【#WeArePolyU】What are some of your memories as one of the first-generation of alumni at PolyU?
“In my days, the School ran three classes only, with 20 students in each class, and the tuition fee was HK$5 per month. At that time, monthly rent for a room was about HK$8, while a rickshaw ride from Wanchai to Central cost about 50 cents.”
As the oldest alumnus of PolyU, Mr Cheung Tsang-wai, will celebrate his 100th birthday in March 2021. Mr Cheung was among the first cohort of students who enrolled to study mechanical engineering when the Government Trade School (the University’s predecessor) was founded in 1937. He attended lectures in automobile construction, mechanics and machine drawing, and took practical courses in lathe-making, milling, as well as automobile maintenance and overhaul. Upon graduation in 1940, Mr Cheung applied the skills he had learned at the School, taking up different kinds of work, including as a car and ship mechanic.
Eighty years after his graduation, the centenarian alumnus has continued to keep in contact with his classmates and has developed closer ties with his alma mater over time, participating regularly in alumni lunch gatherings and other events organised by PolyU. His memories of the old days reflect the long history of PolyU, which dates back to the Government Trade School (1937-1947), later evolving into Hong Kong Technical College (1947-1972) and Hong Kong Polytechnic (1972-1994) before becoming The Hong Kong Polytechnic University of today.
Department of Mechanical Engineering alumnus
(Posted on 23 February 2021)