Former Police Married Quarters [1951- ]

Submitted by 80sKid on Mon, 06/02/2014 - 08:37
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The Former Police Married Quarters Site (abbreviated as PMQ) on Hollywood Road, No.35 Aberdeen Street, is bounded by four streets, namely Hollywood Road, Aberdeen Street, Staunton Street and Shing Wong Street. It was formerly the site of Queen’s College, which was originally known as Central School located at Gough Street before it was moved to the current site for larger
campus. It was renamed as Victoria College when it was moved to the current site and completed in 1889 and finally renamed as Queen’s College in 1894 before it was demolished. The school was finally moved to its present site at Causeway Bay in 1950. The school building on Hollywood Road was damaged seriously during the Second World War and was later demolished for the
construction of the existing Police Married Quarters which was completed in 1951. The site consists of four plateaus formed by rubble granite retaining walls and three buildings, namely Block A and Block B which are the living quarters and a recreation centre, which was later converted into Junior Police Call Building (abbreviated as JPC Building). The three buildings are made of reinforced concrete, with Block A and Block B are of 8-storey and 7-storey high
respectively, and the JPC Building is of 2-storey high.

The significance of the site is related to its different layers of history, its association with the former Central School, which was the first Government school to provide upper primary and secondary western education to the public, and the Former Police Married Quarters, which was the first police quarters for Asiatic married rank and file officers in Hong Kong. Architecturally, it
represents the typical modern style architecture commonly found in the post war period, which is featured by functional and pragmatic approach on elevations and interior layout, with minimum decoration and spatial articulation.

Now converted into arts, shopping and culture building:

Actually Victoria College was named in 1884 already when its foundation stones were laid, only to be gazetted in 1890. The first phase of the school premises at Gough Street was still to be called Central School till it was removed to the new site in 1889. Victoria College was renamed as Queen's College in 1894. Quite contrary to common perception, the popular Chinese name used nowadays to describe the initial school "Chung Yeung Shue Yuan" (中央書院 back translated as "Central College"  rather than "Central School") was never used in history as there was no official Chinese school name in the old days. It was just a loose translation of the English name in recent decades, probably twisted to College to tie in with the modern name "Wong Yan Shue Yuan" (Royal Benevolence College") with "Shue Yuan" being the Chinese equivalent to "College". But "College" was originally used to call those schools run by Western missionaries whereas its Chinese version "Shue Yuan" (originally referring to private learning institutes run by scholars) was borrowed to distinguish these schools from the traditional Chinese run learning institutes. In fact, as there was no official Chinese school name, people usually called the Central School by various Chinese names they like, for example, "The National (Government) Grand School" in Chinese or simply "The Grand School". However, this loosely translated Chinese name "Chung Yeung Shue Yuan" was implanted in everyone's mind to believe this was the official Chinese school name, including publications issued by Queen's College, the government and all historians. Actually, to be faithful to history, "School" should be dfferent from "College". Regarding the origin of the Chinese name of my alma mater, please read the concise version of my research article in the QC 150th Anniversary issue of the school magazine "Yellow Dragon" in 2012.