Queen's College, Hong Kong

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Queen's College
Chinese: 皇仁書院
Qc logo.png
"Labor Omnia Vincit" (Latin)

"勤有功" (Chinese)

"Labour conquers all" (English)

120 Causeway Road,

Causeway Bay,
Hong Kong
Type Public, single-sex
Established 1862
Principal Ms. LI Sui-Wah
Staff About 60 staff
Number of students About 1000 students
Color(s) Red
Medium of instruction English, except Chinese Language, Chinese History and Mandarin, in which Chinese is the medium of instruction
Campus Size Approximately 2.5 acres (16,766 m²)
School Magazine The Yellow Dragon - First Published in June 1899. The first Anglo-Chinese school magazine in the world

Queen's College (Chinese: 皇仁書院 皇仁書院), initially named The Government Central School (中央書院) in 1862, later renamed as Victoria College (皇后書院) in 1889, is a sixth form college for boys with a secondary school attached. It was the first public secondary school founded in Hong Kong by the British colonial government. Queen's College obtained its present name in 1894 and it is now located at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Brief history[edit]

The Central School was established in 1862 at Gough Street, Central. Dr. Frederick Stewart was appointed the first Headmaster of the Central School, as well as Inspector of Schools in the Colony.

The Headmaster of the Central School was responsible for supervising all schools in Hong Kong until March 1879 when the Government established a separate office for the Inspector of Schools, predecessor of the Department of Education, which was later incorporated into the Education Bureau.

During the school's early years, the student population consisted of a variety of nationalities. Whereas Chinese students enrolled in English, students from other nationalities were expected to study Chinese classics.

Secular schooling sparked much controversies among the Hong Kong Governor and religious leaders. In many occasions, the Governor personally scrutinized and intervened the school operations. The Government later established a grant program to put religious schools at the same funding level as the Central School. On 26 April 1884, Sir George Bowen, Governor from 1883 to 1887, administered the stone-laying ceremony for the new school building at Aberdeen Street. As a student, Sun Yat-sen also attended the ceremony. On the recommendation of the Governor, the Central School was to be known as Victoria College when it moved to the new site.

Queen's College, a photograph from 1908

The school moved to Aberdeen Street in 1889. At that time, the school was one of the largest and most expensive buildings in Hong Kong. In 1894, the school was renamed Queen's College. The Government originally planned to expand the College to an imperial university in the late 19th century, but it was abandoned due to the outbreak and Russo-Japanese War in 1904, when the British colonial government worried about the benefits it enjoyed in the Far-East may be jeopardised by the expanding Japanese power. Therefore, it was crucial to establish a university with the purpose to train graduates in war-related subjects, such as engineering and medicine, and this led to the establishment of the University of Hong Kong in 1910, while Queen's College remained as a secondary school in Hong Kong.

The Japanese invasion forced school closure in 1941. During the Japanese occupation, the school site was used as the Army Headquarters. As a result, the Aberdeen Street campus was destroyed by Allied bombing during the War. The two notable cannons at the current school entrance were found in the rubble at Aberdeen Street.

After World War II, the school re-opened in a temporary site on Kennedy Road in 1947, sharing a campus with Clementi Secondary School.

In 1950, a new campus of Queen's College was built in Causeway Bay for the expansioin of the school. It moved to the present site on Causeway Road, opposite Victoria Park, on 22 September 1950. Sir Alexander Grantham, Governor of Hong Kong, announced the revival of Queen's College on 22 September 1950. Since then, the two-story high building served countless Q.C. students throughout half of the century. Until 1951 the lowest class at Queen's was Class 4 (equivalent to now form 3). In September 1951 two additional classes were provided at the bottom of the school. The lowest class at Queen's thus become Class 6 (Form 1 nowadays). The changes in organization and other factors consequent on the rapid growth of education resulted for a time in an uneven distribution of divisions. In 1950 for example, there were ten divisions of Class 4. In 1951, four of these divisions were transferred to King's College (英皇書院). From 1955, intending Arts undergraduates had been transferred to King's College and later to Belilios Public School for their Advanced Level year. From 1962, an extra Upper Sixth Form was provided to the arts students so that QC boys no longer have to studied in Belilios. Meanwhile, some Belilios Girls came to Queen's to study Science. After that, no more girls were admitted and Queen's College today remains a full-time Anglo-Chinese secondary school for boys.

A tourist tour on the history of Sun Yat-sen usually includes the location of the first site of the school at Gough Street, Central.

School song[edit]

School Song

Lyrics by: William Kay (1920)

Verse 1

Hail Alma Mater! Long Life to Queen's College,
Kindly instructor and guide of our youth,
Lighting the land with the bright beams of knowledge,
Teaching thy children to reverence truth!
Bound in close brotherhood all thy collegians,
Cherishing memories tender and strong,
Scattered asunder in various regions,
Q.C.'s and O.Q.C.'s join in the song.


Q.C.! Q.C.! Q.C.! Q.C.! Q.C.!
In that cry what a magic is found.
Let us roll out the glorious sound;
Q.C.! Q.C.!

Verse 2

From the proud city and from the lone valley,
From the rich districts of Kwang-tung we come.
Hakka and Cantonese round thee we rally,
Far from our kindred in thee we find home.
Sternly we strive in our sports and our studies,
For the race goes to the wise and the strong.
Moulding our manhood, our mind and our bodies,
Q.C.'s and O.Q.C.'s join in the song.
(repeat Chorus)

Verse 3

Time speeds along. Soon our schooldays are ended,
Comes the sad hour when from thee we must part!
Thee who so kindly and skillfully blended,
Lore of the Orient with Western art.
We will not falter nor fearfully wonder,
Nurtured by thee we feel valiant and strong.
Sons of Cathay, raise your voices in thunder,
Q.C.'s and O.Q.C.'s join in the song.
(repeat Chorus)

The melody of the school song of Queen's College was adapted from the school song of England's Harrow School, with lyrics being filled in by Mr. William Kay, formerly a long-serving vice principal at the school. Heep Yunn School, an all-girls school in Kowloon, also shares the same melody for their school song. This rendition of the Queen's College school song is arranged by Dr. Lau Kai-chi, Anthony (Music Panel Head at Queen's College 1994 - 2009).

School Motto[edit]

The Motto of the school is "Labor omnia vincit". The school motto was later translated as "勤有功" in Chinese, which literally means "hard work brings merit". Many of the QC students and old boys live on these spirits and have contributed to the Hong Kong and the Chinese society. Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Mr. Fok Ying Tung, Henry are two of the examples.

The school also put strong emphasis on its five core values: Diligence, Integrity, Brotherhood, Responsibility and Pursuit of Excellence.

Enrollment and medium of instruction[edit]

There are 33 classes with approximately 1200 students on roll. Secondary One students are allocated by the Secondary School Place Allocation System. The Medium of Instruction is English (except Chinese Language, Chinese History, Putonghua, and cultural subjects).

Activities and achievements[edit]

All students are divided into eight School Houses, namely: Stewart, Wright, Dealy, Tanner, Crook, de Rome, Kay, and Williamson (which was at first called School House when the house system was introduced by then Headmaster Williamson). The School Houses compete in Athletic Meets, Swimming Gala and other interhouse competitions. School teams regularly participate and excel in inter-school competitions.

There are also 49 clubs grouped under Sports, Recreational, Religious, Social Services, and Academic (Science & Arts) areas. Most clubs hold events and functions for the participation of all students and many of them organize joint events with sister schools throughout every academic year. They also actively participate in annual school Open Days. Last but not least, school clubs co-ordinate with and contribute to many charitable activities.

Queen's College students are known for excelling in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). Historically, more students at the school have received 10 A grades on the HKCEE (the highest grade possible on the HKCEE) than at any other secondary school in Hong Kong. Out of over 572 secondary schools in Hong Kong, fewer than 30 have ever produced these so-called "10A" students. In particular, between 1990 and 2006, 50 Queen's College students have received 10 A's on the HKCEE. This number represents over 26% of the 10A scores received during this period.

The stellar academic performance of Queen's College students has been reflected in its representation at many of the world's best universities. Many excellent Form 6 students continue their education at prestigious overseas institutions in the United States, the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom, while most Form 7 graduates enroll in prestigious local universities such as the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Queen's College counts a total of 21 winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards,[1] ranking 2nd among all secondary schools in Hong Kong.


A school magazine named The Yellow Dragon.

First published in June 1899, the Queen's College school magazine, The Yellow Dragon (《黃龍報》), is now the world's oldest existing Anglo-Chinese school magazine. The Yellow Dragon is a priceless historical witness of the educational development of Hong Kong, as well as the social changes in Asia Pacific. The 100th volume of The Yellow Dragon has been published in 2005. In the Chinese section of the centenary volume, a brief conclusion of the past 100 volumes (百期回望專輯) was written by seven students in 2005 to commemorate the special centenary occasion.

Another regular publication of the school is the school newspaper, "The Courier"(《文苑》), which has been published since 1968. At the moment, 3 issues are produced per year with coverage on school's major functions and students' contributions.

Gwenneth Stokes, the first woman to become Associate to the Chief Justice of South Australia, and her husband John, the Principal of Queen's College from 1965 to 1970, spent two years researching at Queen's College, as well as in archives and libraries in Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom to compile the 494-page school history. The limited-edition book entitled Queen's College Its History 1862-1987 was published by Queen's College Old Boys' Association in commemoration of the school's 125th anniversary in 1987.

List of notable alumni[edit]

Politicians, judges, diplomats, and military staff[edit]

Dr. Sun Yat-sen

Medical doctors[edit]

  • Man-Kai Wan (尹文階)(1869-1927), one of the first Chinese doctors of Western medicine in Hong Kong and the inaugural Chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Medical Association 香 港 中 華 醫 學 會 (1920-1922, forerunner of Hong Kong Medical Association)[2][3]



  • Wang Wenshan (王文山), sociologist, anarchist, student leader at the Peking University during the May Fourth Movement 1919. He contacted the Chinese communists and once met Vladimir Lenin in Moscow.
  • Wang Chungyi (王寵益), Professor of Pathology at University of Hong Kong. He was admired for his devotion to the development of pathological research in Hong Kong. He died of tuberculosis, a disease that he had spent enormous effort to fight against.
  • Wong Kai-chi (黃繼持), writer, translator, literary critic of Chinese literature, former Head of Department, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Cheung Ng-sheung (張五常), well-known economist in Hong Kong, formerly Professor of Economics at the University of Hong Kong.
  • Cheung Yau-kai (張佑啟), Honorary Professor of Engineering and Special Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong; formerly Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
  • Edward K.Y. Chen (陳坤耀), Vice-Chancellor of Lingnan University, Hong Kong.
  • Kwan Tze-wan (關子尹), Professor, former Head of Department, Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Fok Tai-fai (霍泰輝), Pro-Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Lee Hon-leung, Vincent (李漢良), Director of the School of Pharmacy, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Wong Kwok-pun, Lawrence (黃國彬), Professor at the Department of Translation of Lingnan University in Hong Kong. His famous Chinese poem 'On Listening to Chan's Zither Performance' (translated from the Chinese title '聽陳蕾士的琴箏'), written in the 1980s, has been one of the prescribed texts of the Chinese Language syllabus of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination from 1993 to 2006.
  • Joseph Sung Jao-yiu (沈祖堯), one of the most significant figures in Hong Kong's fighting with the SARS in 2003. He was the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is now Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from July 1, 2010.
  • Yuen Kwok-yung (袁國勇), another significant figure in the SARS crisis in Hong Kong. He is Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases, and is currently working at the University of Hong Kong as the Chair and Head of the Department of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine.
  • Chiang Mung (蔣濛), Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering, Director of the Keller Center, Princeton University, 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award recipient.
  • Shen Xuhui, Simon (沈旭暉), international politics critic, Table-host of ROUNDTABLE, Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Lee Hau Leung (李效良) Thoma Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology Stanford Graduate School of Business. Codirector of the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum
  • Jack Cheng (鄭振耀) Pro-Vice-Chancellor / Vice-President, Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatology Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • So Yuen Tat (蘇源逹) Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences Stanford University, Department of Neurology.
  • Tony F. Chan (陳繁昌), Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematics and Physical Sciences, National Science Foundation; Professor, Computational & Applied Math Group, Department of Mathematics, UCLA. President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology since 1 September 2009.
  • Chi-Kwong Li Ferguson Professor of Mathematics, The College of William and Mary
  • Chan Tsz Fung, Department of European Studies
  • Tse Lai-Sing, Francis (謝勵誠), Vice President, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research; Adjunct Professor, Nankai University, Tianjin.
  • Kwan Pun-Fong, Vincent (關品方), Associate Director, HKU Zhejiang Institute of Research and Innovation, Hangzhou; Honorary Professor, The University of Hong Kong.

Volunteerism Leader[edit]

  • Mr. Wilson Wan Sze Chung (溫思聰), recipient of the 5th Hong Kong Volunteer Award (第五屆香港傑出義工獎得主) [5]

List of headmasters and principals[edit]

  • Dr. Frederick Stewart (1862–1881)
  • Dr. G. H. Bateson Wright (1881–1909)
  • Mr. Thomas Kirkman Dealy, FRGS, FEIS, FCS, DRF (Paris) (1909–1918)
  • Mr. Bartram Tanner, ISO (1918–1925)
  • Mr. A. H. Crook, OBE (1925–1930)
  • Mr. F. J. de Rome, MBE (1930–1939)
  • Mr. M. G. O'Connor (1939–1941)
  • Mr. L. G. Morgan (Acting) (1947)
  • Mr. J. J. Ferguson (Acting) (1947)
  • Mr. H. N. Williamson, OBE (1947–1961)
  • Mr. Cheung King-pak (1961–1964)
  • Mr. Wong Yee-wa (Acting) (1964)
  • Mr. F. C. Gamble (1964–1965)
  • Mr. John Stokes (1965–1970)
  • Mr. Raymond Huang (1970–1973)
  • Mr. William Cheng Hsü-ning (1973–1976)
  • Mr. Timothy Yung (1976–1982)
  • Mr. Chew Tung-sing (1982–1987)
  • Mr. Kong Shiu-chung (1987–1994)
  • Mr. Lee Kar-hung (1994–2000)
  • Ms. Kitty Cheung Lam Lai-king (2000–2003)
  • Mr. Vincent Li Lok-yin (2003–2013)
  • Ms. Li Sui-wah (2013–)

List of head prefects[edit]

  • Mr. Timmy Chia Chi-fung (謝志峰)(2007–2008)
  • Mr. Timothy Chan Tin-yau (陳天佑)(2008–2009)
  • Mr. Billy Lee Tat-fung (李達鋒)(2009–2010)
  • Mr. Gary Ng Chi-ho (伍梓濠)(2010–2011)
  • Mr. Desmond Tse Tak-mong (謝德望)(2011–2012)
  • Mr. Alex Leung Ka-kei (梁嘉圻)(2012–2013)
  • Mr. Nelson Mak Li-shun (麥理信)(2013–2014)
  • Mr. Benny Hon Pun-yat (韓本一)(2014-2015)
  • Mr. Richard Choy Wai-Chak (蔡維澤) (2015-2016)


  1. ^ Past Winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Rebecca Chan Chung, Deborah Chung and Cecilia Ng Wong, "Piloted to Serve", 2012
  3. ^ https://www.facebook.com/PilotedToServe
  4. ^ Ng, James. "Benjamin Wong Tape". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved December 2011. 
  5. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°16′51″N 114°11′30″E / 22.2809°N 114.1917°E / 22.2809; 114.1917