Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Saturday, January 26th, 1924.
THE ELLIS KADOORIE SCHOOL.
GOOD WORK OF THE BOY SCOUTS.
LETTER OF THANKS FROM H.E. THE GOVERNOR.
Yesterday Lady Severe presented the prizes at the Ellis Kadoorie School for the year 1923. Sir Claud and Lady Severn were met by the Headmaster (Mr. R.E.O.Bird) outside the building where a Guard of Honour, from the ranks of the school troop, was drawn up. The Guard of Honour had with them the Prince of Wales' banner which they hold in conjunction with the Sea Scouts.
There were present on the platform, in addition to those already mentioned, the Director of Education (Hon. Mr. E.Irving), Mr. E.Ralphs (Inspector of English Schools) and Mr. U.Rumjahn (Member of the Board of Education).
The Headmaster opened the proceedings by reading the annual report, extracts from which are appended.
This was followed by a speech to the assembly by Sir CLAUD SEVERN, who, after thanking the Headmaster and scholars for asking Lady Severn to present the prizes, remarked that it was the ninth occasion on which he had attended the annual prize distribution at the Ellis Kadoorie School; in fact he thought he had attended every prize distribution since the school became one of the Government schools.
Referring to the presence of the Director of Education, Mr. E.Ralphs, Mr. Rumjahn, the Rev. Mr. Waldegrave and Mr. Dome, Sir CLAUD said he felt sure that the scholars welcomed them heartily. It showed the great interest they took in the welfare of the school. Mr. Bird, he said, had only been back from leave a short time so that he had not been in touch with the school for a long period of last year, but Mr. de Rome had maintained the high standard to which Mr. Bird had brought the school. The report, he thought, was extremely satisfactory, and he would only refer to one or two matters in it. The work of the Boy Scouts in winning, in conjunction with the Sea Scouts, the Prince of Wales' banner was most satisfactory, and the Government was very pleased with the good work done by the Scouts in Hongkong during the vaccination campaign. Only recently he had written a letter, on the instructions of H.E. the Governor, to the Commissioner of Scouts, asking him to convey the Governor's thanks to the various divisions for their energetic work in connection with the campaign. The figures of those vaccinated were really remarkable. The total number vaccinated was 390,000, which was 83 percent of the population of Hongkong and Kowloon as recorded in the last census.
"In swimming and sports generally," continued Sir CLAUD, "you seem to have done very well and the fact that every boy in the school can swim is most satisfactory. The Y.M.C.A. has been a great help to you and since Mr. Dome's advent into Hongkong there is really no cause why everyone of you should not he thoroughly fit. His energy is really ferocious, and I would really rather get out of his way when I see him coming. I am afraid he will want me to join one of his classes for the middle aged, but he has not been able to get me there so far." (Laughter.)
Continuing, Sir CLAUD jocularly remarked that two of his friends had been seriously injured in these classes, but Mr. Dome had told him that it was all their own fault. The present splendid health and activity of the scholars was greatly due to the great interest Mr. Dome took in their physical welfare. He hoped the scholars would continue to attend the Y.MC.A. and thus show their gratitude to him.
The visit of Mr. E.S.Kadoorie to the school was an interesting event. Mr. Kadoorie had taken a very keen interest in one of the schools founded by the late Sir Ellis Kadoorie in Shanghai, and although his visit was only a short one he was glad he took the opportunity of making the visit.
Referring to the prizes won for art work, Sir. CLAUD said that he had visited the school on the previous day and had examined the paintings and drawings. He found that he had no hesitation in awarding the first prize to Leung Kam Cheung; both his landscapes and flower work were extremely good, the composition and colour work being excellent. The second prize he awarded to Pang Kui Ying; chiefly because his pencil work showed great promise. This student was not only very careful but strong in general effect, whilst in his lights and shades he showed great aptitude. He hoped that this student would continue with his studies and try a little more work in colour. He commended the work of the following students:- Li Ka Kan, Choi Kwong Kau and Ng Ping Hee. (Applause.)
In conclusion, Sir CLAUD said he wished to remind the scholars that the Director of Education, who was present, would be leaving the Colony shortly, retiring from public service after considerably more than 20 years' service spent in British Malaya and Hongkong. He would ask him to speak to the scholars before the prizes were presented. This would be the last occasion that Mr. Irving would come to this school. He thanked all concerned for their hearty reception of Lady Severn and himself and wished the scholars a very enjoyable holiday and prosperous work afterwards. (Applause.)
The DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION then very briefly addressed the boys. He said that he was glad to have the opportunity of saying goodbye to the Ellis Kadoorie School. He had known the scholars - as a collective body - as long as the school had existed. The school was the latest to be formed into one of the four district schools. It had the largest attendance and rejoiced in having the finest buildings. Whatever criticism was levelled against education in the Colony he was glad to state that it was seldom directed against the district schools. The flourishing condition of these four schools was due to the deep interest taken in them by the headmasters and their staffs. (Applanse.) He had no intention of making a long speech, but he would just say "Goodbye." He wished them a pleasant holiday and prosperous school careers and after careers. "Do try, if you can manage it," concluded the Director, and go to the University, and extend your education as far as possible. Goodbye and good luck."
The following are extracts from the annual report:-
"I was absent on leave from the Colony from April 7th to November 5th. My place was taken by Mr. F.J.de Rome. The school is indebted to him for the great interest he took in its welfare. He is at present on his way to England and we all wish him a happy holiday.
"There was great competition, for the Ho Kom Tong Scholarships which are now offered in Classes 4, 5 and 6, and for the two Mrs. Lau Chu Pak Scholarships which were offered last year for the first time by Mr. Lau Iu Chung in honour of his mother.
"The maximum enrolment for the year was 750 and the total number on the registers was 829.
"Singing is taught in the lower classes by Miss Etheredge. It is a noteworthy fact that the boys who learn singing have a better pronunciation and get higher marks in colloquial English than those who do not learn it.
"The Boy Scouts under Scoutmaster Lam Kwan Shan, supported by Assistant Scoutmasters Iu Po Sham and Leung Kim Shu, have been very active during the year. They held a concert in Queen's College Hall in February and gave pleasure to a large audience. They played a big part in the local Scout Jamboree held in the City Hall in April. On this occasion a play was specially written for them by Scoutmaster Lam to show Scout knowledge and activities. In May the E.K.S. Troop came out first in the Prince of Wales' Competition with 61 points out of a possible 65. (Applause.) For the present year they hold the Prince of Wales' Banner in conjunction with the Sea Scouts, both troops being called the Governor's Troop until September, 1924. (Applause.) In the vaccination campaign which has Iately been carried on the E.K.S. Troop were in charge of two stations and vaccinated over 2,500 people.
"Classes 6, 7 and 8 attended the Y.M.C.A. for drill during the year and all the non-swimmers in the school had a course of three lessons there during the summer. We gained eight prizes at the Hongkong Amateur Athletic Federation Swimming Sports and won the Junior Basketball Championship. The popularity of swimming is shown by the fact that 520 boys attended a swimming excursion on Empire Day. Our thanks are due to the Y.M.C.A. for their encouragement of all sports and for the way in which they have always put their facilities at our disposal.
"Boxing is carried on throughout most of the year and much energetic, work is put in by Sergeant Marriott who takes a great interest in his pupils.
"We beg to thank Lady Severn for coming hero today and distributing the prizes. It is an honour to the school which I trust she will long continue to confer upon it. We beg to thank you, Sir, for your presence here today and for your generosity in giving two Art Prizes. (Applause.) Your encouragement of painting has undoubtedly been a great stimulus to the boys to do their utmost to succeed in a most difficult branch of Art. This year 56 boys competed for your two prizes.
"I beg to thank Mr. Wong Kam Fuk, Mr. Li Ling, Mr. Kwok U Ping, Messrs. Choong Sun and the Commercial Press for donating prizes to the school.
"Although it does not concern the year 1923, I think it is fitting to mention here that Mr. E.S.Kadoorie, the brother of the Founder of the school, and his son, visited us on January 14th and presented the boys with $150 so that they might have additional cause to remember his visit. As a result of this act of generosity the boys made an excursion to Chin Wan on Tuesday, January 21st. Over 520 masters and boys embarked on two launches and three junks and a very pleasant day was spent on the slopes of Tai Mo Shan."