Assistant Principal Mr Tsang Wing-yiu


Assistant Principal Mr Tsang Wing-yiu (service period: 1984 to 2012)



Mr Tsang has devoted himself selflessly to the field of education for 40 years. Majoring in Chemistry, Mr Tsang originally planned to pursue research work after graduation. However, because his family could not afford his post-graduate studies, and being the eldest child in the family, Mr Tsang had to start working in order to support his family financially. The career choices of a Chemistry major being limited then, Mr Tsang finally became a teacher, and realising that education of the next generation was indeed very important and meaningful, Mr Tsang eventually decided to choose teaching as his life-long career.

Instead of addressing Mr Tsang as Assistant Principal, his students prefer to call him Sir Tsang, and Mr Tsang likes this form of address. Therefore, in the following, we will address Assistant Principal Tsang as Sir Tsang.
During the interview, Sir Tsang asked us what we thought of him. At that time, though we had known Sir Tsang for just a short time, he talked to us in a cordial way as if he had taught us for years. ‘Cheerful, chatty, approachable, friendly, lovely …,’ we replied with such positive adjectives one after another. Nodding his head slightly in agreement, Sir Tsang said with a smile, ‘Very well, do include these adjectives in the article.’



Sir Tsang shares episodes of his life with students




Chairman of the School Preparatory Committee


Sir Tsang used to teach at Pentecostal School, a school founded by Kowloon Pentecostal Church, of which Sir Tsang was a member. In the autumn of 1982, Sir Tsang was appointed chairman of the Preparatory Committee when Kowloon Pentecostal School planned to establish another secondary school at Yue Tin Court in Shatin. 

Sir Tsang recalled the preparatory work included liaising with the Education Department, recruiting teachers and other staff, purchasing facilities and equipment, etc. The new secondary school, named Pentecostal Lam Hon Kwong School (PLHKS), admitted its first batch of students in September 1983.



A vibrant Sir Tsang




Sir Tsang’s posts in PLHKS


Sir Tsang started teaching at PLHKS in September 1984 and retired after 28 years’ faithful service in 2012. Sir Tsang said he had taken up different positions in PLHKS, including two years as class teacher, one year as class teacher under the dual-class-teacher-system, Chemistry teacher, head of the Integrated Science panel, head of the Extra-Curricular Activities Department and Assistant Principal.
In Sir Tsang’s opinion, teaching was always a pleasure and a piece of cake for him. It was the administrative work, however, that was challenging to him because he often had to negotiate with different parties such as teachers, the Principal and school managers in carrying out his administrative work. It could be mentally taxing having to take care of the feelings of the stakeholders and balance their interests.



A photo taken with students during a field trip




Outstanding teacher


Beloved by both students and fellow teachers, Sir Tsang was elected ‘Outstanding Teacher’ many times. When asked why he was so popular among students, Sir Tsang replied that was because he succeeded in striking a balance between fun in learning and knowledge acquisition, especially in junior forms.  

The junior form students then often asked Sir Tsang, ‘Hey Sir Tsang, what’re we going to ‘play’ in today’s science lesson?’ To this day, Sir Tsang still vaguely remembers what interesting experiments he did with the junior form students. For example, in an experiment conducted to teach students how to measure temperature, Sir Tsang asked them if the temperature of water could fall below 0C, and if the answer was ‘yes’, how they could do it. Then Sir Tsang advised students to add salt to icy water so as to lower its temperature below the freezing point. 

‘We used lots of salt in that experiment, ha-ha,’ said Sir Tsang with a big, kind grin on his face.
‘The junior form lessons ought to inspire interest so that students can acquire knowledge in a fun way. The senior form syllabus, however, is more challenging, so lessons are not as ‘fun’ as those in junior forms. After all, when the public exam is approaching, students must work hard in their studies as the exam results would have a big impact on their future,’ Sir Tsang remarked.




Teacher of teachers


In PLHKS, several teachers were once Sir Tsang’s students, including Mr SM Wan, Mr CK Yeung, Mr KM Chan and Ms Pauline Wong. They were all once enlightened by Sir Tsang’s teaching in the laboratory or classroom, continued their education in university and served/are serving at PLHKS.

Sir Tsang is pleased to see that his former students have now become good teachers. It is his hope that they can adhere to the educational philosophy of PLHKS, carrying on the past heritage and opening up the future. Sir Tsang will be delighted if the torch can be passed on successfully.



Sir Tsang is hugely popular with his students.




Sir Tsang’s outstanding achievement in singing


Sir Tsang is not only an outstanding teacher but also a singing enthusiast. When it came to the singing of Sir Tsang, VP Tsin, who was with us during the interview, praised Sir Tsang’s voice as extremely impressive, saying that it was a well-known fact that Sir Tsang’s singing was even more professional than a professional’s. Perhaps we can call it celestial singing.  
Sir Tsang started to go to church when he was a kid. Once, the very young Sir Tsang performed some short hymns he learnt from Sunday School during a visit to the home for the aged, and the elderly there responded with great joy. From that experience, Sir Tsang realised that singing could make people happy. In Year 4 in university, Sir Tsang took a vocal music course, which was something totally new to him and his first music lesson since secondary school. Though Sir Tsang was lacking in music training at that time, his zeal for music was unstoppable. Since then, Sir Tsang has participated in different churches’ sacred music worship services and concerts as soloist and is currently leader of the tenor section of the Hong Kong Oratorio Society. 

In his white shirt, black suit, and butterfly bow tie, which is elegant, dignified attire for a classical concert performer, Sir Tsang has travelled extensively to perform in different places. Like other classical music performers, Sir Tsang respects the attire and always performs in the full set except on one occasion. It was a concert in Xiamen, where it was so unbearably hot at that time that all members of the choral group decided to perform without the suit jacket, in their white shirts only.



Sir Tsang (front row, second from right) takes part in the ‘International Celebration of the Arts’ performance at the Cultural Centre in 1989.




The conflict between singing and teaching


Sir Tsang loves singing, but at the same time, he had to talk for a long time every day in the classroom, which easily hurt his vocal cords. Once, because of overuse of his voice, nodules formed on his vocal cord, and he was advised by the doctor to reduce the use of his voice or speak very softly. This put Sir Tsang in a dilemma – the love of singing vs the need to work. How should he choose? 
Sir Tsang did not give up either. For a very short time, Sir Tsang could not make any sound; therefore, during lessons, Sir Tsang could only communicate with students through other means. After he recovered, Sir Tsang found that his voice was no longer the same as before, but he was thankful that he could still sing.

We, the student interviewers, really wanted to hear Sir Tsang sing for us on the spot. However, we were not lucky enough to have our wish granted. Nevertheless, even by just seeing Sir Tsang, a modest teacher with a sonorous voice and clear articulation, before our eyes, we could tell why VP Tsin praised Sir Tsang so excitedly. 
Suffering a voice injury is regrettable, but we can imagine that the enchanting voice of Sir Tsang in the classroom was as charming as his singing on stage. 
Sir Tsang is an outstanding singing enthusiast as well as an outstanding teacher.



Sir Tsang is invited to perform in Macau.




Favourite hymn of Sir Tsang


Born into a Christian family, Sir Tsang has been inspired and enlightened by hymns throughout his life, with ‘How great thou art’ being one of his favourite hymns.
This hymn’s lyrics are meaningful. According to Sir Tsang, verse 1 describes God’s creation, verse 2 God’s salvation and verse 3 our hope. Many renditions of the hymn can be found on the Internet, and Sir Tsang highly recommended listening to them as the different renditions can give the listeners different insights.

Sir Tsang told us an anecdote regarding the hymn ‘How great thou art’, which happened when he was teaching at Pentecostal School in the early years. At that time, the school did not have a school anthem yet, and because Sir Tsang often led students to sing the hymn, some of them mistakenly thought that ‘How great thou art’ was the school anthem.



The school sponsoring body, Kowloon Pentecostal Church, presents a plaque award to Sir Tsang in appreciation of his faithfulness in serving the Lord and his efforts in nurturing students.




Retirement life


Though Sir Tsang has stopped teaching, he has never stopped learning.
When Sir Tsang was young, he was very envious of people who could play a musical instrument. During his retired life, Sir Tsang’s dream of learning to play musical instruments has come true. He has learned to play the clarinet and the flute. According to Sir Tsang, when a person learns a new skill, no matter playing a musical instrument or calligraphy, he has to practise hard.

Apart from music, Sir Tsang is very fond of cycling, which he does once a week. One of the usual routes is to cycle from Tai Po to Tai Wai, have lunch there and ride back to Tai Po. Sir Tsang’s life is simple and full of leisure.



PLHKS teachers celebrate the retirement of Sir Tsang.




Advice for PLHKS students


To govern a country well and bring peace to all, one should first be able to cultivate one’s moral character and put one’s own household in order.

‘To govern a country well and bring peace to all’ – let’s put it aside for the time being. Sir Tsang thinks that students in PLHKS should be able to cultivate their moral character and put their own household in order first. 
To cultivate one’s moral character, one needs to equip oneself with knowledge and build a good character. Without knowledge, everything is vain; only with knowledge can one build one’s wisdom. However, acquisition of knowledge is not equal to possession of wisdom. Only those who master knowledge insightfully can be said to be in possession of wisdom.

The way to manage one’s own family is to treat one’s family well. Our parents should be the ones dearest to us because no matter in terms of blood relationship or living together, they have given us a lot. According to Liji, the Book of Rites, there are three levels of filial piety. The highest is the honouring of our parents, the second is not disgracing them, and the lowest is supporting their livelihood. In the highest level, we should make our parents feel proud of us. In the second level, we must not make our parents feel ashamed of us. In the third, basic level, we should support our parents.   

If students in PLHKS can do the above, they will be respected by others.



Revisiting the once-very-familiar school, Sir Tsang takes a photo together with the Principal, teachers and students after the interview.




Postscript to the interview



After Sir Tsang retired in 2012, there have been continuous changes in PLHKS, including the arrival of new teachers, multiple renovations of the school hall, resurfacing of the outdoor ball courts, painting the exterior walls of the school blue, providing paper towel and toilet paper at washrooms …   
At the end of the interview, Sir Tsang had a guided tour around the campus with teachers and committee members of the Student Union. 
PLHKS has changed a lot, while at the same time, it seems that nothing has changed. Committee members of the Student Union study at PLHKS for at most six years, but Sir Tsang has taught at the school a multiple of six years more than us. 

It was a strange feeling. It seemed that it were us who were having a tour of the school, while Sir Tsang just returned to his ‘hometown’ for a visit. These multiples of six years should have been more than sufficient to make the very close relationship between Sir Tsang and PLHKS last long.






Interviewers and writers

5B Liu Lu  5A Lui Hei Yi  5B Chan Sai Hin  3A Lee Chun Lam  2A Cho Mei Yan