One & Only One – 111th Anniversary Reunion Dinner for St. John’s College

One & Only One – 111th Anniversary Reunion Dinner for St. John’s College

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for joining us at the One & Only One event, which celebrated the 111th Anniversary of St John’s College.
The event took place on 18th November 2023 at the Grand Hall of HKCEC, and it was truly a remarkable evening filled with joy, camaraderie, and nostalgia.
We were delighted to see a thousand alumni, guests, and St. Johnians come together to make this event a resounding success. The evening began at 6 pm, as guests gradually arrived at the cocktail areas of the Foyer of the Grand Hall. While enjoying complimentary cocktails, everyone had the opportunity to purchase beautiful 111th Anniversary St. John’s souvenirs specially created for this occasion.

As it was a black-tie affair, the foyer was soon filled with elegantly dressed participants, exuding glamour and charm. The 40 ft photo booth was congested with alumni taking pictures with their beloved hallmates. Additionally, guests had the privilege of admiring the three masterpieces by Elaine Chiu, which were specifically created for the 111th Anniversary celebration.

At 7 pm, guests were invited to enter the Grand Hall, where the dinner was held. The grandeur of the hall was accentuated by the presence of twenty long tables, each capable of accommodating forty-eight guests. The head table with 108 seats occupied a central position at the front. Once everyone was seated, a VIP procession, including the President of HKU, Prof. Xiang Zhang, and the Most Reverend Andrew Chan, the Archbishop, made their way to the head table, marking the official commencement of the evening’s program.

A grand video was played, signaling the start of an exciting program. The night featured College songs led by all past Chairmen, speeches by our AA Chairman, Mr. Vincent Chiu, Prof. Xiang Zhang, the Most Reverend Andrew Chan, and Dr. KC Wong (Master of the College). Following this, a birthday cake was cut in honor of St. John’s, and more than twenty guests, including our Silver Sponsors Mr. Rimsky Yuen and Dr. Alfred Tam and UOB sponsor Ms. Christine Yeung, joined our honorary guests Prof. Lo Chun Mau, Ms. Bernadette Linn, Mr. Leung Kam Chung, Prof. Frederick Ma Si-heng, Dr. York Chow, Dr. Vivian Wong, and many others on stage to raise a toast to St. John’s. We then captured a memorable group photo of all thousand attendees.

A prayer was said by Dr. Eric Chong then dinner commenced. And one of the highlights of the evening was the auction of three paintings: “Youthful St. John’s,” “The Glory of St. John’s,” and “HKU & St. John’s.” The auction, conducted by the renowned Sotheby’s auctioneer Mr. Felix Kwok Tung-kit, saw spirited bidding, resulting in a total value of HKD 300,000.

We also had the privilege of interviewing Reverend Paul Tong, the former Master of the College, and Prof. Lo Chung-mau, who shared their recent experiences and their memories of hall life in St. John’s, respectively. The 111th Anniversary Choir, consisting of forty members, graced the stage and performed two songs. The first was a re-composition “海闊天空” (by Beyond) was conducted by Dr. Lesley Chan, and the second was the new 111th Anniversary song for St. John’s, “The Anthem of Aquila,” composed by Andrea Hosking of 10/F, with conducting assistance from Mr. Yankov.

Lastly, the dinner concluded with a magnificent showcase of unity as members from all ten floors of St. John’s came to the stage, singing their floor songs and chanting their floor cheers. The evening reached its climax, leaving everyone with a sense of nostalgia and belonging.

The success of the One & Only One reunion dinner was made possible by several factors. Firstly, we would like to express our gratitude to the generous sponsorship from various donors, including anonymous contributors. We would also like to thank UOB (esp. Ms Christine Yeung) for their support in providing gifts such as scarfs and handkerchiefs made from Elaine Chiu’s painting, “Youthful St. John’s.” Special thanks go to Ms. Elaine Chiu for her extraordinary artwork.

Furthermore, the hard work and dedication of more than ten organizing committee members played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of this event. Their tireless efforts since June 2022 have been truly commendable. We extend our appreciation to each committee member:

• Ms. Hilary Pang: Vice Chairman of the event, production house management, also oversaw floor and helper management.
• Ms. June Au: Strong liaison between SJCAA, the College, and the students, organised choir.
• Ms. Ada Kong: Helped design most of our souvenirs and artwork.
• Ms. Adele Lok: Primarily responsible for editing the souvenir program booklet.
• Mr. David Ting: Liaison with HKCEC for venue and catering.
• Ms. Betty So: Responsible for financial control.
• Ms. En Yu Yap: Ensured student involvement and participation.
• Mr. Jimmy Lai: Managed souvenir sales and distribution.
• Mr. Yankov Wong: Oversaw the choir, photography, and promotion.
• Mr. To Wing: Designed the logo and stage setup.
• Mr. James Wong: Sought patrons and managed the event and floors.
• Ms. Mimi Lee: Organizing Chairman Night and on-site sitting arrangement.
• Mr. James Ho: stage and floor manager.

We would also like to express our gratitude to our MC team, Mr. Felix Kwok (also our auctioneer), Ms. Fion Li, Ms. En Yu Yap, Ms. Isabelle Zhang, and Mr. Olivier Samson, for their exceptional contribution to the evening’s proceedings.

Beside the Alumni, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the support from St. John’s College, both the staff and the management team which include Dr KC Wong, Mr. Paul Lee, Ms. June Au, the tutors and the office staff. And at the end, our students helpers who were helping moving of the souvenirs, sales counter and reception counter.
In addition, I would also like to express my gratitude to the following alumni for their contributions to our choir. They have created the new song “The Anthem of Aquia”: Ms. Andrea Hosking and Ms. Cindy Hui, Conductor Mr. Yankov Wong. Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the exceptional performances of our pianist, Dr. Daniel Ng, and our conductor, Dr. Lesley Chan, for their rendition of the song “Beyond 海闊天空.” Their talent and dedication have greatly enriched our choir’s repertoire.

Last by not least, our production house Onstage and all the staff from HKCEC, thank you for great effort in making the event a success.

Without the commitment and support of all these individuals, the One & Only One event would not have been possible. It is through their collective efforts that we were able to create an unforgettable evening of celebration and camaraderie.

Once again, thank you to everyone who attended the event, our generous sponsors, and the organizing committee members. Your presence, support, and dedication have made the 111th Anniversary of St John’s College a truly memorable and successful occasion.

Vincent Chiu
Chairman, One & Only One