British tradition thrives at St John's
EVEN in the run-up to the 1997 changeover, St John's College - one of the University of Hong Kong's residential halls - still clings to its British traditions.
Dressed in black and white, the St Johnians started the 1995 Festival on Monday singing Viva St John's in a courtyard filled with curious students.
Jacky Wong Hung-nam, chairman of the college student association, explained the traditions of the college, founded in 1912.
'The Monday high-table dinner is a weekly occasion in which we dress formally and put on our green gowns at dinner time.
'The dinner gives St John's College dormitory residents a specific evening to gather and communicate,' Mr Wong said.
St John's is proud of 'old St Johnians' such as Chief Justice Sir Ti Liang Yang, and Legislative Councillors Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien, Dr Yeung Sum and Lee Cheuk-yan.
'Perhaps it is the interpersonal skills they learned in St John's - most St Johnians like to serve the community and help others,' Mr Wong said.
Stella Ng Pik-sai, chairman of the festival organising committee, said: 'Unlike other HKU residential halls which have vast dorm facilities, St John's old and new wings [with four and six student residential floors respectively] provide a more intimate environment.' The dormitory has 227 residents - 129 boys and 98 girls.
A Halloween Ball and singing contest have so far been held, with an open day and bazaar this weekend.