Dr. Chan Yau-Nam, Ian
Chairman, School Enhancement Project Fundraising Committee
51 years ago, I received my Form 5 diploma in this School Hall. I could not imagine after so many years I am standing in the same School Hall, addressing an audience on Speech Day. As I look around, the hall appears essentially the same. The major obvious difference is the cool ambience from the air-conditioning, a luxury we did not have. That is pretty well what we are seeing throughout the campus, not much changes in half a century. It certainly allows alumni to reminisce on the good old days as they can see exactly where they ate lunch in the covered playground. However, at an age when education has changed so much with concepts that I can barely comprehend, the state of our school can only marginally able to cope with the new need. Our peer schools have all jumped ahead to modernise their campuses, from the addition of new facilities to rebuilding the whole school. St. Paul’s students deserve a better campus.
Thanks to the decision by the College Council, St. Paul’s is now embarking on a monumental project to enhance our campus. It will be the third historical drastic change of our Alma Mater in the last 70 years. First the move from Glenealy Campus to the present Bonham Road Campus. The second one was a complete rebuilding of the school in the 60s to meet the need of an expanding student body, from 2 to 6 classes per Form. The present proposal will create more space, functionally designed so that our boys can receive state of the art training in various aspects.apart from academic pursuit. In other words, the development of an all round student, a goal that is in the tradition of our school. This project is by no means an extravagant facelift but is entirely driven by necessity and the design is to suit the needs of a modern education.
The whole Project has four distinct campaign and the total estimated cost is no less than 400 million dollars with Campaign One requiring 90 million. After Campaign One, the decision for the go ahead to subsequent Campaigns will depend entirely on the progress of the Fund-raising Campaign. Yes, it is a very large sum to raise, a very challenging undertaking indeed. Is the target achievable? I believe so but only with the concerted efforts of the whole St. Paul’s community, Council Members, School Management, teachers, students, parents and alumni. If everyone treats the campaign as if it is one’s own we will be able to achieve it.
Dennis and I would like to point out that besides raising capital for the project, it is a golden opportunity for the school to bring the community together and forge a closer relationship. Everyone has a role in this exercise. No matter how large or how small a donation is, your participation implies you care about St. Paul’s College and that means a lot to our school.
A formal ceremony for kicking off the Campaign One will take place on Dec 4 at the Bishop’s House in Glenealy, the birth place of St. Paul’s College and we expect many prominent alumni to come and show their supports. A series of events will be planned for the coming year to raise the level of awareness of the Campaign as well as opportunities for patrons to support the Project.
When Dennis and some Council members approached me and invited me to lead the Campaign, I was hesitant because of my hectic time and energy constraints. After some considerations, my heart won over my brain and I agreed to accept the challenge. It’s difficult for me to explain but I love my school and I just feel it is the right thing for me to do.
By this presentation I hope I have given you an outline of the project, the challenges we face and I will count on your support.