King's College, Hong Kong

King's College, often informally referred to simply as King's or K.C., is a single-sex boys' government-funded secondary school located at 63A Bonham Road, Mid-levels, Hong Kong. It currently serves as a secondary education institution for pupils in forms 1–6. King's College is highly selective, only accepting 8 per cent of applicants in 2012. On 2 December 2011, the Antiquities and Monuments Office declared King's College a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.

King's College
Chinese: 英皇書院
英皇書院 20111105 14.JPG
63A Bonham Road
Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
TypePublic, single-sex
MottoMeticulous thoughts, Diligent actions
Chinese: 慎思篤行
Established1857 (West Point School)
1879 (Saiyingpun School)
1926 (King's college)
FoundersReginald Edward Stubbs
Mr. Alfred Morris
PrincipalMr. Tang Kai-Chak
GradesForm 1(G7) – Form 6(G12)
Number of students~800 students
Color(s)     King's crimson
NewspaperThe Bridge
YearbookThe Fig Tree
King's College, Hong Kong
Traditional Chinese英皇書院
Simplified Chinese英皇书院

School historyEdit

West Point School (1857–1879)Edit

King's College predecessor was West Point School which was established at West Point next to the West Point Police Station in 1857. The boys' school was a free village school supported by the Government stand[1][2] as well as one of the earliest government schools in Hong Kong.[3][4]

There was such a great impetus to the study of English in the educational aspects in 1878 that Governor Hennessy advocated the enhancement of English Language and English speaking among the natives of Hong Kong. Hence, English teaching was introduced in the course of the year in Saiyingpun School and finally the establishment of a Method Class with a view to train the Chinese teachers of English for employment in the Village Schools was begun. The Acting Inspector of Schools stated that he felt confident that it would sooner or later be found necessary to enlarge the teaching staff in order to meet the demand for English teaching.[5] Therefore, Saiyingpun School was established in 1879 because of the above policy. Indeed, among all the present government schools, it had the longest school history amounted to 159 years. West Point referred to the location of the shore off the Pokfulam Road and Queen's Road West, approximately the junction of Western Street and Des Voeux Road West near the Western Police Station.

The first Principal started from 1859[6] was Li King-chau,[7] who died in 1870.[8] Cha Lun-kok[9] and Chu Atuk[10] were the teachers. The latter was appointed to teach English in the school and also taught in Taipingshan Government School. The government recognised the Punti school had always been a very good school that led by the school master Mr. Li during the ten years.[11] The school had been admirably taught and its academic work was well done. Although Geography as well as Composition was the weak subjects compared with other schools, all other aspects were very satisfactory.[12] The Saiyingpun Punti School ranked as good in 1877.[13]

The number of boys was 62 in 1859, separated into four classes.[14] Girl students were admitted since 1868 in Punti whereas 1872 in Hakka section. In Punti section, the number increased a lot from the year of 1876 to 1878. The number of students in Punti section reaches 100 in the year of 1876.[15] According to the statics recorded in the Hong Kong Government Gazettes and Blue Books from 1857 to 1879, the total number of students in the school increased steadily to 200 students approximately in the last few years. The students' attendance was also quite good during the years.

The hours of tuition are from 6 to 8 am, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 pm.[16] Hakka section was established in 1866 while the original one renamed as Punti section, the school divided into two sections respectively since then.[17]

The Chinese Elementary Books, their Classics, Geography and the English Language are taught by competent native teachers.[18] Moreover, several kinds of books are required to study in the government schools are as follows. Native books including Yau Hok, Trimetrical Classic, Thousand Character Book, Four Books, Five Classics and Chinese Grammar. Foreign books for instance New Testament, Muirhead's Geography, Do. History of England, Sacred History, Trimetrical Classic as well as Ten Commandments. English books for example Serious of Lessons, Morrison's Chinese-English Grammar, Circle of Knowledge and Geography.[19] The Punti section increased from the fifth in 1868[20] to the second two years[21] after in the order of efficiency between the government schools. The Hakka section was improving during the first several years of establishment.[22]

Saiyingpun School (1879–1926)Edit

In 1872, the school name changed from West Point School to Saiyingpun School.[23] It relocated to 35–41 Third Street in 1879. It was one of the first batches of boys' government schools that provided junior Chinese and English education in various subjects. The first Principal (formally entitled "Master"), Mr. Fung Fu, received education in the US and was deeply influenced by the development of democracy in the West. During 1905, Mr. Fung held the post of a translator at the China Daily, a newspaper founded by local intellect Chen Shao-bai, Dr. Sun Yat Sen's dearest friend in his juvenile years.

Upon establishment, Saiyingpun School provided education from the eighth grade to the fourth grade (equivalent to primary five to secondary three nowadays). The then-Inspector of Schools, Dr. Eitel, allowed parents to choose between letting their children be taught both English and Chinese or exclusively English. Among 61 students in 1879, 46 chose the latter. After a few months, with the exception of one student, all students came under an English-medium education.

According to the Government Notification in 1880, the appraisal of the Education Bureau reported that Saiyingpun School had an outstanding performance, and thus was classified as "Rank 1". In 1880, Saiyingpun School operated with 74 students; by 1891 the total number of students amounted to 146. The campus in Third Street was no longer able to accommodate the increasing number of students. The school was relocated to 119 High Street.

According to "College Years of the Father of the Republic" written by Professor Lo Heung-lam, Kong Wing-wen and Lau Sz Fuk, enrolled in the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese in 1887, the same year as Dr. Sun Yat Sen started his college life there. According to an article published in the 2002nd issue of the Christian Weekly, it stated that Kong and Lau used to be students in "Saiyingpun Fung Fu School". Lau graduated in 1895 with a degree in western medicine. The Master of Saiyingpun School between 1879 and 1903 was Mr. Fung Fu. With reference to his term of office, it is believed that the "Saiyingpun Fung Fu School" mentioned in the essay refers exactly to Saiyingpun School, that is currently King's College. If this assumption is correct, it is convinced to say that Lau Sz Fuk is among the earliest Kingsians ever to study western medicine.

In 1902, Mr. W. H. Williams took over as the Master of Saiyingpun School. In June 1905, Mr. Alfred Morris replaced Mr. W. H. Williams as the Master, the latter was transferred to Victoria British School earlier in January that year. During Master Morris' tenure, the number of students rose in 1906 to 490[24] and the school campus was inadequate to facilitate studies and extra-curriculum activities of the students. In the Report of the Inspector of Schools published in 1905, Saiyingpun School students were rated "excellent" in English writing. According to the 1905 Report of the Inspector of Schools, after Master Morris took office, he immediately made the school start early even during the winter time to ensure students had enough time for extra-curricular activities like visits and swimming in the afternoon.

There are only fragments about the subject curriculum of Saiyingpun School from the Hong Kong Government Administrative Reports. For instance, in the 1922 Report, it was stated that students in Saiyingpun School excelled in map reading, handwriting, English conversation and composition. For extra-curricular activities, apart from volleyball, football, swimming and picnic activities, the 1922 Report stated that students were charity enthusiasts as well. Students raised a total of $800 for the Swatow Relief Fund. The scout team also helped Charitable Association to raise a total of $11,000. Students also received recognition in their extra-curriculum activities, for example, the Ambulance Division got Distinction of Winning Ralph Shield(Report of Director of Education).

In 1921, the government reserved $50,000 for the construction of the new school. The chosen location was 63A Bonham Road.[25][26] According to the Heritage Appraisal of King's College on the AMO's webpage, the school was given an honourable new name, "King's College", named after reigning King George V of the United Kingdom. When the construction was completed in March 1926, the seventh and the eighth classes first moved into the new school. Then in September, the whole school was relocated. From then on, when students completed the fourth class and obtained a qualification from the Junior Graduation Examination, they could be promoted to the third class in King's College instead of having to be transferred to the senior levels at Central School.[27]

King's College (1926–)Edit

Background and originsEdit

The college now stands on what was once holy ground, being the site of a Roman Catholic church named St. Anthony's built in 1892 'ex voto'.[Note 1] St. Anthony's was later demolished and replaced by an eponymous church in Pokfulam Road, which still stands today. Beside St Anthony's stood the Sacred Heart Chapel (1864–1892). This was built a few years before St Anthony's was built by the architect Mr. M.A. D'Aquino, and blessed in March 1879.[Note 2] The land jointly occupied by the church and the chapel was named Inland Lot 755, and was the property of the Roman Catholic Church. Sometime after the construction of St Anthony's, probably because having two churches in such close proximity was seen as an inefficient use of holy land, the Sacred Heart Chapel was converted into an orphanage and school under the care of the Canossian Sisters – the Ling Yuet Sin Kindergarten of the present day. In 1920 the prologue to the school's story was written. It took the form of a requisition order by government authorities for a portion of Inland Lot 755, the section where the Church of St Anthony stood.

Establishment and Pre-war eraEdit

School Garden.(Before war)
The Grand Entrance(before war). The destroyed bell tower and oriental glazed tiles roof can be seen.
School Library with its associated museum.(Before war)

In 1923, foundations were laid and construction work began. Site formation, the foundation works and construction of retaining walls were undertaken by Messrs. Foo Loong & Co. in the same year and the superstructure was erected by Messrs. Kin Lee & Co. in 1924. After three years of construction, the works were completed in 1926. The Saiyingpun School moved to the new campus in the same year and was upgraded to King's College and accepted. In September, the qualified pupils from Saiyingpun School transferred to the new college. The College was named in honour of King George V. A portrait of the king is exhibited in the college's building.[28] The governor reported king's college as one of the chief schools.

The Hong Kong Administrative Report of 1926 described King's College as "one of the finest and most modern of school buildings with 29 classrooms, staff and common rooms, the latest sanitary arrangements, hat and cloak rooms, a museum and library, an art room, physics and chemistry laboratories, a workshop, swimming pool and dressing rooms, gymnasium, covered playground, fire fighting appliances and the usual complement of storerooms and offices".

Four months later, from February to December, the building was commandeered for use as a military camp-cum-hospital for the British Shanghai Defence Force dispatched to protect British subjects in the British Section of the Shanghai Treaty Port.[29] In 1928, the building was returned to King's College, which was officially opened by the Governor, Cecil Clementi, on 5 March.

Built around the three sides of a square, the building comprised a north wing, a south wing and an east wing. The tower above the main entrance dignified the general appearance of King's College whereas the dainty school garden further enhanced its beauty.

There was a museum housed in the library and the layout of classrooms was somewhat different from now. There were 29 classrooms, accommodating 30 students each, a playground and a swimming pool. Each floor had a cloakroom with enough space for hats, umbrellas, and baskets. The laboratories were then on the top floor of the north wing, above the gymnasium. On the middle floor of the same wing was the art room and library. The swimming pool was filled with filtered water. The playground consisted of a jumping pit and one court each for basketball, volleyball and tennis.

Each pupil was allotted a numbered desk and the total capacity was 720 students. The school year began on 1 November and ended on 31 July. School fee for Classes 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 was $60 per annum, payable in 12 instalments of $5 each, and $120 per annum, $10 for each instalment, for Classes 3,2 and 1. In addition, each pupil was charged a medical fee for $3 per year. From 1926 to 1930, it was a full-day school but thereafter changed to a half-day one, with activities in the afternoon. The first issue of the College magazine appeared in 1935, shortly after William Kay became Headmaster.

During the first fifteen years, the school followed the old system of class organisation with eight classes. Classes 8 and 7 (primary 5 & 6 respectively today) were primary ones, Class 6 equivalent to the present Secondary 1, and Class 2 the present Secondary 5. The enrolment stood at 840 boys. Above eighty percentages of staff came from British. Most of the teachers graduated from the two leading ancient universities in England – University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. King's College was one of the few well-developed English colleges.[citation needed]

The Pacific WarEdit

While the school was enjoying its prosperous days, the Pacific War broke out after the Pearl Harbour Incident in December 1941. King's College was used as a first aid station, having been fully equipped as such by the first principal, A. Morris St. John's Ambulance. When Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese on Christmas Day, King's College was used as a military mule and horse stable for the Japanese Army. Teachers like Messrs, Coxhead and Ferguson were taken war prisoners, while the principal, Mr. Wallington, was sent to the prison in Stanley. Mr. Coxhead was later sent to a labour camp in Japan.

The war did immense damage to Hong Kong and King's College was not spared. All normal activities of the school came to a halt. The school building was virtually destroyed by looters during the last two weeks immediately after the withdrawal of the Japanese Army, and only an empty red brick skeleton of the building remained.

Post-war eraEdit

In 1945, some former teachers led by J.J. Ferguson and some old boys of King's College, revived the school. Subsequently, it moved back to Hollywood Road as Hollywood Road A.M. School.

Before the Japanese Occupation, King's College was a joint primary and secondary school. After the Second World War was over, the school campus had to be rebuilt due to the wartime destruction. On 18 September 1950, it was reopened with a new first floor and operated as a two-sessional primary school, namely King's College Primary School (KCPS) for a year. It had to share its premises with Northcote Training College Attached School. Mr. H. T. Woo was Headmaster. In 1951, the government gave a green light on additional buildings for King's College and decided to restore its status as a secondary school.

After rehabilitationEdit

In September 1951, King's College was rehabilitated with C. W. Sargison as principal. Then for the first time in the school's history, girls were admitted, most of whom were promoted from the Primary School. Total enrolment of pupils was 640. Being a specialist in chemistry, Mr. Sargison had played a very important part in making King's College pre-eminent in sciences. Such image of a 'Science School' had branded King's ever since.

The building was shattered and destroyed in the war, and was later restored with additional portions. The first phase of re-development of the school buildings was completed by 1953 with the addition of two laboratories, a Preparation Room, a lecture Room, an art Room and five classrooms in the South and East Wings. The enrolment figure soared to 750. However, during the next five years, owing to slow pace of construction after the war of school buildings, King's College had again to share the premises successively with Grantham Training College and Queen Elizabeth School and operated only on a bi-sessional basis. It was not until 1960 that King's College started to be the sole user of the premises.[30]

In 1954, Mr. C. W. Sargison was transferred to King George V School. He was succeeded by Mr. F.K. Leung MBE, an old boy of Saiyingpun School and a pupil of A. Morris, who made history by being the first Chinese principal of a government secondary school in Hong Kong. The school had restored the house system of prewar days. Instead of calling them North, South, East, and West, they are named after four former principals – Morris, Kay, Wallington, and Ferguson.

In the same year, an extra Secondary Upper Six was operated to make places available for students who planned to sit for the revised Hong Kong University Matriculation Examination. There were nineteen classes ranging from Form 2 to Upper 6 in total. Facilities of the school provided for the training of students doing the Hong Kong University Diploma of Education and of students from the Northcote Training College. The subjects taught are English, Chinese, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Civics, Art, Music and Physical Training. In 1955, witnessed the first group of King's graduates, entering University after the war.

The pressing need for further expansion of the school finally received a positive response from the government. An additional floor was added to the South Wing and the two floors above the gymnasium were restored. Additionally, an extra floor was added on top of the East Wing in the front of the Hall gallery, which later became the library. The final stage of construction work was completed by December 1959 and fitting out of the new premises followed in the next few months.[31]

It was during Coxhead's tenure of office (1960–1967) that King's College entered a new stage of alteration and progress.[32] In 1963 Secondary Lower Six Arts classes were opened after a hiatus of several years. This restored the balance between Science and Arts classes though the demand for entrance to Science or Medicine classes was still greater. From 1966 onwards, girls were admitted only in Secondary 6.

In 1967 H.W. Clarke succeeded Coxhead as principal and it was during the next three years that King's witnessed a climax of academic attainment.[33] In 1968 64 distinctions were obtained by King's College students in the Hong Kong University Matriculation Examination, an unprecedented achievement.[34] By 1971, D.R. Madan was appointed principal and King's students continued to achieve magnificent feats in both academic and extracurricular fields.[35][36]

In October 1977 K.F. Chu, an old boy who had graduated in 1938, became principal.[37]

The fountain of the school garden was repaired and its pedestal was turned into a pond for the breeding of goldfish and various other species of carp. A Bauhinia tree was planted in the northern corner of the school garden while the palm tree planted in 1971 had grown to 3 storeys tall. In April 1986, a time capsule was buried in the school garden.[38][39][40][41][42]

Late 20th century–presentEdit

At the 60th-anniversary concert of the King's College Harmonica Band

In September 1986, W.T. Poon succeeded Chu Ka Fai as principal and the entire enrolment soared to 1200. Poon was famed throughout the Education Department for being his lively and enthusiastic personality. With him came some great improvements in the school. A public address system was installed in the playground, which proved to be effective in developing a greater sense of unity in students. Under Poon's leadership, the students won the International Mathematics Olympiad Championship.[43]

For the first time in the history of the school, study tours to Singapore and Malaysia were organised with part of the funds sponsored by the King's College Old Boy Association. Since then, study tours have proven popular with King's students. In March 1992 the first K.C. Student Union was formed after a democratic election.[44]

In the transition year of 1997 in which the Handover took place, King's College was provided a chance to renew its oath to play a major role in the community of Hong Kong and China. Dr. Simon Li Fook Sean, and old boy of King's College, received the Grand Bauhinia Medal (GMB) from the HKSAR Government in acknowledgement of his stupendous contributions to Hong Kong and China. Dr. Li was among the first recipients of this award.[45]

Following the appointment of a new principal, Mr. Ho Yue Shun, in 1998, King's College has undergone massive changes, especially on the information technology front. King's was enlisted as one of the few secondary school participants in a pilot scheme for the application of IT in education. A sum of HK$6M was granted for the acquisition of hardware and the installation of King's College's own intranet. An Information Technology Open Day was launched, which was followed by the launch of the school website, school intranet and a renovated IT room complete with modern computer facilities. Professor Robert F. Curl, 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, visited King's College and met the senior students on 9 May 2002. On 29 October 2003, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, visited King's College and met the senior students. In 2010, Mr. Ho Yue Shun was succeeded by Mrs. Chan Woo Mei-hou. King's College is one of the few surviving pre-war government school buildings in Hong Kong.

School campusEdit

Traffic on Bonham Road spiraling around the South Wing.
King's College Bonham Campus
Hong Kong Declared Monument M00101
View of the Entrance from Honiton Road
Campus' south wing teaching block beside Bonham Road
Location of King's College within Hong Kong(Red dot)
General information
TypeSchool building
Architectural styleNeo-classicism
Address63A Bonham Road, Hong Kong
Coordinates22°17′04.14″N 114°8′24.94″E / 22.2844833°N 114.1402611°E / 22.2844833; 114.1402611
Construction started19231
Inaugurated5 March 1928; 91 years ago (1928-03-05)
CostLack of info
ClientHong Kong Government
OwnerHong Kong Government
Height135 feet (41 m)
Design and construction
ArchitectLack of info
Architecture firmMessrs. Foo Loong & Co.
Messrs. Kin Lee & Co.
Main contractorMessrs. Foo Loong & Co.
Messrs. Kin Lee & Co.

Built in 1926, the Bonham Campus of King's College is one of the oldest surviving pre-war government school buildings in Hong Kong. The red-brick school building in neo-classical style was originally built around the three sides of a square in 1926 and the whole building comprised a North Wing, a South Wing and an East Wing with a bell tower (now removed) above the colonnaded curved entrance porch at the junction of Bonham Road and Western Street. The three wings of the school building are arranged in collegiate style around a central courtyard which serves as the school playground to form a quadrangle.

Red-brick Roman arched colonnades are applied along the facade and corridor on the ground floor of the South Wing and coupled columns form loggias on the first and second floors. Roman arched colonnades are also found on the front elevations of the East and North Wings.

Clerestory windows are found on the upper part of the bricked-up arches of the North Wing. Some doorways have Roman arches or flattened arches with fanlight glazing. The red-brick wall angles are emphasised with quoins.

The most impressive part of the school building is its circular entrance porch at the junction of Bonham Road and Western Street. The porch is supported by granite coupled columns with Ionic Order capitals featuring volute brackets and Italian Renaissance style side openings. A groin vault can be seen on the top floor of the entrance block which is rarely found in other school buildings.

In addition, the use of red bricks in school architecture decorated with relatively rich Neo-classical style features is rare in Hong Kong. The notable Neo-classical style features such as arched colonnades, colonnaded verandahs, rusticated quoins, moulded cornices and classical stone surrounds to the windows are found in King's College and make it an interesting piece of built heritage. The red-brick school building in Neo-classical style is a rare piece school architecture of its kind in Hong Kong.

The building which houses the college has evolved over the years since its establishment in 1926. It was once damaged in World War II and rebuilt and refurbished after the war. Since then the orthodox structure has reserved its current façades of grey granite columns against a background of crimson bricks, arched corridors and cavernous garden, an image widely held by its students and the public as an epitome of the college.

The red-brick school building in Neo-classical style is a rare piece of school architecture of its kind in Hong Kong. When the school building was built in 1926, it comprised an east wing, a south wing and a north wing with a bell tower (now removed) above the colonnaded curved entrance porch at the junction of Bonham Road and Western Street. The notable Neo-classical style features such as arched colonnades, colonnaded verandahs, rusticated quoins, moulded cornices and classical stone surrounds make it an interesting piece of built heritage. The current configuration of four wings frames a rectangular playground at the centre. Built on a sloping terrain, the south wing verandah shields student activities from stormy weather. The dainty school garden at the lower ground level facing Bonham Road enriches the school environment. It has become a declared monument in December 2011.[46]

Decoration & ornamentationEdit

A stone carving that depicts the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom displayed on the red brick wall above the college's main entrance. It is the only royal coat of arms remaining in Hong Kong. The shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland. The crest is a statant guardant lion wearing the St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown. The dexter supporter is a likewise crowned English lion; the sinister, a Scottish unicorn. The coat features both the motto of English monarchs, Dieu et mon droit (God and my right), and the motto of the Order of the Garter, Honi soit qui mal y pense (shame upon him who thinks evil of it) on a representation of the Garter behind the shield.


The school building has undergone several extensive refurbishment and alterations over the years. During the Japanese Occupation, most part of the swimming pool, including its filter system, was damaged. Repair and reconstruction works to the school building were carried out after the Japanese Occupation. The bell tower and chimneys at the entrance block were removed in 1950 to make way for the erection of an extra floor to the South and East Wings. Reconstruction of the swimming pool was arranged from 1971 to 1972 with funding from the Old Boys' Association. The school garden was also refurbished and the fountain was reconstructed and upgraded around 2004. The authenticity of the school building has been compromised to some extent but its main architecture characters still remain without affecting its high architectural value.



Excellent rate
No. of candidates Level 4 or above (per candidate) Pass rate
2016 159 4.58         97%
2015 171 4.44         97%
2014 166 4.57         96%
2013 179 4.81         90%
2012 n/a n/a n/a



EDB Pre-S1Edit

EDB Pre-S1
King's College Queen's College Territory-wide average
Chi Eng Math Chi Eng Math Chi Eng Math
2015 ~2016 92.90 80.20 86.90 89.90 90.37 86.90 52.99 49.67 57.64
2014 ~2015 85.90 80.60 88.20 83.50 87.70 88.20 52.99 49.67 57.64
2013 ~2014 83.50 80.60 85.50 91.30 90.30 88.90 49.63 49.43 59.98
2012 ~2013 82.80 78.40 78.40 88.90 88.60 88.10 49.63 49.43 59.98

List of notable alumniEdit

King's College notable alumni list is composed of heavyweights, such as the "father of OLED" Ching W. Tang; the "father of rehabilitation" in Asia Sir Harry Fang; Hong Kong senior judge and politician Simon Li; Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying; Hong Kong media mogul George Ho and many other remarkable personages in the area.

Alumni noted for their work in academia include "father of OLED" Ching W. Tang; the former Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Ma Lin; the Chairman of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Norman Leung; American scientist and author Deborah Chung; the former Head of Department of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong Sin Chow-Yiu; the founder of the Centre on Behavioral Health of the Hong Kong University Cecilia CHAN Lai-wan.

Other notable alumni include the "father of rehabilitation" in Asia Sir Harry Fang; Hong Kong senior judge and politician Simon Li; Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying; Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan; Hong Kong media mogul George Ho; the first Chinese Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Police, Li Kwan Ha; the last Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Police Hui Ki On; industrialist and politician Sir Sze-yuen Chung; President of Tencent Martin Lau; the creator of Hang Seng Index Stanley Kwan; governor of the centrist political group and think tank Path of Democracy Raymond MAK Ka-Chun.


List of principals
English Name Chinese Name Portrait Term of office Brief introduction
West Point School
1. Mr. Li King-chau 李鏡州先生 1857–1870
2. Mr. Lau Hiu Tung 1871–1878
Mr. Ip Cheung Shin 1871–1879
3. Mr. Chan Fong 1878–1879
4. Mr. Fung Fu 馮扶先生 1879
Saiyingpun School
1. Mr. Fung Fu 馮扶先生 1879–1903
2. Mr. W. H. Williams 威廉士先生 1903–1905
3. Mr. Alfred Morris 莫理士先生 1905–1926
King's College(Before War)
1. Mr. Alfred Morris 莫理士先生 March 1926 – June 1934 Mr. Alfred Morris was the first principal of King's College. He was the first commissioner of the St. John Ambulance Brigade in Hong Kong. During his time at King's, the students did extremely well in sports.
2. Mr. William Kay 祈惠霖先生 June 1934 – March 1939 Mr. William Kay succeeded Mr. Morris Principal of King's College in June 1934. He prompted the publication of our school magazine (named "The Fig Tree" in 1934.)
Acting principal Mr. W. L. Handyside 韓德璽先生 March 1935 – November 1935 A Scotsman and a keen geographer, Mr. Handyside was the Acting Principal of our School for a relatively brief period, so what better way to learn about him than to quote a poem written about him by My.Kay, while they were colleagues at Queen's College in 1922:
One can scarcely imagine that from a barbarian 
Could evolve such a thing as our worthy librarian.
With his youth (like St.Paul) he has dropped childish things,
And now studies the actions and motives of kings.
He won't listen to football, to cricket, to fists,
But delights in psychology, dates, and statistics
Acting principal Mr. Herbert Howell Beddow 畢道先生 January 1936 – July 1937
Acting principal Rev. George E. S. Upsdell 安士棣牧師 March 1937 – December 1937 Like Mr.Handyside, also only quite briefly an Acting principal, Reverend Upsdell was famous as a great lover of Chinese culture, who could recite Chinese classics to his students. Once again a poem by Mr. Kay gives us some idea of him:
Ho! clear the way, each boy, and teacher,
For our hustling, bustling, fighting preacher,
As he dashes along in his Overland Willy,
Scattering the crowds and knocking them silly.
As a special P.C. see him flourish the baton.
Don't speak in his class or you'll promptly be sat on.
What chance had there been for the great Pimpernel
Had Baroness Orczy but known our Upsdell?
3. Mr. H. G. Wallington 威靈頓先生 March 1939 – December 1941 Mr. H. G. Wallington came to Hong Kong in February 1924, when he was appointed Second Master of Queen's College. In 1938 he became Headmaster of Yaumati School and from March 1939 to December 1941 was Principal of King's College.

He was a kind-hearted man and a distinguished amateur sportsman. He was captain of Hong Kong Football team in the Interport Matches. During the war, while in the internment camp at Stanley, he was struck by a serious illness. He was sent to a hospital in New Zealand when peace came. As his health condition showed no improvement, he retired in 1946. He died in England on 12 May 1950.

After War
4. Mr. J. J. Ferguson 富嘉新先生 October 1946 – July 1947 Mr. J. J. Ferguson was the first Principal of King's College after the war. At that time the school building, which had been utterly destroyed in the war, was still in ruins. Mr. Ferguson worked towards the rebuilding of the school while he was concurrently performing important duties in the Education Department.

He came to Hong Kong in 1929 when he joined the King's staff as a mathematics master. He was extremely keen on sports and he introduced the House System to King's College by setting up four houses named North,South,East and West.

Mr. Ferguson retired in 1947 on account of illness which he had suffered when he was interned during the war. He later died in America.

5. Mr. J. W. Wilson 威爾遜先生 August 1947 – September 1951 Mr. Wilson was a chemistry teacher in King's college, joining the staff in 1929. After the war and following Mr.Ferguson's departure, he took over the duties of re-establishing the school, which was temporarily housed in premises in Kennedy Road and Hollywood Road while the reconstruction work proceeded. He later had the honour of being appointed the director of education in what is now called Kota Kinbalu, Sabah, Malaysia, but which in those days was known as Jesselton, British North Borneo.
King's College Primary School
1. Mr. Woo Hing-tak 胡興德先生 August 1950 – September 1951
King's College
6. Mr. C. W. Sargison 沙治臣先生 September 1951 – July 1954 Being the first principal entrusted with the task of administering the normal function of the school after the war Mr. Sargison played a significant role in the expansion of King's college.

During the first phase of his office at King's one extra floor was built on the front block of the school building in 1953 and the total enrolment figure rose to 750. In 1960 the final stage of expansion was completed with King's looking as it is today—three storeys on both the Front Wing and Gymnasium Wing. In the whole process of reconstruction and expansion of the school, Mr. Sargison had striven to materialise the plan of restoring King's to its former image before the war.

According to those who were acquainted or had an association with him, Mr. Sargison was one of those educationalists who advocated strict discipline. It was with such means that he ruled the school, and was thus feared by all, teachers and students alike. Nevertheless, he was always ready to give a helping hand to anyone in the school.

Besides his contribution to the restoration of the school Mr. Sargison, being a specialist in chemistry had played a very important part in making King's College pre-eminent in sciences. Such image of a 'Science School' had branded King's ever since.

On the lighter side, Mr. Charles Lowe, the former deputy director of education, recalled his days in King's in his speech delivered on Speech Day, 1972: "Mr. Sargison's stockbroker visited him twice a week at the school, and it was always rather a risk on whether to approach Mr. Sargison with a knotty problem just after rather a risk on whether to approach Mr. Sargison with a knotty problem just after this visit or not. Much depended on the state of the market. We were all rather scared of him as, though basically kind, he could be important".

Mr. Sargison went on leave prior to retirement in early 1960.

7. Mr. Leung Fung-ki 梁鳯岐先生 July 1954 – January 1957 Mr. F. K. Leung was the first Chinese principal of a government secondary school in Hong Kong. He had his first association with King's College in 1926 when he joined the school as a teacher, the same year the school was opened. He remained as a geography master until the school was closed in 1941 when the Pacific War began and Hong Kong occupied by the Japanese. During the war, he conducted a school in Macao on behalf of the British Consulate. Afterwards, he was headmaster of the Ellis Kadoorie School and subsequently served in the Education Department.

In 1954 he was appointed principal of the school when Mr. Sargison was transferred. He held the post until 1957.

Having served in the Education Department for 35 years Mr. Leung retired in 1961.

8. Mr. C. W. Sargison 沙治臣先生 September 1957 – July 1960
Acting principal Mr. Geoffrey Serville Coxhead 郭士熙先生 July 1958 – March 1959
9. Mr. G. S. Coxhead 郭士熙先生 September 1960 – June 1967 Mr. G. S. Coxhead's ties with King's College dated as early as 1940 when he was posted here as a geography teacher upon his arrival in Hong Kong. However, the Pacific War and Japanese occupation had forced him to internment in the prisoner-of-war camp.

After the war, Mr. Coxhead had a wide and varied experience both of schools and of administrative work, having been a teacher in King George V School and Queen's college, an Inspector of schools and the Chief of the Grant-in-aid Schools Section in the education Department. At the end of 1957, after an absence of 16 years, he rejoined King's and was acting Principal in 1958 during Mr. Sargison's home leave. In early 1960 Mr. Coxhead was appointed Principal which post he retained until 1967 when he retired.

In fact, King's College entered a new phase of remarkable change and progress during Mr. Coxhead's tenure of office. A cycle system was introduced in the time-table, Form 6 Arts classes were started, a large number of clubs and societies were set up to cater for extra-curricular activities of all kinds, and a school canteen was inaugurated. Not only did Mr. Coxhead encourage academic pursuit, he also personally participated in many of the club or association functions. In a nutshell, Mr. Coxhead's contributions to King's College are invaluable and no summary comment is more appropriate than the following remark made in 1967 by his immediate successor, Mr. H. W. Clarke:

"I would like to acknowledge publicly my sincere appreciation of all that Mr. Coxhead did for King's College—the school records over the last ten years or so speak for themselves—and to refer to his never-failing interest in whatever pertained to the pupils of K.C., his personal concern for their welfare whether they had left the school or not, and his qualities of tolerance, sincerity, gentlemanliness and humour qualities of which I myself became fully aware during the short interval of about a fortnight before he left the school for good. I found his guidance sound, well-balanced and constructive;he was never too else who sought happiness and prosperity in the years to come. If I had to select those spheres in which Mr. Coxhead left his mark on the school, I would mention in particular the Geography Society, the Chess Club, the School Canteen (which he inaugurated), and extra-curricular activities in general, not least the Photographic Club, in which he had real personal interest".

Mr. Coxhead retired in 1967 and has since taken up teaching in England.

Through his affection for the school. Mr. Coxhead had kindly written his memoir entitled "Red Bricks in Bonham Road", which is printed on the following pages. It throws light on the development of King's during his time. For those who have had an association with King's in whatever way, particularly for the former staff and students, Mr. Coxhead's memoir is more than invaluable.

Acting principal Mr. P. R. Halliwell 夏理威先生 January 1963 – August 1963 Though Mr. P. R. Halliwell was the Acting Principal from January to August 1963 when Mr. Coxhead was on home leave, he had initiated various improvements for the schools within a short period of 8 months. Several new clubs were formed under his instruction and guidance.

His chief oeuvre was the inauguration of a Six-day Camp School in which about 40 students participated under the supervision of about 10 staff members. Under the scheme, the campers set to work on a special project, the first entitled "Tsuen-Wan – a study in micro-geography". For many pupils, this was their first experience of communal life in the field. It also fostered a habit of acquiring knowledge through observation and practical experience. This winter camp became an annual function and was welcomed by all. It was not until 1971 that the practice was suspended owing to the lack of fund.

At the moment, Mr. Halliwell is the Principal of Kowloon Technical School. Though he is no longer within our walls his 'infectious' enthusiasm still influence over all of us.

10. Mr. H. W. Clarke 祈立德先生 June 1967 – June 1971 Mr. H. W. Clarke assumed duty as Principal of King's College on 5 June 1967 when Mr. G. S. Coxhead proceeded on leave prior to retirement. Having had a distinguished career both in schools and at university Mr. Clarke was an outstanding scholar, well versed in Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Literature. Perhaps l\/lr. Charles Lowe was justified in his comment which he made on our Speech Day in 1972:

"Mr. Clarke, a fine example of a nearly extinct breed, was a very civilised gentleman who clearly showed the advantages of classical education. it was he who found no fewer than 3 grammatical errors in the 5-word Latin motto proposed for some other school. He was a kind, unassuming person who by his very example did a great deal for the school. l often think he would have been very happy in Classical China". Through his scholarly influence, the pupils did excel themselves in various public examinations under the 'academic' atmosphere. The most notable achievement win the 1968 Hong Kong University Matriculation Examination in which our students scored a total of 64 Distinctions, a record for the school. Though Mr. Clarke's term of office in the school was only a brief period of four years his gentle manner, intellectual outlook and unassuming personality impressed most people who knew him. Since his retirement Mr. Clarke has been teaching English in Eastbourne, England, where he is residing with his family.

Acting principal Mr. H. N. Mcneill 麥尼路先生 April 1969 – January 1970
11. Mr. D. R. Madan 馬丹先生 June 1971 – September 1977
12. Mr. Chu Ka-fai 朱家輝先生 October 1977 – August 1986 Mr. Chu was a King's student from 1938 until 1941 when school was interrupted by the war. In September 1977, he joined King's College as Principal of the school and was received with a warm welcome by the whole school. To meet the needs of students and society. He added the principal of Accounts and Computer Studies to the school curriculum which then became very popular subjects at school.
13. Mr. Poon Wai-tong 潘煒棠先生 September 1986 – December 1998 Mr. W. T. Poon always emphasizes the importance of academic achievements and extra-curricular activities. He wants his students to have good all-round development.

Under his guidance. King's College maintained a very high academic standard. To promote student's interest in music. Mr. Poon made music a subject given marks instead of grades from Form 1 to Form 3 in 1989. Since then, every Junior form student has had to learn at least one musical instrument or to join the School Choir. This has formed an invaluable foundation for the setting up of the School Band & String Orchestra in 1991. Also, with the support of the K.C.O.B.A. Mr. Poon has organised annual educational tours to places outside H.K. to widen student's horizons. The S.6 Education Camp, which is very popular with all of us, was also Mr. Poon's idea. Also under his guidance, the King's College Student Union was set up in 1991.

Mr. Poon is also very concerned about students' welfare. He is always eager to provide students with a comfortable environment at school. The school building has been renovated several times. Many modern facilities such as the public address system in the playground & Lecture room have been added. The basketball courts have been renovated and air conditioners have been installed. He has also supervised the renovation of the location in school garden which had not functioned since 1961.

Acting principal Mr. Leung Chik-wing 梁植穎先生 *July 1992 – August 1992
  • July 1994 – August 1994
  • July 1995 – August 1995
  • July 1996 – August 1996
  • December 1996 – August 1997
14. Mr. Ho Yue-Shun 何汝淳先生 September 1997 – August 2010
15. Mrs. Chan Woo Mei-hou, Nancy 陳胡美好女士 September 2010 – August 2016
16. Mr. TANG Kai-chak September 2016–


  • School office
  • Main Hall
  • Library
  • Lecture Room
  • Senior Biology Laboratory
  • Senior Chemistry Laboratory
  • Senior Physics Laboratory
  • Junior Biology Laboratory
  • Junior Chemistry Laboratory
  • Junior Physics Laboratory
  • Geography Room
  • Multi-media learning centre (MMLC)
  • Visual Arts Room
  • IT Room
  • Scout Room
  • Activity Room
  • 3 Special Rooms
  • Medical-Inspection Room
  • Gymnasium
  • Non-standard swimming pool
  • Central all-weathered playground
  • Changing room
  • Elevator
  • Government Quarters
  • 34 Classrooms
  • 4 Staff rooms
  • IT room
  • Multimedia Learning Centre
  • Music Room
  • Campus TV
  • Scout Room
  • Copy Centre
  • Social workers' office
  • Canteen
  • Chinese Music Room

Since the 2000s, with hold-up from the Education and Manpower Bureau and the Architectural Services Department, all the floors in the old wing were re-laid and the classrooms have been rewired. A central air-conditioning system was installed in the school hall. Every teacher's desk in all the staff rooms was endowed with a desktop computer and a digital display board was placed close to the doorway of the school. More contemporary and brighter lighting, together with fans, was installed in the covered playground, likewise the gymnasium.

Society and organisationEdit


  • Business Studies Club
  • Chinese Society
  • Computer Club
  • English Society
  • Debate & Public Speaking (Chi.)
  • Debate & Public Speaking (Eng.)
  • Humanities Society
  • Liberal Studies Society
  • Mathematics Society
  • Putonghua Club
  • Science Society
  • Visual Arts Club


  • Astronomy Club
  • Bridge Club
  • Chess Club
  • Dance Club
  • Drama Club (Chi.)
  • Drama Club (Eng.)
  • Gardening Club
  • Photographic Club
  • Pop Band
  • Quiz Contests Club
  • Rambling Club
  • Stamp Club


Religion, services, and uniform groupsEdit

  • Catholic Society
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Community Youth Club
  • Interact Club
  • International Relations Council
  • Junior Police Call Club
  • Scout
  • Social Service Group
  • St John Ambulance
  • Volunteer Services Team
  • Youth Red Cross


  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross-country
  • Football
  • Handball
  • Swimming
  • Table-tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball



  • Music Association
  • Chinese Orchestra
  • Harmonica Band
  • School Choir
  • School Orchestra

Functional CommitteesEdit

  • Prefect Body
  • Liberian
  • King's Morning MC
  • Student Union
  • Fig Boy Scheme



King's College had its own magazine before the war with a reproduction of a drawing of the main entrance to the school on the cover. The latest number before the war is the December 1939 issue. The greater part of the work was done by a capable little group of senior boys who formed themselves into a magazine committee.

During the war, all normal activities ceased. King's College Magazine was revived and reproduced in 1951 since the school was rehabilitated and the former Principal, Mr. F. K. Leung, and the staff decided that it was time King's once again had its own magazine.

The Fig Tree is the school magazine.

The Bridge is the school newspaper.

King's Spring is a web-based collection of students' literary works.[47]

House systemEdit

The purpose of the house system in King's College is two-fold. It gives honour to the men who help to make history at King's College, and it serves to introduce healthy competition in sports, in the acquisition of academic honours and in promoting interest in all school activities.

Early on, there were only four houses, North, South, East and West, each with a house master and two assistant house masters. On admission, boys were attached to a house to which they belonged for the whole of their school life in King's. The houses competed for the house shield, which was awarded twice a year on the basis of total points earned by the members of each house for games, school work, and general conduct.

During the Japanese occupation, all the activities of the school ceased. It was not until 1950 that the school was rehabilitated. Since then, the school has continued the House System of pre-war days;but instead of calling them North, South, East, and West, they are named after four former principals – Morris Kay, Wallington, and Ferguson. The other two, School House and Sargison House, were started in 1959 and 1960 respectively. And since 1956, metal badges bearing the House colours have been introduced as part of the school uniform in order to strengthen House consciousness. The Houses participate in various school activities including the Annual Athletic Meet, Swimming Gala, ball games competitions, etc.

Ferguson House
Kay House
Morris House
Sargison House
School House
Wallington House

The Annual Athletic Meet and the Swimming Gala, in particular, have aroused keen competition among the Houses. Each competitor wears his distinctive House colour vest and the House members sit in separate columns in the stadium so that there is plenty of enthusiastic cheering.Co-operation, enthusiasm, sportsmanship and obedience are the virtues of Houses members. These are finely displayed during the annual sports day. Victory or defeat means very little to the competitions. After all, activities and competitions would only help to improve the relationship among House members.

See alsoEdit


Hong Kong Government Reports (before war)Edit

Historical recordsEdit

  1. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1860. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1871. Retrieved 29 April 2016. "The Village Schools, which are free schools supported entirely by Government, are twelve in number. They stand in the following order of efficiency, as tested by an examination of each school." Page 3
  3. ^ Education in Hong Kong Pre-1841 to 1941: Fact and Opinion Materials for a History of Education in Hong Kong by Anthony Sweeting. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  4. ^ Chronological and Statistical Table of the Government Schools on the Island of Hong Kong. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  5. ^ Hong Kong Government Blue Book 1878. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  6. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1860. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  7. ^ Chronological and Statistical Table of the Government Schools on the Island of Hong Kong. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  8. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1871. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  9. ^ Chronological and Statistical Table of the Government Schools on the Island of Hong Kong. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  10. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1860. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  11. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1871. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  12. ^ Hong Kong Government Blue Book 1877. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  13. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1878. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  14. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1860. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  15. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1877. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  16. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1858. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  17. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1867. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  18. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1858. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  19. ^ Chronological and Statistical Table of the Government Schools on the Island of Hong Kong. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  20. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1869. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  21. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1871. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  22. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1869. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  23. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette 1873. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  24. ^ (Hong Kong Government Administrative Report, 1907)
  25. ^ (Hong Kong Government Administrative Report, 1921)
  26. ^ AR 1926. Page 3.. Retrieved 1 May 2016. "Saiyingpun School, which had an honourable career since it was founded in 1891, passed on to a higher destiny in September. In its magnificent new quarters on Bonham Road, re-named by His Excellency King's College, great achievements are expected from it under the able headmastership of Mr. Morris."
  27. ^ AR 1926. Page 11.. Retrieved 1 May 2016. "Boys are no longer sent to Queen's College after passing the (Class 4) Examination but remain at King's College, which now classes preparing for the Matriculation Examination."
  28. ^ the Royal Hong Kong Overseas League
  29. ^ AR 1926. Page. 3.. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  30. ^ Historical Records 1955–1958 Archived 9 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Historical Records 1960 Archived 18 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Historical Records 1961–1964 Archived 17 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Historical Records 1965–67 Archived 15 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Historical Records 1968–70 Archived 30 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Historical Records 1971–75 Archived 21 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Historical Records 1976 Archived 4 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Historical Records 1977 Archived 12 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Historical Records 1978 Archived 8 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Historical Records 1979 Archived 3 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ Historical Records 1980 Archived 11 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ Historical Records 1881 Archived 30 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ Historical Records 1982–85 Archived 30 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ Historical Records 1986–93 Archived 13 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Historical Records 1994–2006 Archived 30 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Historical Records 2007–10 Archived 7 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^
  47. ^ King's Spring – web-based collection of students' literary works


  1. ^ that is to say, its construction was funded by the contributions of the faithful
  2. ^ according to the report in Catholic Register of that year

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 22°17′04″N 114°08′25″E / 22.28444°N 114.14028°E / 22.28444; 114.14028