Reflections on the School Memories Project
Tong Yung Chu 7A 2011-12
(Member of the Core Working Group)
The reason for me taking part in the School Memories Project was simple but true – SGSS is one of the places in which I feel a great sense of belonging.
It is due to this sentiment that I have never tired in my efforts to help my alma mater build up a digital historical archive. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, and so neither was our archive. Since last year, we have gone through a series of processes that have gradually brought the archive into existence. First there was training designed to improve our skills in interviewing people, writing reports, doing research and so on. After being equipped with such skills, we were granted the opportunity to interview former principals as well as alumni. From their sharing, we have learned more about the school in the past and the information provided by them actually revealed the ‘lost memories’ of SGSS. It was just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle fitting together to constitute a complete and beautiful picture.
In fact, the interviews were not just our big brothers and sisters telling us stories of those good old days. In many cases, I was inspired to think deeply and to reflect on myself. For example, during our interview with an alumnus Mr. Alan Wong Kwok-Lun, he once remarked, “No commission without mission”. If we do not possess a strong faith, how can we endure all the failures before we see the spark of success? Besides, Paddy Law, another alumnus, also shared with us his tough experience during his time at Oxford University. It convinced me that as long as you believe in yourself, as long as you do not give up, dreams do come true one day. I think the interviews were really meaningful in the way that we, as the interviewers, were not only responsible for recording the details of the interviews, but were also welcomed to share our own thoughts. Therefore, I would rather describe the interviews as discussions or informal conversations between people of different backgrounds, ages and characters, but all closely related to SGSS.
The close link between us and SGSS is one thing that I find amazing. Originally, I had no means of getting to know the alumni who had graduated some years before I entered the school. However, this project brought together SGSS students from different periods. Our big brothers and sisters are eager to come back school because they miss their alma mater. They are excited to share with us their experiences because they deem us their juniors in the same family. We do not have the same feeling as meeting strangers when we first see the alumni because there is a tie between us, a tie called fellowship. Time flies, events pass and people leave, yet memories remain, spirits persist and our love for SGSS never changes.
Started with a sense of mission to make a contribution to my beloved alma mater, after the project, I realize that I may never find another group to which I am so willing to devote myself. I wish to thank Mrs. Esther Law for giving me such an opportunity to work as a core member in the project and SGSS for enriching my life.
Sham Wai Chung 7A 2011-12
(Member of the Core Working Group)
Last year was unique and meaningful since it was the 50th Anniversary of SGSS. As a form 6 student, I had to admit shamefully that I did not know much about the school‘s history – until we gained the opportunity to participate in the ‘School Memories Project’ jointly organized by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
As I recall, when we first heard of the project, none of us had a concrete idea of what the project would be about. There was no typical example to follow and the only thing we knew was that it was like setting up a school archive. Even though it seemed there was a lack of direction at the beginning, many alumni gave a helping hand and we gradually got on track. Mrs. Law, the key person in the project, also organized briefing and training courses for us before we really started working. Practical skills like interviewing, reporting and communicating were included in the workshops.
The main task was to interview the former principals and alumni about their life at SGSS. It was quite unimaginable to me how the alumni were free to run all over the mountains and climb trees during their leisure time. The circumstances at that time were harsher than now as there was an inadequate number of schools and universities. At very interview, I learnt more about the school and about alumni’s attitudes to life. Furthermore, the project enabled us to get in touch with people engaged in different industries. Teenagers like us have now entered a stage of confusion and uncertainty as we begin to recognize the pressure of reality. Listening to the experiences and advice of the alumni who had had gone through the same situation was inspiring. In addition to all this, their love for SGSS was apparent and impressive. The bonding and connection between SGSS and the alumni was strong as they were prepared to contribute to their alma mater. Some alumni helped to interview the teachers voluntarily. I wonder how great the power of teaching can be.
Another unforgettable event was the Open Day. To display the photos, reports and the collected school artifacts of the Project, all of us were devoted to the preparation work. It was quite a tough task since most of us were also involved in the running of other clubs. Luckily, everything went smoothly. The happiness and joy I felt on the Open Day when we presented the grand banner, display boards and the showcases to the guests was overwhelming.
There are memories, both good and bad, which we want to treasure throughout our lives. To me, memories of SGSS must be the some of the most precious. At SGSS, I have experienced laughter and sadness and found good companions who have given me support and warmth in times of difficulty. It was fortunate for me to engage in the golden jubilee anniversary celebration and be a part of the School Memories Project. Lastly, I wish to express my sincere thanks to all the teachers and alumni who coordinated the project and helped us work towards its successful completion.
Jessie Wu 7A 2011-12
Cicero, the great Roman philosopher, once said, “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.” The School Memories Project (SMP) successfully sheds light on the history of our Alma Mater, and awakens in every one of us the pride of being a part of the school.
The project enhanced students’ overall ability. Students, as oral historians, had to interview our alumni, staff and other associated people. It is noteworthy that every student received proper training provided by our kind alumni before the project started. We wrote reports after every interview, pondering on the things we had learned. This helped us to improve our written English and Chinese. Gradually, with the aid of our teachers, we became able to convey the interviewees’ messages in a systematic way. Besides, by organizing a booth during Open Day, students reinforced their collaborative skills and creativity, abilities that are indispensable to their future careers.
By interviewing people connected to the school, students not only could trace the history of our school, they could also take a glance at the different types of future careers they might desire. The SMP has provided an excellent platform for alumni-student exchange. Our interviewees were from different industries and age groups: a psychologist, barrister, banker and dancer, to name just a few. The project helped students develop the sanguine mindset necessary to deal with daily challenges. I was particularly inspired when I listened to the story of Paddy Law, one of our respected alumni. His struggle at the University of Oxford fired my determination, granting me a glimpse of hope that indeed reward follows resilience. I was enlightened and became tougher and braver to dream. One by one, we were guided outside our comfort zones and encouraged to excel in our respective areas of talent.
Apart from being amazed by the stories of our interviewees, the bond of love among members of the school has been tremendously reinforced. I always ask for advice from some of the alumni. Charity Fok, a psychologist whom I interviewed, generously shares her views on religion and life with me from time to time. We once discussed psychological concepts like self-actualization and compensation. These in-depth conversations have influenced my understanding of the world and shaped my moral values. It is thanks to the SMP that I came into contact with such a beautiful soul who always remains patient with my perplexing questions and gives me guidance.
The SMP has given students the opportunity to embark on personal growth experiences that will continue for a lifetime. Not only did students acquire practical skills, they also obtained spiritual enlightenment. We are proud to owe our loyalty to our Alma Mater.
Eric Mok 7A 2011-12
Humans are different from computers. Unlike a computer memory, human memories are lost and become permanently unobtainable when someone passes away. The school memories project has been like writing a diary. We work to prevent the memories from fading and we write to keep them alive. This is what I conceive the memories project as. I was not very eager to participate in the project at first because I knew for sure every interview and the report writing would consume a great deal of time. Finally the facts proved my estimation to be correct. Interviews never ended on time and I spent five nights to finish a single report. I was racking my brain to think of a creative and unique way to write the report. It would have been nice if overtime had been paid – I would be rich!
Undeniably, the project was meaningful. We, as reporters, connected the school’s past to the future. As our school is already fifty years old, if we had not started building an archive, some of our important memories would have been lost. We are in fact carrying on the school spirit by building this archive. For my own sake, being a listener was an enlightening experience. The storytellers all had different backgrounds and the differences have shaped their varied philosophies, as well as perceptions of life and career. I may not exactly hold the same views but the views of these experienced people certainly served as good guidance and reminders for my future. Only through meeting different people can you appreciate how big the world is and how society functions.
Thanks to this project, I had a chance to meet again Mrs. Kung, one of my most appreciated principals. Luckily I was assigned to write her report. I have put a lot of effort into writing the report, so I hope you don’t mind if I suggest you take the time to read it. It is really full of love.
Ng Hoi Ying 7A 2011-12
The famous English writer Virginia Woolf once said, “Nothing has happened until it has been described”. This statement points out precisely how important it is to record the present and the past. Without historical documents, our memories will woefully slip away. Without accurate records of what has occurred, future generations will be unable to trace the course of development and establish themselves in the passage of time.
I remember being invited by my history teacher, Mrs. Esther Law, to take part in the SGSS School Memories Project when I was in S6. At that time, I refused to get involved, fearing the workload would slacken my effort in preparing for the public exams. Only after the first interview did I realise how meaningful it was to chat with the alumni, learn from their experience and create the school history archive. One of the most unforgettable parts of this project was the sharing given by Paddy Law, an Oxford Law graduate. He gave a very detailed account of the life he led at SGSS and how he adapted to the competitive atmosphere at Oxford University. I was deeply moved by his perseverance and determination in his studies, when he frankly revealed the hardship and challenges he endured.
Over the past 50 years, so many memorable things have happened and so many students have left their footprints on this campus, that it should be our collective duty to commemorate them.
Re-organizing the history of SGSS not only shows our affection and respect for this school, but also gives outsiders an insight into how school life is and was. Every time I look back on the years which I have passed at SGSS, I am thankful to all the teachers and friends who have treated me warmly and guided me on the right path. Though my contribution to the School Memories Project has been limited, I am glad that I have expressed my gratitude to my alma mater in such a wonderful way.
2011-12 中七甲 謝仰天
2011-12 中七甲 鄧巧敏
記憶校園計劃 — 這個為慶祝筲官五十週年而生的大型活動，確是個既特別又難忘的經驗。
無論是受訓，訪問校友、前校長、工友，或是撰寫訪問稿，都是嶄新的體驗。我參與的三個訪問，拜訪了笑容依然燦爛的前校長龔太；深入接觸了為我們效勞不少的 校工「姊妹花」May姐、甘姐和英姐；聆聽了張佩玲師姐娓娓道來的寶貴人生經驗，全都令我對筲官的歷史、校園點滴有更深入的了解。我的人生態度亦起了微妙 的變化。