12 School Street [1949- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

12 School Street [1949- ]

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The building at No. 12 School Street was reconstructed in 1949 to replace an earlier pre-war building named Hung Shing Yi Hok (孔聖義學, literally, Confucius free school for the poor”) founded in the late Qing Dynasty. This school was funded by donations of local inhabitants. The most generous patron of the school was Mr. Lau Chu-pak (劉鑄伯) (1867-1922), an eminent leader of the community. Before his appointment as unofficial member of the Legislative Council in 1914, he had served as chairman of Po Leung Kuk Board (保良局) and chairman of the board of directors of Tung Wah Hospital (東華醫院).


The historical association between Tai Hang and the “Hung Shing Yi Hok” is still remembered today in the street name School Street (書館街). Unfortunately, the school building was severely destroyed during the times when Hong Kong came under Japanese rule (1941-1945). After the war, the school was reconstructed on the same site through local donations. The school rehabilitation ceremony in 1949 was presided by Mr. Aw Boon Haw (胡文虎) (1882-1954), a Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist then residing in his Haw Par Mansion (虎豹別墅) in Tai Hang.


A stone tablet (dated 1949) commemorating the re-opening of the school in 1949 is now affixed on the external wall of the building. The Chinese characters on the tablet were the calligraphy of Mr. Li Wai-tong (李惠堂) (1905-1979) the head of the Tai Hang Kaifong Welfare Association (大坑坊眾福利會). Born in Tai Hang, Mr. Li joined South China Athletic Association (南華體育會) at the age of 17 and eventually became a football icon in China. He played football for 22 years, and in that time he lighted up the tournament with his dazzling skills and was crowned as the “King of Football in China”.

Throughout the years, the building at No. 12 School Street has been used for educational purpose. It was once the campus of Tai Hang School until 1978. Then, it was the campus of Confucian Society Victoria English Primary School (孔聖會維多Page 4 利亞英文小學) from 1984 to 1999. After that, it became the office of Eastern District Childrens Choir, Eastern District Arts Council (東區文藝協進會東區兒童合唱團) from 2007 to 2010.



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