I founded Cannan Kindergarten on Grampian Road, Kowloon City, in 1965. When the school started, there were only five students. My daughter, Lam Mei, who was an inexperienced teacher, was the only one who helped me share all Cannan’s internal and external teaching and administration affairs.
The Kindergarten is named as Cannan which is originated from the Old Testament. Cannan is “a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey”, promised by God for Abraham’s descendants. It is the place where Moses led the Israelites to escape from Egypt. For those believe in Jesus Christ or not, the Israelites’ days in Egypt have long been regarded by later generations as a symbol of the slave life of relying on others, being enslaved and lacking self-reliance. Cannan, being the promised land of God, means a place where people lived independently and freely.
Whether it is a parent or an educator, we all hope to nurture our next generation to be independent and free, just like Moses led the Israelites through the desert, cross the Red Sea and go up to Mount Sinai. The journey was long and difficult, and full of trials and tests. Children’s growing process is like a journey of a thousand miles and early childhood education just begins with the first step. If a good beginning is half success, then early childhood education really cannot be neglected.
From Chaoshan to Hong Kong, I have been engaging in educational work. I should have been familiar with running a school; however, under the condition of lacking resources and manpower, I was inevitably feeling anxious and worried.
I deeply understand that early childhood education needs not impart great knowledge, but it is a starting point to lay the foundation of child personality development. Therefore, Cannan started to guide children to get their life in order, to be neat and clean, punctual and well-behaved, which are the most common and basic skills. Then, we strive to stimulate children’s curiosity and a thirst for knowledge with encouraging them to develop creativity and thinking. Working hard and patiently in Cannan, I earned the trust of our parents. The number of students in Cannan Kindergarten has been increasing year after year. With the passage of time, I grew old and my physical strength declined. I decided to retire in 1978 and handed over all school affairs to Lam Mei.
From my retiring year to Cannan’s 30th Anniversary, I am very grateful to witness Cannan Kindergarten to grow up fast like our children in the kindergarten during these eighteen years. The younger generation has fully lived up to my expectations, continuing to explore the improvement of early childhood education, introducing more proper management, better teachers and teaching methods which can keep pace with the times.
Starting from a small family with a few teachers and students, Cannan Kindergarten has grown into a big family with close to six thousand staff members and students. As the founder of the school, while full of gratification and even cannot help feeling a sense of pride, I hope the colleagues of Cannan Kindergarten, including my granddaughter who studying abroad and has just returned to Hong Kong will work in Cannan, in the environment of bringing forth the new through the old and to cope with social changes, can still embrace unchanging love, strive for progress and patience, and keep on the meaningful work of cultivating seedlings. I would also like to bless all Cannan students, hoping them to have a brilliant future, to have good health and happiness while pursuing the infinite wisdom and fun in the world, and to enjoy a fulfilling life freely.