St Mary's Canossian School - Kowloon [1900- ]

Submitted by annelisec on Wed, 09/15/2010 - 12:07
Current condition
In use
Date completed

Photos that show this Place


Notes from ashchoi:

Canossian is an Italian order, and the nuns in Hong Kong in the 1940s were mostly Italians.  St Mary's School, as it was then called, closed down in Dec 1941 when the war broke out.  As Italy was an Axis country, the nuns were not sent to camps, nor was the school taken for other uses, so the nuns used the school as a refugee house.  Later, the nuns were asked to operate an international school for Third Nationals. The school's name was changed to St Mary's Secondary School, but it was still managed by the same nuns. 

Our archive materials show that at one point, there were some 200 students from 10 nationalities, including Portuguese, Italians, Swedes, Germans, Russians, Norwegians, Spanish etc. English and Chinese were not taught, but Japanese and French were.  We are not sure if other languages were taught as well.  Unfortunately, we do not have the nominal roll of students.

We do not know when exactly this arrangement ended, but the war diary of Mr Tom Hutchison shows that the Third National School existed at least till mid 1944.  We do know, however, that it should have discontinued by Jan/Feb 1945, since the classrooms were then used as a makeshift elderly home for 110+ elderlies + the Little Sisters of the Poor who looked after them, as their elderly home at Ngau Chi Wan had become unsafe due to the US bombing of the Kai Tak Airfield.

A Choi