Thank you for joining the 15ᵗʰ AGM of Foundation. A warm welcome. I would like to specifically thank Principal of SS, Melaine Lee and her team, and Principal of PS, Doris Yuen and Vice Principal Kitty Lee, for your presence and support over the past year.
Last year was a fruitful and vibrant year for the Council. I am excited to share with you what we have done and accomplished.
The Foundation has succeeded from the Sisters as the School Sponsoring Body ( SSB) of Maryknoll Convent School [ PS and SS] in the year 2005. As the SSB, we have the obligation to ensure that the school is being operated in accordance with its Mission and Vision and it is also our role to set policies and directions for the School.
Guiding Principles For Coping With Unsettling Times In Hong Kong
In this difficult time in Hong Kong, everyone has a role to play. We, as the School Sponsoring Body, also has our role to play. We need to remind ourselves the School is a place for education and it is always our duty to provide a safe place for our students to learn. In response to the recent development and unsettling situation in HK and proposed class boycott, the Council has endorsed and shared with SS and PS a set of “ Guiding Principles For Coping With Unsettling Times in Hong Kong “. Our position and the guiding principles are informed by our Vision and Mission and the MCS Education Philosophy. I would like to share with you as follows:
- As School Sponsoring Body, we support the provision and attendance of regular classes. A school is a place for education, and education is essential to the development of a just society.
- Our mission is to develop our students’ ability to self-learn, to grow as individuals, and to have high moral standards. Challenges are opportunities for practising and nurturing virtues – to embrace inclusiveness, respect differing views, and stay true to the Christian values of Love, Faith, and Hope.
- Our vision is for our students to be informed and innovative, analytical and critical, responsible and adaptable, and moral and ethical members of society. We respect differences. We encourage the school to provide a safe and caring environment with ample personal space for our students and staff who prefer to continue school life with a sense of normality and routine, and likewise for those who prefer to engage and share their views, perspectives and feelings about these unsettling times in a peaceful, responsible and virtuous manner.
The above guidelines have been shared with teachers, students and they are well received. I would like to take this opportunity to thank school management of both sessions for holding up the Maryknoll values in this adverse situation in HK.
Let’s pray for Peace and Order in Hong Kong.
The Four Strategic Foci
You will recall that in the year 2015, the Foundation Council initiated a Task Force to review our work as SSB for the first 10 years after the Foundation took over from the Sisters and to look at how the School is actualising the MCS Mission and Vision.
Our Vision: Virtues alone ennobles- to nurture virtues and inspire excellence for a better world
Our Mission: To provide All round quality and affordable education for girls. To make GOD’s love visible.
After 12 months of extensive consultation and planning, the Council endorsed 4 strategic foci namely:
- To serve home, country and the world
- To Pursue Excellence
- To realise the Full Potential of the students
- Be Forward Looking
These 4 foci have set the strategic directions for the school to follow in preparing our girls to meet the challenges of the 21ˢᵗ Century and have been used as guiding principles for the development of the school plans since 2015.
The year 2020 is the 95ᵗʰ anniversary of the school and 15ᵗʰ anniversary of the Foundation who succeeded Maryknoll Sisters as SSB of MARYKNOLL CONVENT SCHOOL. As we are preparing for the celebration of the 95ᵗʰ anniversary, we have asked ourselves “How we would like Maryknoll Convent School to be in 2025 – its Centenary ?” and “ What needs to be done to bring the School forward?”
Looking to the future and reflecting on the Maryknoll Education Philosophy, the legacy of the Maryknoll Sisters, and the changing educational landscape, the Foundation Council has formulated “Nurturing Virtues and Inspiring Excellence” as our guiding principles.
In addition, we have identified Four Strategic Pillars that make for a unique and excellent Maryknoll education.
Each pillar is equally important as the other.
SCHOOL CAMPUS & INFRASTRUCTURE
- Our iconic school campus is a public symbol of the Maryknoll education, and provides a uniquely inspiring learning environment for our girls. The cars that drove pass Waterloo Road every day will never miss this beautiful castle-like building. As custodian for this valuable asset, we need to invest resources to protect our heritage and develop for 21ˢᵗ century learning.
- Our primary school is a heritage building of over 80 years yet it is a life heritage that is being used by hundreds of students and staff during term time. While we need to maintain its heritage status, we also need to ensure it is safe and modernised for our students to meet with 21ˢᵗ Century challenges.
We have to accept nowadays students do not just learn from the classroom and external experience is required for their development.
Our school program must be designed to provide experiences that allow for personal growth, understanding of self and relevance of learning to life. We develop the unique capacity of each student so they become intellectually competent and compassionate contributors for a better world.
Teachers are the soul of the school and gardeners of the seeds (students) in our care. Our focus on the growth and wellbeing of teachers will have long-term impact on the growth and development of our students. Good teachers will produce good students. During our student days, there bound to be a few teachers who have impacted on further life as an adult. We have to invest in our teachers if we want to attract and retain the best talents, role models and teaching professionals who share our core values and educational philosophy.
The Maryknoll Community
Maryknoll is an aided school with limited resources and relying heavily on government funding. For anything above standard, we will have to look to our loyal and selflessly-giving community of alumni and parents for support. We should develop thoughtful and sustainable systems to engage and harness their passion, resources and expertise for the betterment of the school.
We have started a process involving all members of the Maryknoll community to develop a five-year strategic plan based on the 4 pillars We will undertake a comprehensive review of the funding STREAM including but not limited to the EDB, other public fund, MCS Educational Trust to ensure we have the resources to invest in what is most important to Maryknoll Convent School going forward. This will enable us to continue the Maryknoll Sisters’ mission in providing all-round quality, affordable education for girls, and will set a vision for 2020-2025 to take our School to its centenary and beyond.
A Strategic Planning Committee have been set up to follow through the above.
95ᵗʰ Anniversary Celebration
We consider 95ᵗʰ Anniversary a prelude to the Centenary celebration. The OBJECTIVE of the celebration is to reconnect Alumnae [ bring them back ], share with them our strategic goals, and hope they will help us actualise them through offering their financial support, their time and expertise.
We have set up a 95ᵗʰ Anniversary Organising Committee with members consisting of representatives of the Maryknoll family namely the Principals, Supervisors and representatives of the PTA of both sessions as well as Chairman of FSA and Trust as members.
At our 1ˢᵗ meeting on 17 July 2019 – we agreed to adopt the slogan
and the 4 pillars above as areas we need to develop and invest in leading towards our centenary celebrations.
There will be ‘Kick off” ceremony on our school birthday 11 February 2020.
There will be a LOGO design competition, so stay tuned.
There will also be FSA organised signature souvenirs for sale.
We have a 2 days celebration program in February next year:
On 15 February: A Big Gala dinner at Grand Hall of the Convention Centre. We started off with a goal of 80 tables at Convention hall but all tables were sold out at early bird price of HK$1600 per head within 2 weeks. In view of the overwhelming support, we decided to move the venue to the Grand Hall and managed to sell over 140 tables to the Alumnae with 30 tables reserved for parents and teachers of SS and PS. If we convert 140 tables into number of heads, that means we will have over 1600 alumnae. A lot of them will be coming back from overseas. I think we have managed to achieve the objective of bringing people back!
BIG Thanks to Maggie Chau ( Chairman of the GALA OC ) and all teammates for their hard work. I am sure there will be lots to do and Maggie [ who also chairs our Membership Committee will let you know more how you can help when she does her presentation on Membership Committee later ]
On 14 February [ the day before GALA dinner ] : we will have a Homecoming function at the Schools. To us, celebration is not just about chatting and reunion with other alums. Celebration will not be complete without going back to the school and learning about “now and future“ of our alma mater. We appreciate 14 February is Valentine’s Day – a day we should celebrate with our loved ones. To many of us here, MCS is WHOM we love dearly and so it is a GOOD day for us to go back to school to reminisce our school days. The program will start in the early afternoon with guided tours, performance of students and also a sharing session in the early evening in SS with a presentation of “NOW and FUTURE“ of Maryknoll. Since it is a school day, the current students will join us in our celebration. So we are not just going back to see the building but a school in activities. Please do try to take half day off to join us!
Foundation Taking over the use of the Convent at Boundary Street from the Maryknoll Sisters
With the last Maryknoll Sisters moving out of the Boundary Street Convent [ right side of the Arch if you enter the Primary section from Boundary Street ] the Maryknoll Sisters have offered to let the Foundation have the use of the Convent [ except the Regional office].
By way of background, the Primary School premises are owned by Maryknoll Sisters [ in contrast with the Secondary School premises is held under a different Grant] and the premises with exception of the Convent and the Regional office was leased to the Foundation on 5 years term Lease and by way of Supplemental Lease, the Convent is also leased to the Foundation. The Convent is a 2 story building a with total floor area of about 5000 – 6000 sq ft. As it stands, the Ground Floor is made up of a living and dining room, kitchen, a chapel and 3 bedroom / meeting room while the 2nd floor consists of 9 bedrooms and a library. As it is part of a Heritage, any modification will be subject to AMO approval. There were different proposals for the use of the Convent including using the space to provide boarding experience, restart a Kindergarten, rehouse different rooms of SS / PS to the Convent. Whatever is the usage of the Convent, remodelling / restructuring will be required and this go hand in hand with huge funding. A Convent Committee chaired by Cordelia Chung has been set up with a mandate to study the possible usage of the Convent and its financial implications. A thorough feasibility study by professionals will need to be conducted. The use of the Convent will be a BIG project for the Foundation for the years to come and we will be looking to our MARYKNOLL community for support.
I now offer any interested members to have a site visit after the AGM.
The Council has 3 subcommittees – Trademark committee, Communications Committee and Membership Committee
1. Communications Committee
CC is headed by another CC – Christina Chan
The role of the Communications Committee is to communicate views, decisions and position of the Foundation as the School Sponsoring Body and in particular to reflect the SSB’s philosophy, views and ethos. We worked on the messaging and kept members abreast of the Foundation’s direction. We also deployed our messages through various channels including email broadcasts and newsletters to members, web pages and interactions with different target groups. Likewise, we also attend to enquiries and prepare response as appropriate. Over these past few weeks, CC has played an important part in preparing the Guidelines above and has been giving advice to the Council of the appropriate actions to be taken as SSB over difficult situations.
During the past year, Committee members have been busy with revamping the Foundation’s website which was built over ten years ago. The new site will have a more contemporary look and feel and will be mobile device friendly. It will be ready for launch next week after testing and commissioning. So stay tuned.
Another initiative was the development of a set of guidelines to manage communications in crisis and critical situations with the broader stakeholder groups including external parties and the media for both our Secondary and Primary sections’ reference.
In the coming few months, focus will be on the preparation of our 95ᵗʰ anniversary celebrations centering around the main theme Nurturing Virtues. Inspiring Excellence. In addition, there will also be a key focus on the planning of the Homecoming event on 14 February 2020. We call out to interested Members particularly those with a professional background in the communications, events management and video production arena to join us. Please contact our Communications Committee Convenor Christina Chan direct.
2. Trademark Committee
I would like to introduce Irene Li, Convenor of the Trademark Committee.
MCS Foundation is the legal owner of a no. of trademarks as indicated on the screen. These include the various forms of our school name, namely Maryknoll Convent School and MCS, the school crest and other school logos, as well as the floral pattern which is used in our primary school uniform. All these are valuable assets of our school. They represent our values, mission and vision which our school stands for.
To protect our trademarks against third party infringement, we need to use them in the various categories that we have registered. In this regard, the Trademark Committee has been ongoing collaborating with various school stakeholders to design and produce products incorporating our marks, and in many occasions the sales proceeds were donated to Educational Trust for the betterment of our school. Some of the products are on sale today at the back of the school hall. Would appreciate your generous support after the meeting.
Alums are also welcome to use our trademarks to produce souvenirs for a cause that is related and beneficial to the school, as well as for your class reunion functions. You can find the application Guidelines and forms in the Foundation website.
In the past years, Foundation has given Educational Trust the exclusive right to use the floral pattern to produce products for fundraising purpose. But as of 1 August this year, they have relinquished this exclusivity. So now the floral pattern would be open for use by members of the Maryknoll family. We shall update our Trademark Guidelines in the coming month and will notify our stakeholders of the application procedure and criteria via email and on our website.
Another matter worth reporting is that recently we have noticed that someone from Hong Kong is trying to trademark our school name and school crest in China. We are in the process of seeking help from a China lawyer to oppose the application and at the same time applying for our own defensive registration in China.
This concludes my Chairman’s Report and I now invite Maggie Chau to deliver the Membership Committee’s Report.
7 September 2019