the Hill Road campus included a school hall, conference room, music room, computer room, library, multi-purpose room, English language room, counselling room, first aid room, visual arts and science room, chapel and tuck shop.

A new campus for SPCPS was completed in 2012, and SPCPS moved in subsequently. The new campus is located at the junction of Pok Fu Lam Road and Victoria Road near Wah Fu Estate in Pok Fu Lam. The vacated Hill Road campus is handed over to SKH St. Peter's Primary School, another primary school sponsored by Sheng Kung Hui, enabling the latter's conversion to whole day operation.

Students' Organisation[edit]

The Prefects' Council[edit]

The Prefects' Council is an independent organisation which is authorised by the principal to help maintain school discipline. A prefect presents himself as a role model to others. Prefects are privileged, entitled to wear the prefects' tie and read Bible at the school morning assembly, which is regarded as a prestige. The prefect's main duties include maintaining discipline at the school and promoting harmony among Paulians. The Prefects' Council runs a committee system under the direction of the head prefect and two-second head prefects. The council is also responsible for co-ordinating all functions held by the school and students' association upon request. Prefects have the right to issue warning sheets according to the seriousness of the offence. Outstanding Prefects are chosen each year based on their general routine and performance of external duties.

Students' Association[edit]

The logo of the Students' Association

The St. Paul's College Students' Association (abbreviated as SA) is the students' organisation of the college. It is the main body which conducts matters concerning students' welfare and communication with the school. The SA is the oldest students' organisation in all secondary schools in Hong Kong.

The Executive Council (EC) is the decision-making body of the Students' Association. Executive Council committees include:

  • Affiliated Clubs Committee (ACC) – helps all clubs in financial need and in other matters such as club registration. There are 53 affiliated clubs under the students' association.
  • Audit Committee – monitors the income and expenditure of the Students' Association.
  • Human Resources Committee (HR) – responsible for arrangement of the SA officials' duty for daily operation and the association's activities.
  • Public Relations Committee (PR) – responsible for liaison with external bodies or schools.
  • Welfare Committee – provides welfare services such as sale of tie clips, umbrella rental service, old books and stationery.
  • Promotion Committee - coordinates the promotion work of the SA .

The Students' Association is led by the SA president. At the beginning of each school year, an SA presidential election is held. All students vote for a candidate, and the term of office for each president is one school year.

Affiliated Clubs of the Students' Association[edit]

The Students’ Association (S.A.) organises a Sponsored Walk each year to raise funds for financing the activities of its 53 affiliated clubs, which are grouped under six unions: Arts Union, Science Union, Sports Union, Music Union, Recreation Union and Service Union.

The Arts Union and the Science Union organise the Arts Week and the Science Week respectively, with such programmes as book and club exhibitions, and inter-class competitions. In addition, the Science Union participates in the Joint School Science Exhibition during the summer holidays every year.

The school provides many opportunities for students to participate in community services through the service clubs or groups such as the Interact Club, the Community Youth Club, the Junior Police Call, the Youth Red Cross and the Scout Group. Social services include collecting toys and second-hand clothes, participating in fundraising walkathons and flag-selling activities for charitable purposes, organising funfairs for the mentally disabled, and paying visits to the homes for the aged.

The Recreation Union comprises many clubs for students with various interests, including Green Club, Transport Club, Photography Club and Bridge Club.

Arts Union[edit]
Science Union[edit]
  • Astronomy Club
  • Biology Society
  • Chemistry Society
  • Computer Society
  • Mathematics Society
  • Further Mathematics Society
  • Physics Society
Music Union
Sports Union[edit]
  • Archery Society
Service Union
  • Careers Club
  • Community Service Club
  • Community Youth Club
  • Guidance Club
  • Interact Club
  • Library Club
Recreation Union
  • Animation Club
  • AR/VR Club
  • Bridge Club
  • Chess Club
  • Darts Club
  • Fashion Design Club
  • Green Club
  • Memes Club
  • Movie Club
  • Rubik's Cube Club
  • Trivia Club
Christian Union
  • Junior CU
  • Senior CU
  • Praise Team
  • Prayer Group

House system[edit]

The House System was first introduced in 1975. The college offers students additional opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, in the form of the House System, which aims at bridging the gap between junior and senior students, and moving the students beyond the limit of class spirit.[10]

Membership of each house comes from all parts of the school so that within each class there are members of six houses, which are designated as Banyan, Ginkgo, Oak, Pine, Rosewood and Yew. The system facilitates inter-house ball games and competitions in the Swimming Gala and the Sport Days. Apart from participating in sports competitions, members of the six houses also show their talents in inter-house music, debating and drama contests.

House Colour
Banyan (榕) Blue
Ginkgo (銀杏) Green
Oak (橡) Orange
Pine (松) Purple
Rosewood (紫檀) Red
Yew (紫杉) Yellow

The colour of each house corresponds with the first letter of the house name.

Each house is led by a house master, and a number of assistant house masters or mistresses. The events at the Annual Sports Day and Swimming Gala are mostly inter-house events, with the exception of a few inter-class events. Most competitions between the houses are sports competitions, while academic ones are rare.

Newly admitted F.1 students are randomly distributed among the six houses. House members may purchase and wear house badges on a voluntary basis.

College Song and Hymn[edit]

St. Paul's College School Song

Once again we here foregather,
pledge obedience to this rule:
That we ever will be faithful
to the teachings of our School.
Justice, Honour, Truth and Virtue
shall the watchwords be for all.
We thy sons who learnt these precepts
in the College of St. Paul,
Brothers here we stand together
all for each and each for all.
Down the years we will be faithful
to the College of St. Paul.

The old college song was titled The Old St. Paul's College, based on the 18th century ballad "John Peel".

The current college song was composed in the 1970s by Rev. Moses Wu, the music teacher at the time, with lyrics by C.F. Miles. It is generally sung during major college events such as Speech Day, the Swimming Gala and Sports Day. The college song is played by the college orchestra at Speech Day.

The College Hymn, We Build Our School on Thee, O Lord, is also sung during important services and at morning assemblies.

College Song Clapping Controversy[edit]

It has been a norm for the students of St. Paul's College to clap at the College Song's penultimate sentence, i.e. right after "Down the years we will be faithful". The norm is rumored to have originated in the 1980s primary school section of St. Paul's College, which spread to the secondary school section as tens of primary school section's students were directly promoted annually.

According to retired Careers Master Mr. W. F. Ryan, a student in 1986 forgot some lyrics of the College Song and substituted them by clapping. Other students followed suit and normalized it. Mr. Raymond Y. K. Fu, Head of Music Department from 1981 to 2013, had opposed such act as he deemed it "disrespectful". It nonetheless continued for over ten years until 2006, when Dr. J. R. Kennard - the principal succeeding Mr. Timothy W. H. Ha - announced a ban on his first morning assembly, arguing that the clapping goes against the school's traditions and he needed to do so "at the request of the alumni association". Dr. Kennard retracted his position later as he realized that the clapping is a manifestation of loyalty.

Dr. Kennard said the ban was merely effective in public events, such as Sports Day and Speech Day (graduation ceremony). Five years from the ban, Dr. Kennard announced on 8 July 2011 that the ban would be lifted once during the end-of-term assembly. However, on 1 September 2011, students continued the clapping - signalling the end of the ban once and for all. Ever since, the clapping has occurred whenever the College Song is sung. As of 9 July 2021 – 10 years from the ban's end – current principal Dr. Dennis Yuen does not show any objection, and the students still clapped at the end of the College Song in the end-of-term assembly. From now on, it is still clapped at the end of the song.[11]

Class structure and curriculum[edit]

Class structure[edit]

There are six classes in each form (Form 1–6). St. Paul's College uses an English as the medium of instruction.

The college traditionally followed a system of education similar to Britain. In 2009, the New Senior Secondary system was introduced across the Hong Kong SAR. This involved moving away from the English model of seven years secondary schooling to the Chinese model of three years of junior secondary plus three years of senior secondary. The two public examinations HKCEE and HKALE are now replaced by a single public examination called the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE). In addition to the HKDSE, the college also offers the IGCSE and GCE A-Level examinations to provide more opportunities for students.[12]


For the first three years of school (Form 1–Form 3), various subjects are introduced to students, including English, Chinese, Putonghua, Mathematics, Integrated Humanities (which is composed of Geography, History, and Life and Society), Integrated Science, Information and Communication Technology, Religious Studies, Music and Visual Arts. Integrated Science will be replaced with Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Form 3.

Under the New Senior Secondary (NSS) educational structure, senior form students now choose three elective subjects in which to specialise, together with the compulsory subjects of Chinese, English, Mathematics, Citizenship and Social Development, as well as the school based Common Core, which researches on sustainability and a better city. As of the 2022-23 academic year, Chinese History, Chinese Literature, Biology, Business, Accounting and Financial Studies (BAFS), Chemistry, Economics, Ethics and Religious Studies, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Music, Physics and Visual Arts (VA) are offered by the college as elective subjects.

The college also runs a bridging course for newly admitted Form 1 students to improve their foundation in English and link their already-possessed knowledge with the new ones. There are also remedial classes in Chinese, English and Mathematics for students requiring additional assistance.

College Publications[edit]

The college's Student Publications Council (學生出版社) is responsible for the publication of Wayfarer, the college magazine, and Scope, the college newspaper. Formerly regarded as part of the Students' Association, the council has always been a separate entity.


Wayfarer (Chinese: 弘道; pinyin: Hóngdào; Jyutping: Wang4 dou3) is the school magazine of St. Paul's College, serving the function as a yearbook. The issue for each academic year is published in December of the following school year.

The name Wayfarer, which means "a traveller on foot," symbolises achieving dreams by eliminating obstacles; the Chinese name, 弘道, is derived from the quote "人能弘道,非道弘人" (A man can enlarge the principles which he follows; those principles do not enlarge the man.) taken from the Book of Wei Ling Kung in the Confucian Analects.

The aims of publishing Wayfarer, as stated in its inaugural issue (1957–58), are:

  • To organise systematically a history record of the college for future reference;
  • To provide with students and teachers a platform of voicing out what they think, so that their talents can be seen;
  • To compile a collection of excellent works so as to encourage and inspire the future generations.[13]

Wayfarer was first published in 1958, but was subsequently suspended until 1963, when the college started to publish Wayfarer annually. Each issue is prepared by an editorial board formed by students, under the supervision of teacher advisors, since the 4th issue (1965–66) – the first three issues were prepared entirely by teachers.[13]

Printed in black-and-white for more than 40 years, the first Wayfarer in colour, Issue 45, was published for the 2006–2007 academic year (155th Anniversary of the college). As of December 2013, Wayfarer has published 51 issues.

Wayfarer is a bilingual publication. Contents include college report, photographs of classes and groups, club reports, features and contributions.

Other than Wayfarer, the College also composes a book with passages written by students throughout the term.

Activities and achievements[edit]


The HKCEE and HKALE results of the school are sound with a very high percentage of students reaching the entrance requirements for local university and matriculation degrees.[14] With the start of new examination, HKDSE, there is still a very high percentage of students meeting general requirements (33222) for local undergraduate university programmes.[15] Besides local universities, the school provides chances to apply international examinations, like IGCSE, GCE.[16] Students are able to enter foreign universities through international examination.


Sports activities at the inter-class, inter-house and inter-school levels range from track and field, cross-country racing, swimming, lifesaving, canoeing, gymnastics and judo, to basketball, football, handball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, field hockey, and squash. The Annual Sports Day and the Swimming Gala are held every academic year.

Music and Speech[edit]

Many students attend instrumental classes after school each day. The Music Union organises regular assembly concerts, the annual Music Contest and the Annual Concert. The school music teams including the choirs, the full symphony orchestra, and the Chinese orchestra, participate actively in the annual Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. Students also take part actively in groups, as well as individually, in the annual Schools Speech Festival.

An Artist-in-Residence programme was established in 2007–08 with Dr. Stephen Ng (USA: tenor) as the inaugural artist. Subsequent artists-in-residence have included Branko Stark (2008–09, Croatia: composer-conductor), Peter Walmsley (2009–10, Australia: brass-conductor), and Clive Harries (2010–11, England: organist-choir-conductor).

The Global Classroom Programme[edit]

St. Paul's College launched the Global Classroom programme in 1995. Each year, a comprehensive programme of overseas visits are organised. Under the Direct Subsidy Scheme, opportunities for overseas visits have been enhanced. The Global Classroom programme usually incorporated a variety of academic themes such as language, music or sports exchange activities to encourage students to broaden their horizons and exposure to different cultures around. As of 2015, the school has organised tours to the mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Northern Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc. In addition to the Global Classroom, student exchange programmes are arranged with twin schools in China and overseas. Since 2008, Community Awareness Project, with a view to encouraging students to participate in voluntary work to serve the community and helping the disadvantaged, has been launched in the mainland. Pupils has been visiting in Luoyang, Harbin and other places in China.

Student Exchange Programme[edit]

In the Student exchange programme on 21 September 2012 to 29 September 2012, twelve students from Christ Church Grammar School went to St. Paul's College, Hong Kong.

St. Paul's College Alumni Association[edit]

St. Paul's College Alumni Association was established in 1920. There was no official name by the time it was established. By 1930, It was recorded that more than 100 alumni and the management of school was in a restaurant in the Sheung Wan to discuss the establishment of "Old Pauline Union", followed by students in Guangzhou and Shanghai and other places setting up a branch with a view to contacting alumni.

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Macao was the temporarily place where alumni gatherings took place. Until 1950, the Bonham Road school complex was completed, students were to be given a formal name for the "St. Paul's College Alumni Association" (SPCAA). The role of the SPCAA had also changed, been taking a leading role in addition to serve merely as the links between the alumni, the SPCAA will also continue to maintain contact with the school, there are four alumni representative in the College Council, together for the deliberations in school affairs.

Past Students had been actively support the alma mater of the building over the years, and had repeatedly launched campaign donations. Without the alumni support the new library, swimming pool, school auditorium air conditioning works at the Bonham Road Campus would not have been that successful. The strong alumni donations has made the new school expansion in the 1950s and 2000s possible with the professional advice by alumni of the famous architect (Patrick Lau, etc.).

Many alumni and students will also contribute to the school to set up multiple scholarships and awards funds to reward academic achievement and excellent performance of the students. In addition, SPCAA has published "From Devotion at the 150th anniversary celebration to Plurality: A full history of St. Paul's College 1851-2001 "a book to commemorate the school 150 years of development.

Since 2005, SPCAA has been organising mentorship program for matriculation students (after the implementation of the new academic structure this service is provided for the form five students) They arranged the city celebrity alumni and students form a group to participate in various activities to broaden Students of social vision and enhance different years to graduate students in the St. Paul's alumni contact.

St. Paul's College Parent Teacher Association[edit]

St. Paul's College Parent Teacher Association (also known as PTA) was established in 1994, aims to promote the relationship between the school and the student's family. Have been organising activities include book fairs, seminars and visits to the newspaper, etc., PTA each year parents sends teams to participate in the school's yearly Sports Day. PTA Annual General Meeting will be held once a year to elect the President and Director of the year.

St. Paul's College Foundation[edit]

St. Paul's College Foundation Ltd. was established in 2008, aims to raise funds for the school and outside the government-funded tuition in order to provide a first-class learning environment for students. Foundation supports projects include scholarships, campus to promote e-learning, the establishment of schools in Church archives historical documents and so on. In addition, the Foundation also play an important role in the primary school relocation to new premises at Victoria Road by raising campaign funds.

Linked schools and alliances[edit]

In line with the vision of the Global Classroom, the college formally established a Twin-school Programme which aimed at widening students' global perspectives and building links between teachers and students of leading schools around the world through various exchange activities and mutual visits. St. Paul's College is a member school of the International Boys' Schools Coalition (IBSC). John Richard Kennard sat on the Board of Trustees (2008–2017) as vice-president (Asia). Major IBSC member schools include fellow Anglican schools Eton College (London) and The King's School (Sydney).

Schools linked by exchanges with St. Paul's College include:

  1. High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China
  2. High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  3. Barker College, Sydney, Australia
  4. Heimschule Lender, Sasbach, Germany
  5. St. Mark's School of Texas, Dallas, USA
  6. Mayo College, Ajmer, India
  7. Senri International School, Osaka, Japan
  8. Trinity-Pawling School, New York State, USA
  9. Anglican High School, Singapore

Connections with other schools[edit]

Being the first school established by the Anglican Church of England in Hong Kong, St Paul's has a close relationship with many other religious schools in the city.

Notable alumni[edit]

The older alumni Wu Tingfang, Wang Chung-hui, SK Yee and Chung Sze-yuen are known as the "Four doctors of St. Paul's" (聖保羅四博士) by the older generation of old boys.

Politics and civil service[edit]

Politicians before the World Wars[edit]

Government officials and Legislators[edit]

Mr. T.S. Tsang


Mr. I.M. Pei



  • Peter Kwong Kong-kit (鄺廣傑), first Archbishop and Primate of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Province, retired at the end of 2006, now Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Honorary Doctor of Divinity of the University of Hong Kong (2000)


  • Victor Chang Yam-him (張任謙), cardiac surgeon and humanitarian, a world pioneer in heart and lung transplants. In 1986, he was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia honours. He was murdered in July 1991 outside his home in Sydney by two extortionists. In Sydney, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute was opened in 1994 to commemorate his work and service.
  • Freddie Fu Ho-keong (傅浩強), St. Paul's Class of 1968, pioneer orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon. He is a Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, David Silver Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Head Team Physician for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics. Most notably, he is renowned for pioneering the technique and concepts of anatomic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.


  • Hui Shu Yuen Ron (許樹源) Chair Professor, Power Electronics, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, HKU & Imperial College London.[18]
  • Liang Hin Suen Raymond (梁憲孫) Emeritus Professor, Chair of Haematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, HKU
  • Joe H. Chow (周祖康) Institute Professor of Engineering Electrical, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Member of the National Academy of Engineering

Entertainment and mass media[edit]

Mr. Ching Cheong
  • Ching Cheong (程翔), senior journalist and chief correspondent of The Straits Times; was detained in the People's Republic of China under suspicion of espionage during his research for news in Mainland China
  • Lai Man-Wai (黎民偉), Hong Kong film actor and director
  • Raymond Lam Fung (林峯), TVB actor
  • Lawrence Cheng (鄭丹瑞), Hong Kong film actor, director, screenwriter, and producer, DJ and radio channel executive
  • Alex To (杜德偉), Hong Kong and Taiwan based singer and actor
  • Paul Lin (林子揚), writer, composer and head of a political discussion online forum in Hong Kong
  • Simon Lui (雷宇揚), Hong Kong artist

Music and cultural[edit]

  • Ho Fuk Yan (何福仁), writer and poet, retired teacher and former Head of Chinese Department at St. Paul's College


  • Chan Hiu Ming (陳曉明), football coach, Hong Kong Football Association technical and development director, former national team assistant, coach of Hong Kong First Division club Wofoo Tai Po as well as manager of Workable FC and Eastern

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About us – History". Official website of St. Paul's College. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ Endacott, George B.; She, Dorothy E. (1949). The Diocese of Victoria, Hong Kong: A Hundred Years of Church History. Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh.
  3. ^ Dagenais, Fred (1990). "John Fryer's Early Years in China". Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Royal Asiatic Society of Hong Kong. 30.
  4. ^ "Guide to the John Fryer Papers". Online Archive of California. The Bancroft Library, University of California. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Contact us". Official website of St. Paul's College. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  6. ^ "About the school – Milestones". Official website of Heep Yunn School. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "About St. John's – History". Official website of St. John's College, University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b Samson C.H. Tam (December 2012), "St. Paul's Now and Then: A comparison in photos (舊貌新顏話保羅--校園新舊照片對照)", Wayfarer – St. Paul's College 2011–2012 (in Chinese), 50
  9. ^ "School Improvement Programme". Official website of St. Paul's College (older version). Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Students – House System". Official website of St. Paul's College. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  11. ^ St. Paul's College 聖保羅書院. 10-08-1984 Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "St. Paul's College". Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b Victor C.H. Chung (December 2012), "Wayfarer 50 – A Golden Jubilee review (弘道五十--校刊《弘道》金禧號回顧)", Wayfarer – St. Paul's College 2011–2012 (in Chinese), 50
  14. ^ "St. Paul's College - Comprehensive Review Report 2008" (PDF).
  15. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "St. Paul's College".
  17. ^ "About HKIEd – History". Official website of The Hong Kong Institute of Education. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Prof. Ron S.Y. Hui". HKU Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°17′04″N 114°08′20″E / 22.28444°N 114.13889°E / 22.28444; 114.13889