Opening Ceremony of the New Annex Building &
40th Anniversary Open Day of Holy Trinity College
18 March 2006
Speech by Professor Arthur Li, GBS, JP
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Sr. Juliana WONG (Supervisor), Mrs. Jane OR (Principal), distinguished guests, teachers, parents and students,
40th anniversary is a great event and a perfect time for friends to get together to celebrate. I am indeed very honoured to be part of this happy gathering. Holy Trinity College was the first school I visited when I took up the post of Secretary for Education and Manpower. Since then, I have always wanted to come back, because there is something special about the College that I find very admirable – it is your spirit, your determination to overcome resource constraints and strive for excellence.
Today we see the grand opening of the New Annex, providing new facilities and a much improved learning environment for our students. I am sure that Government’s investment in your College will be good value for money, but knowing your College, I also appreciate that money is not everything, and certainly not the most important thing.
In the past, when space was limited and funding not so easy to come by, the College was still able to deliver quality education. Parents have been a great support, as I recall Mrs OR telling me about generous donations by the thousands from a parent for the library and other facilities. So with what is available, students were given the best opportunities, and they did achieve outstanding results in both public examinations and extra-curricular activities.
We always hear people say, “Necessity is the mother of Invention”. I can see in this College many successful examples. For a school built 40 years ago, understandably there may be no music room furnished to present-day standards, but students here still benefit from the innovative use of a classroom for music lessons, and indeed won many prizes in the Music Festival. Likewise, the College playground may not be large enough to accommodate a standard volley-ball court, but funds are deployed not only to hire one at public venues, but also to provide regular training for our young ladies here. No wonder the school enjoys such good results in inter-school volley-ball competitions. Seeing that English is adopted as the medium of instruction in all subjects, and the rich English environment created through drama competitions and all sorts of language activities, few could believe that this can happen at a school where there is not even a standard language room.
At the end of the day, it is human spirit that is most important. Money can improve a school’s physical environment, but it cannot buy you the vision and passion that guide school development. Let us acknowledge the hard work of the Principal, members of the school management committee and our teachers whose professionalism has helped the school flourish despite resource constraints. This is a meaningful lesson for our students in this affluent and money-minded age to learn.
I know how excited teachers and students must be with the New Annex building. As you move into it, I hope you will use it wisely and creatively. You have now your brand new music room, language room, student activity room, staff common room, computer assisted learning room and so on. Floating classes will also be abolished because of the additional classrooms available. With this new campus development and your continuous efforts, I am sure the school will scale new heights in all aspects.
On this memorable occasion, may I wish the school all the best in the years ahead. To everyone present this morning, I wish you happiness and good health.