Students sing their gratitude

THE Sir Ellis Kadoorie Secondary School (So Kon Po) choir touched the hearts of students and teachers with the meaningful lyrics of their songs at the school's prize-giving day held recently in the school hall.

The lyrics go like this: ''I can't be contented with yesterday's glory. I can't live on promises, winter to spring . . .'' Principal Dr Latiffa Khan chose two special folk songs - Today and All Kinds of Everything - for the choir to perform to mark the red-letter day.

''Today is my moment and now is my story. I'll laugh, and I'll cry, and I'll sing. The song reminds us that we should treasure the present,'' said a student representative.

''Summer time, winter time, spring and autumn too. Monday, Tuesday, every day, I think of you. All kinds of everything, remind me of you. And all kinds of everything remind us of our school.'' Sir Ellis Kadoorie was set up as a primary school in the 1890s mainly for Indian children. Later, Forms One to Three classes were added. A Form Four class was opened in 1977 and in the following year, a Form Five class was set up.

The school is now the only government international secondary school in Hong Kong. It has more than 300 students, and more than half are Indian. Other students are Pakistani, Filipino, Chinese, Nepali, Indonesian, Bangladeshi and Portuguese.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Khan reminded students not only to strive for academic success, but also to serve the community.

''Every day, the media report about changes taking place in Hong Kong and throughout the world,'' she said.

''Amidst the changing environment, there is the need of getting the right training and education in school and beyond, in order to serve the community.'' She quoted the well-known Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen: ''If you want to be of value to society, there is no better way than to forge yourself into a vessel for its use.'' Dr Khan hoped all her pupils would strive to forge themselves into such vessels by equipping themselves with different kinds of knowledge so they could contribute to and serve the community.

Guest-of-honour Inderbethal Singh Thakral, managing director of Thakral Corporation, encouraged students to work hard.

He was happy that students were actively taking part in various activities and sports.

''Although sports is part and parcel of our lives, life is not complete and successful unless you achieve what you come to school for. You must build your future by working hard to obtain better grades in your studies,'' he said.

''The competition for jobs and business will be greater with the approach of 1997. You would need better qualifications and skills to face the challenges ahead; it is best that you make more determined efforts.''