Maryknoll-C1937- Gathering of Primary School Classmates

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 06:21

A family friend recently gave me this photo which shows her mother, and informed me that my mother was also in it (back row, first left).  The occasion was a get together of primary school classmates and at this time, several girls including both our mothers have started, or about to start, schooling at Maryknoll.  Note the two different uniforms.  I estimated it was taken in 1937.

There appears to be a tower in the background so this could be the north side of Boundary Street.  Do those grand pillars on the right give any clue?  An inquiry to the school has not been able to confirm this location. Regards, OldTimer

(These students can be seen in an earlier photo, likely the previous year, when they were attending another school - )

Date picture taken


Are you talking about the block at the back next to the pillars? The Maryknoll tower has a ziggurat style brickwork at the top and that looks a bit flat so I'm not sure it is the school tower.

The pillars on the right look as though they belong to a curved portico. The wall on the left is quite ornate, with a dipped curve and what looks like wrought ironwprk in the gap in the shape of a shield - maybe these clues will be better at identifying the location?

Thank you, Phil, for the feedback.  I was thinking that the structure on the left background of the photo could be the Maryknoll's tower, and those grand pillars on the right were either part of the school or belonging to another establishment.   Regards, Peter 

Hi Peter, i think that structure on the left is actually part of the wall. It reminds me of some of the original wall styles that were present in the Kowloon Tong Estate. 


Thanks Phil for your explanation.  As the girls were living in the same general area, Kowloon Tong Estate was most likely the location.  If the object on the left of the photo was the school tower, the photo would have also shown the rest of the school building.  Regards,  Peter 

I think the steps leading up to the columns might be the best chance of identification. It looks like it might be a portico, but whether it's on a private house or some sort of larger building remains to be seen. I don't think Kowloon Tong had any houses on such a level. Maybe a church or other school building?

Thanks Phil.  Your earlier comments regarding the structure on the left of the photo being a part of a wall raises one possibility.  it could be the north wall of the Maryknoll building on the northeast corner of Boundary Street and Waterloo Road, and the camera looking to the WSW direction.

1956 map -… ).

If correct, the taller object in the far upper left corner, although fuzzy, was the school's tower.  The students were on Ho Tung Road or about.  The grand steps and columns were a part of a rich mansion on Ho Tung Road.  The 1956 map does not show any buildings there, all already torn down perhaps.  Regards,  Peter

Interesting photo. The construction of Maryknoll Convent School in 1936 can be viewed here  Viewing the construction of the school, Ho Tung Road had not been developed due to the presence of a hill to the east of the school.  After the levelling of the hill, Ho Tung Road came into use in 1939. 

So it looks like your photo may have been taken from somewhere else. Not sure what the dark object is at mid-right but it would be nice to have the photo solved.

Many thanks, moddsey and Phil, for your assistance.  Your knowledge and research are impressive.

Regarding the 1936 construction photos - one last query - if the group photo was actually taken in 1936, then we might be looking at the school's construction site in the background, perhaps from Boundary Street.

Though the girls went on to different secondary schools, they stayed in contact for life and seven of them were known as the "Seven sisters".  This is their legacy, though the exact location may never be confirmed.  Regards, Peter 

Part of MCS was at 103 Austin Road 1925-1931.  The premises were used by Wah Yan College Hong Kong as its Kowloon Branch briefly in 1941 and Tak Sun School Post-war.  The Austin Rd house had colunms at the entrance like those in the photo, although the ones shown in the picture might have been at the rear verandha  Possibly.



Revisiting comments:

As had been discueed previously,  the double columned building on the right looks like the entrance to a church or to a palatial mansion. There appears to be clear area to the left of this building which suggests the group photo may have been taken on a hillock. Cannot explain the dark coloured structure to the left of the columns. Originally thought that it was a gasometer!

The left portion of the photo shows a structure, which I cannot discern 

Assuming the structure on the left and the building on the right is on a small hill, perhaps the photo was taken near the Victoria Home and Orphanage in Kowloon.