A Hong Kong school celebrates 80 years

Aberdeen Technical School celebrated its 80 anniversary with a thanksgiving Mass with Cardinal Joseph Zen SDB, who was the Rector of the school from 1986-1989, as the main celebrant. Salesians, benefactors, alumni, teachers and students at present took this opportunity to praise God for his abundant blessing to the community. An open day was organized to recall the loving memories and to present the ever-lively school life.

It was the time when Hong Kong was still a British colony. In the early 1920s, a group of Chinese merchants and philanthropists wanted to set up a technical school for the Chinese children in the grassroots. They visited the Instituto Salesiano, which was the first Salesian presence in China province. They were impressed by the technical education given by the Salesians to the 250 boarders. And thus, they began to liaise with the Hong Kong colonial government and the Salesian Society for the setting up of Aberdeen Industrial School – the name of the school at its foundation. The school was officially opened on March 1935 by then-Provincial, the Servant of God Fr. Carlo Braga, and Governor William Peel.

Since its foundation, the school is administered by the Salesians. It has served to be the model of technical education locally and in the region of Southeast Asia. In the past 80 years, the school underwent enormous changes – the premises, curriculum, boarding section, etc. But as the present Rector, Fr. Simon Lam, shared in the homily, there are few things remained unchanged. The school has always been a welcoming place for all young people. Teachers and Salesians have always been practicing the Preventive System of Don Bosco, particularly in the aspect of loving-kindness and assistance to our students. And students have always been hardworking. This is symbolized by the gear in the school’s coat of arms.

Challenges have never been and, for sure, never will be lacking. May Jesus, the Good Shepherd, continue to guide us in the education of the young so that they may be “honest citizens and good Christians.”

By Anthony Pun

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