Father Augustin Placzek first came to Hong Kong in 1898 at the age of 24. Although born in Poland, he completed his studies in Italy where he joined the Milan Foreign Mission Society. On arrival in Hong Kong he was given charge of the Italian Mission Seminary as Professor. Soon afterwards he was appointed Chaplain to the Forces. He was Rector and Military Chaplain at St Joseph's Church from 1904 to 1925. Known for his forceful preaching, he was responsible for bringing St Patrick's Club into being as a meeting place and recreation hall not only for his St Joseph's congregation, but especially servicemen and other residents, irrespective of their beliefs. He finally took over rectorship of the new St. Margaret Mary's Church in Broadwood Road in 1927. Due to his efforts the church had one of the finest organs in the Colony, beautiful stained glass windows and an electric clock.
On a personal note, Fr. Placzek was probably responsible for the conversion of my grandfather, Charles Warren, to the Catholic faith in about 1900 and for my grandfather's close relationship with the Catholic Church in Hong Kong and with the missions on the China coast. He gave a moving address at his funeral on 9th June 1923. He also baptised my uncle Leslie Warren and my aunt Evelyn Warren, if not my father.
Fr. Placzeck died at the French Hospital, Causeway Bay after an illness of only a week. His funeral cortege, attended by about 1,000 mourners, was reported in the China Mail and the Hong Kong Telegraph of 28 September 1928.