Maryknoll [1935- ]

Submitted by Admin on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 23:50
Current condition
Date completed

Photos that show this Place


After visiting the seminary at Aberdeen, yesterday's RAS trip took us to see Maryknoll. Here's the view as you arrive. The chapel is in the left wing:

Maryknoll, view of the building from the north

Inside the chapel:

Maryknoll, inside the chapel

View across from the chapel:

Maryknoll, view across from the chapel

Looking north to the Twins, and the start of the Wilson Trail:

Maryknoll, view north towards the Twins

And south over Stanley Bay:

Maryknoll, view looking south from the first floor



Again we were given a good introduction to the building by Dr Waters. The house was completed in 1935, but as with the seminary at Aberdeen, the Depression meant it was smaller than originally planned.

Some of the fiercest fighting in 1941 took place in Stanley, in the final stages of the battle with the Japanese. Luckily the building wasn't severely damaged, and 'fortunately' it was taken over by the Japanese Secret Police during the occupation. This protected it from the looting which most large buildings suffered.

There are a couple of good documents for further information:

And a final couple of points that caught my eye. The bottles used to hold boiled drinking water (at least, I assume it was water!) on the first or second floors were different. I wondered if new visitors were assigned to the floor depending on their drinking preferences - Jim Beam, and you're on the first floor:

Maryknoll, 1st floor

Smirnoff, and it's up to the second !

Maryknoll, second floor

Hi OldTimer,

No & yes....

This building isn't a school. The notes from 1984 mentioned above give three reasons the house was built. It was to be:

  1. The headquarters of the Maryknoll Fathers in South China. (Maryknoll is the popular name of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America)
  2. A language school for the new priests coming out to China
  3. A place where priests living up country in China could come and spend their summer vacation.

But yes, this organisation set up three schools in Hong Kong:

However the Maryknoll Sisters stopped running that last school in 1978-9, and in 1983 its name was changed to Marymount.

Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America was started in 1911 by a few American priests with the mission of going overseas to preach. Its HQ is located on a small hill in Ossining, New York. With the statue of Mother Mary on its grounds, it gradually became known as Maryknoll. The HK Maryknoll House was built in a similar architectural style.

Maryknoll Fathers HQ, Ossining, NY
Maryknoll Fathers HQ, Ossining, NY, by tkjho
Holy Mary statue on the knoll -  the namesake of Maryknoll
Holy Mary statue on the knoll - the namesake of Maryknoll, by tkjho

The motherhouse of the Maryknoll Sisters is also located nearby.