You are here: Home > School Profile > History
1841 1849 1851 1855 1867 1873 1878 1898 1907 1909
1911 1915 1930 1941 1945 1950 1959 1963 1968 1969
1979 1981 1992 1993 2001 2002 2003 2006 2007 2008

Founded in 1851, St. Paul's College is the oldest secondary school to commence operation in Hong Kong. The college started as an Anglo-Chinese school with only one tutor and nine students. Today, the college consists of more than 1,200 students in the Secondary section and 600 students in the Primary section, bearing little resemblance to its humble beginning.

We invite you to visit our on-line museum which displays a concise history of St. Paul's College.

The Reverend Vincent Stanton, who was appointed the first Colonial Chaplain in Hong Kong in 1843, raised funds in England to start an Anglo-Chinese school in Hong Kong. The Reverend Stanton is regarded as being the Founder and the first Principal of St. Paul's College.

St. Paul's College opened for the purpose of teaching English to Chinese boys. Situated at Glenealy (Tit Kong), the school started with one tutor, Mr. Moncrieff, and nine boys.
St. Paul's College was officially founded in this year. Bishop George Smith, the first Warden and the second Principal of the College, noted that the number of students had swelled to 33.

Mr. Moncrieff, the school's only tutor, went to India where he was killed in the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The college was suspended for the next five years.

Bishop Charles Richard Alford became Warden and the third Principal of the College. The year 1868 started with 30 Chinese and Eurasian boys.

Bishop John Shaw Burdon, the Warden and fourth Principal, turned the building into a school mainly for English speaking boys. This school lasted for about six years.

During this time St. Paul's College and St. Joseph's College competed in the earliest inter-school football matches ever played in the colony.

The college again became an Anglo-Chinese school under the headmastership of Mr. John Fryer.

In 1898, Bishop Joseph Charles Hoare became Warden and fifth Principal. However, the Anglo-Chinese section of the school was suspended again and the building used as a training school for Chinese Catechists. The Reverend P. A. Bunbury was in charge. In 1906, Bishop Hoare and four students were drowned in a typhoon whilst returning from a trip to Castle Peak.

Bishop Gerald Heath Lander became Warden and sixth Principal.


The Church Missionary Society took over the school building and St. Paul's College re-opened again with Reverend Arthur Dudley Stewart as the seventh Principal (headmaster).

The primitive facilities of the school at this time was captured in this article about St. Paul's history:

"Some of us can remember the old south wing - two enormous classrooms on the first floor and one on the ground floor - the rest of the space taken up with wide verandahs and staircases, the whole constructed of ancient and somewhat worm-eaten wood, which must have caused a headache to the Insurance Company; the bad lighting and amazing discomforts which would not be tolerated by modern schoolboys."

(by Colonel E. G. Stewart)

The enrolment soared to 300 and extensions became necessary. In this year, the Wu Ting Fang Hall and St. Paul's Church were erected.

St. Paul's Girls School was founded by Reverend A. D. Stewart's sister, Kathleen Stewart.

Headmaster Reverend A. D. Stewart retired and his brother Colonel Evan George Stewart took charge as the eighth Principal of the College.

In December, the school closed abruptly when Japan invaded Hong Kong in the Pacific War. Colonel E. G. Stewart, together with some school staff and students, risked their lives for the defense of the colony.

In the difficult times of reconstruction, St. Paul's College was amalgamated with St. Paul's Girls' School to form St. Paul's Co-educational College.

With the hard work of Colonel E. G. Stewart, the original college staff and students, St. Paul's College re-opened by taking over the old St. John's Hall premises at Bonham Road.

The Reverend Geoffrey L. Speak was appointed as the ninth Principal. The College was expanded from a school of about 600 students to a campus housing in excess of 1000 students. This was a time of major rebuilding on the Bonham Road site.

The Students' Association was officially established.

Mr. Ha Wing Ho, Timothy was appointed as the tenth Principal of St. Paul's College.

The current school buildings including the Hall, the Chapel, the new block of 36 secondary classrooms, the covered playground, the staff rooms, the Library and the Primary School building were completed

An outdoor swimming pool, named St. Paul's College Alumni Association Tse Yu Chuen Swimming Pool, was opened. Its construction was made possible by funds from parents, old boys and, most importantly, the Alumni Association.

The school spent $1,200,000 to improve the teaching and learning environment by installing double-glazed windows and air-conditioners in all classrooms.

St. Paul's College was the first aided school to opt for the Direct Subsidy Scheme. However, the scheme was eventually suspended when the government policy changed. Under DSS, the school would have been given maximum freedom with regard to curriculum, school fees and entrance requirements.

St. Paul's College Primary School was relocated to a site at Hill Road which formerly housed a secondary school. The vacant block at Bonham Road was transformed into a series of special purpose rooms including an art room, a music room,a staff room, a teaching resource room, a computer room and a teachers' common room.

150th Anniversary: a year of activity and celebration. There was an exhibition day, a carnival and a concert. The reunion dinner was also a great success with teachers, alumni and friends of the College gathering together from many different parts of the world. Over 1500 people attended the dinner.

Funding for the new Multi-Media Learning Centre was provided by the Quality in Education Fund.

180 students were enrolled in Form 1 classes as the first students of the new DSS scheme.

Primary School joined the Direct Subsidy Scheme

The School Improvement Project was started in early September, 2003.
The School Improvement Project commenced with the construction of the New South Wing


Dr. John Richard Kennard
Dr. John Richard Kennard was appointed the eleventh Principal of the College.

The College commemorated the Centenary of the death of Bishop Hoare and four students on the 18th September 1906.

The new South Wing was opened by Archbishop Kwong Kong Kit, Peter.

The College celebrated its 155th Anniversary


Twin-School relationship established with the High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Artist-in-Residence Programme launched. Inaugural resident: Dr. Stephen Ng (alumnus), tenor, Stetson University, Florida.


Community Service Programme launched, Harbin, China.
Wong Ming Him Hall renovation
St. Paul's College Foundation Limited established

The Stewart Dinner, celebrating the life and work of late Col. E.G. Stewart, Principal 1930-1958.


Teacher-Visits Programme launched with inaugural visit to St. Markˇ¦s School of Texas.