We are proud to announce that one of our esteemed School Management Committee members, Dr. Mark S K SHUM, recently delivered an inspiring speech at Delia 58th Speech Day. As a highly respected member of our community, Dr. SHUM shared his valuable insights and motivated the audience with his thought-provoking words. We are delighted to share the transcript of his remarkable speech with you.
Dear School Supervisor Miss Chor, Principals, honorable guests, parents, teachers and students,
Today, it is my great honour to have been invited by Miss Tsor to attend the 58th Speech Day of Delia Group of Schools. I have just been sitting in the audience and have seen the smiling faces of the graduates, parents and teachers. In fact, I am as delighted and excited as you are. This moment bears witness to your hard work at school over the past six years. Six years ago, you came to Delia with a dream in your mind, and today it is your precious moment of harvesting the fulfilment of that dream. It is my great pleasure to join this Graduation Ceremony with all of you and to share your joy and happiness.
I have been serving in the University of Hong Kong for more than two decades. Our university has a long-established partnership with your esteemed Delia Group of Schools. We are very grateful to your principals and many teachers like Dr Chan Mei Ching (陳美晶博士), Miss Tsung Lai Ming (叢麗明老師), Miss Fong Lai Ling (方麗玲老師), Miss Sung Si Man (宋思敏老師), Mr Ma Pei Tak (馬彼德老師), Mr Lam Ka Chun (林家駿老師) etc who have constantly supported the language education research projects in our university. In these collaborations, your respectable teachers always work hard to give talks to share their teaching and research in conferences and seminars at their spare time. In fact, if you want to be successful in the future, like your teachers, you should work hard constantly. Today, echoing with what Miss Tsor just said in her speech on lifelong learning, I would like to use“Endless Self-strengthening and Lifelong Learning” (「自強不息，終身學習」) as the topic to share my learning experience with you.
First, I would like to talk about“Endless Self-strengthening”. It is taken from the ancient Chinese classic “Book of Change”. This classic says, 「天行健，君子以自強不息」“As the universe is ceaselessly in motion, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-strengthening”. The “gentleman” here refers to “any ambitious person who contributes to society”. A person is inspired by the vigorous movement of the universe to engage in endless self-strengthening. To be precise, endless self-strengthening means hard working, persistence and self-perfection. Taking, as examples, two men from India who worked hard in Hong Kong to strive for self-perfection: Sir Catchick Chater and Sir Hormusjee Mody—we have Chater Road (遮打道) and Mody Road (麼地道) to memorialise them. Sir Catchick Chater.was an Amenian born in Calcutta. He was an orphan at the age of 7. In India, he relied on a scholarship to complete his secondary education. He went to Hong Kong in 1864 at the age of 18, like the age of our graduates. He first worked as an assistant in a bank. He then set up his own firm dealing in stocks and shares. He worked very hard and turned out to be a successful businessman. He involved the establishment of Dairy Farm (牛奶公司) and Star Ferry (天星小輪). Above all, he was a great donor, having donated tremendously to church and education. When he died, he even donated his house and all its contents to the Hong Kong Government. Another respectable person who was born in India was Sir Hormusjee Mody. He came from Bombay to Hong Kong in 1858 at the age of 20. He first worked as a clerk in a small company. Then he worked very hard to learn to do business. Subsequently he partnered with Chater to form the ‘Chater & Mody Co.’ and eventually enjoyed great success in the real estate business. His greatest contribution to Hong Kong was helping to found the Kowloon Cricket Club and made an important donation to get the Hong Kong University up and running. Today when you visit the Main Hall of HKU, you will see the statue of Sir Hormusjee Mody who made Hong Kong his home for 50 years during which he did much for the benefit of this place and finally founded the University of Hong Kong. From the stories of Sir Catchick Chater and Sir Hormusjee Mody, we can see their endless self-strengthening and self-perfection, and their warm hearts to serve the society.
Secondly, I would like to share my own experience of “Lifelong Learning”. “Lifelong Learning” is the realization of “Endless Self-strengthening” in education. Growing up in the seventies, I experienced the hardship of Hong Kong where people struggled for resources. One needs to be lucky to complete secondary education. Being the eldest son of a poor family of nine, I had to work as soon as I finished my secondary education at the age of seventeen. Nevertheless, the hardship was the golden opportunity for me to strive for self-actualization. By chance, I entered the teaching profession as a primary school teacher. After teacher training, I sought for further studies to improve my qualification. I was a primary school teacher in the morning, and a university student in the afternoon. Subsequently, I obtained degrees from the Hong Kong Baptist University, Chartered Institute of Linguists, and University of London by part time studies. Later, I changed to teach in a secondary school, and proceeded to complete a PGDE from the University of Hong Kong and a Master degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, all in PT basis. After ten years of teaching in secondary school, I made the decision to give up my senior graduate master post to pursue a PhD in Australia. Now, I have been a teacher in the University of Hong Kong for twenty-five years. To look back on my past fifty years, I started from a Form 5 student and turned out to be a university professor. It has truly been a “Lifelong Learning” journey for me.
Thirdly, I found that many Delia graduates made the most of ‘Endless self-strengthening and self-perfection’. Let us look at some successful stories of graduates from Delia Family who have performed very well in various professions. Just to mention a few: .Miss Ada Lau (劉煥金老師), Miss Venus Lau (劉桂開老師) and Mr Hon Chun Wai (韓俊偉老師) are Delia graduates. Devoted to teaching, after studying, they returned to their alma mater to serve as teachers. Mr Yeung Ka Hing (楊家興) graduated from Civil Engineering in HKU and now an engineering consultant. Miss Lin Pui Yee (練佩儀) turned out to be a costume designer. Mr Gimandeep is an inspector of Hong Kong Police Force. Miss Wat Miu Shan (屈妙姍) and Miss Heina are devoted police officers. Mr Yaspreet and Mr Bobby turned out to be soccer players in Italy and Hong Kong respectively. Many Delia graduates are eager to learn. After graduation, Mr So Yu Lut (蘇汝律) went to Cambridge University to read a Master degree in History. Drs Yung Wan Shan, Shakeel and Kathi pursued PhD studies in HKU in Chinese Language Education, Chemistry and General Science respectively. Actually, the list is exceedingly long and the above are only just a few. Above all, the list is waiting for you to extend it!
Closing remarks: The significance of “Endless Self-strengthening and Lifelong Learning”
Dear graduating students, in this knowledge society, one cannot rely on one certificate or one training programme to live a decent life. From the sharing of real-life examples including Sir Catchick Chater, Sir Hormusjee Mody, myself and some of your fellow Delia alumni, we could conclude that “Lifelong Learning”is the way of life for modern times, and “Endless Self-strengthening” is the path to success. It means the persistence of learning despite challenges and failures.
Finally, I would like to congratulate all of you on your graduation. You have reached a major milestone in your journey of lifelong learning. I am confident that the knowledge you have acquired at Delia will contribute to your further academic advancement and career success. There is an abundance of opportunity for you in this affluent so
ciety today. I hope you value the opportunities to learn and treasure the friendships you have made with your teachers and fellow students.
And that marks the end of my sharing. I wish you all good health, and all graduates a prosperous and promising future. Thank you!