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ESF The First 50 Years - People stories

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English Schools Foundation

Beauty that makes a difference

ESF alumna: Loletta Chu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 November, 2017, 9:10am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 November, 2017, 9:10am

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Loletta Chu’s journey toward adulthood has taken many interesting twists and turns along the way. She was born in Burma to Chinese and Burmese parents but grew up speaking mostly English. So, after her family immigrated to Hong Kong, she found herself enrolled at King George V School (KGV) as a form 2 student in 1971.

Loletta recalls perhaps the most pivotal moment of her life during an exchange she had with her favourite teacher, Mr Robinson, who got her interested in solving challenging math problems. Soon after graduating from KGV in 1977, her natural beauty led to her being crowned Miss Hong Kong. That’s when Mr Robinson asked her - “Are you now going to use those brains of yours to do something useful?”

She remembers how the word “useful” applied not just to herself but also to how she could positively impact others in her community. “Even today, I encourage my sons to become ‘useful’ individuals by contributing to the community and those less privileged than we are,” explains Loletta.

She recalls her time at KGV as being a wonderful period for mental development and self-discovery during which she was able to re-affirm her values, confidence, self-esteem and other attributes that would eventually mould who she is today.

“My ‘whole-person’ development was certainly impacted by my education,” says Loletta. “It enhanced my ability to become not just a better student, but a better person, too. KGV gave me an environment and opportunity for me to blossom and excel.”

Early in her academic career she focused more on science-related subjects at the expense of more artistic ones. However, later in life she found her love of the arts was sparked when she took up photography. “In hindsight, I could have explored more opportunities to develop in those areas,” Loletta says. “But I have no regrets; you don’t necessarily need to focus on just one thing in order to excel at it later on.”

Loletta is very impressed with her alma mater’s programmes today. “I am pleased to learn that KGV is more proactive with providing opportunities for students to experience overseas study trips, mentorship programmes, and fairs to instil better insights into career paths or higher education,” she says. “There is more school guidance than in my days and, indeed, the academic competition is tougher, too.”

Loletta recalls some of her fondest memories in the multicultural KGV as “exchanging my packed lunches for my Indian friend’s samosas and my Japanese friend’s sushi. What fun!”