Parts of two historic schools declared monuments

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2011, 12:00am


Buildings of the only surviving pre-war government school and a school that was turned into an internment camp during the second world war have been declared monuments.

The new status for School House of St Stephen's College in Stanley and the old wings of King's College on Bonham Road means no construction work can be done on the sites and maintenance costs will be covered by the government.

The formal declaration under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance is being gazetted today by the Development Bureau.

'It is a glory,' King's College assistant principal Yu Chung-ching said.

St Stephen's College principal Carol Yang said the decision came at a 'touching moment' as the school, used to house internees during the Japanese occupation, is holding an event in which war veterans and victims are invited to visit the school.

King's College, built between 1923 and 1926, is the only government school built before the war that is still used for education.

In a colonial report in 1926, it was called 'one of the finest and most modern of school buildings'.

The school will open to the public on each of the three Saturdays from tomorrow in response to the declaration, Yu said.

St Stephen's was among the first schools set up by religious missionaries to provide a Western-style education in Hong Kong. It opened in 1903 on Western Street. The Stanley campus, opened in 1930, was taken over in 1941 by the British military, who converted it into an emergency military hospital, shortly before the Japanese attacked Hong Kong at Christmas that year. With the nearby Stanley Prison warders' quarters, it was used as an internment camp during the occupation.

The bureau said the Stanley campus bore testimony to the suffering endured in wartime, and King's College, which was used by the Japanese army as a stable for mules and horses, is a 'rare piece' of school architecture, with a red-brick structure built in neo-classical style.