Kwun Tong Maryknoll College is the third secondary school opened in Hong Kong by the Maryknoll Fathers, a society of Catholic priests and brothers founded in the United States in 1911. At that time there were only two "Maryknollers" - Father James A.Walsh and Father Frederick Price. They came together to start a missionary work which has since grown into a society of over a thousand priests, brothers and students dedicated to bringing the knowledge and love of God to the people of 18 countries around the world.
The name "Maryknoll" comes from two words - "Mary" and "knoll". The first major seminary of the society was built on a small hill or "knoll" which was dedicated to Christ's Blessed Mother Mary; thus the name "Mary's knoll" later simplified to Maryknoll. The Maryknoll Fathers first came to South China in 1918 and one of the co-founders, Fr. Price, died in Hong Kong. At one time there were over 150 Maryknoll Fathers working in South China until their expulsion from the mainland in 1950. Now there are members of the society in Hong Kong serving in parishes, schools, welfare and social centres and working with factory employees and many other groups.
The Maryknoll Fathers
The Maryknoll Fathers began working in the Kwun Tong area in the late 1950s. At that time, the extensive reclamation project was in full swing with acres and acres of land being formed on the edge of Kowloon Bay. Factories and resettlement estates were going up as fast as the landfill sites were completed. The population of the area began to soar with consequent demand for religious, social and educational services.
In anticipation of the opening of the new building, 207 boys were enrolled for Form 1 in September, 1971. The Divine Word Fathers of Sing Yin Secondary School in Lam Tin kindly made space available to us for one year. The opening of the new school building was delayed three weeks of the tragic landslide in the adjacent Sau Mau Ping hillside site, but we were able to take possession of the new building on 25th September, 1972 with an enrollment of 507 students up to Form 3 and a teaching staff of 19. The school was formally dedicated and blessed by Bishop Francis Hsu on 1st April, 1973.
When fully staffed, the College will have 1,200 boys studying from Form 1 to Form 7, preparing graduates for entrance to the Hong Kong universities and overseas institutions. With 30 classrooms, 6 science laboratories, 4 special purpose rooms and a spacious school hall and outdoor ballcourts, the school is well equipped to provide the academic, physical, social and moral training which is the goal of education.