Rev. HOWATSON, Patrick Joseph SJ

* Birth in Waterville, Co., Kerry (凱里郡), Ireland (愛爾蘭): [18 March 1910]
* Enter Novitiate: [17 September 1927]
* Ordination in Ireland: [31 July 1941]
* Death in Hong Kong: [23 August 1972]

# Information according to “Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond”  / Pictorial memories of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926 to 2016

Death of Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, S.J.

Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, SJ, chairman of the Hong Kong boys and Girls Clubs Association, died at Grantham Hospital on 23 August 1972, aged 62.

He was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland, in 1910, educated at Clongowes Wood College, Ireland, and joined the Jesuit Order in 1927. Before long he had proved himself the most effective and clear-sighted organizer among the Irish Jesuits of his generation.

He spent the years 1935-38 in Hong Kong, teaching in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, and in Wah Yan College.

He was ordained priest in Ireland in 1941. His main work until his return to Hong Kong in 1946 was the preaching of popular missions - courses of very direct and forceful sermons - but he gave all the time he could spare to the Bevedere Newsboys Club, working for it with an enthusiasm that was to bear fruit here.

On his return to Hong Kong in 1946 he became a teacher at Wah Yan College and procurator for the Hong Kong Jesuits. He was horrified by the sight of post-war destitution. The shoeshine boys in particular captured his attention. Many of them were homeless orphans; none of them had much to look forward to when their day
s work was done. For them he founded his first club, at Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

This club, with its carefully considered mixture of education and recreation, flourished under Father Howatson
s combination of firm discipline with unforced and understanding affection. It soon served as a model for some of the many boys clubs that were springing up to meet a need that was especially urgent in the early post-war years. When the Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) was reorganized to cope with this growth, Father Howatson was elected chairman, Bishop Hall being President.

Father Howatson gave up teaching and devoted his abundant energy to his new task, He took a deep interest in all the clubs in the association. His personal preference would have been to work directly for the boys, but as chairman he regarded it as his first duty to train club leaders and to advise and encourage them once they had taken up work. He also devoted endless care to the planning, building and use of the Holiday Home at Silvermine Bay.

In 1959, the BGCA moved to its own headquarters in Lockhart Road. At the opening, Sir Robert Black, then Governor of Hong Kong, paid the following tribute:

Any collective effort requires a high degree of planning and organization; a good committee needs a first-class chairman; the Boys and Girls Clubs Association are most fortunate in their chairman, Father Howatson.

This building stands above us today completed because of his drive and his resource, because of the sheer hard work which he has put into it all behind the scenes, and, of course, anyone who is a potential benefactor must be keenly aware of Father Howatson's notable work.

In addition to his work for the BGCA Father Howatson took an active part in the work of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. As chairman of the Standing Committee of Youth Organizations he led an important East Asian Seminar on Social Group Work among youth. It would be difficult to think of any form of social work in which he did not take a vigorous part - playgrounds, housing, personal problems, crisis relief and so on.

Towards the end of this period he was reaching out to the development of clubs for young men and women. Unhappily, the failure of his health prevented him from carrying out this plan - a notable loss to the community.

Father Howatson was the first chairman of the Hong Kong Catholic Social Welfare Conference, and was closely associated with Mgr. C.H. Vath in the earlier stages of the development of Caritas Hong Kong. He agreed to take over the direction of the proposed Caritas Social Centre in Kennedy Town. In consequence, he resigned the chairmanship of the BGCA.

When he was still supervising the building of the new Centre, he suffered a moderately severe stroke. Though paralysed on one side, he recovered sufficiently to continue work, though at a slower pace, and was able to open the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre and to direct its operation for over a year.

A more severe stroke in 1965 put an end to his active work. He spent his last years in the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre, bedridden but not quite forgotten. Many of those for whom or with whom he had worked retained a warm interest in all that concerned him; nor did those who had seen his work from above forget him. A former Governor, a former Chief Justice and a former Director of Social Welfare were numbered those solaced his inactivity through their sympathy.

1 September 1972



耶 穌 會 會 士 侯 奕 純 神 父 於 一 九 七 二 年 八 月 廿 三 日 病 逝 本 港 葛 量 洪 醫 院 , 享 年 六 十 二 。 於 廿 五 日 上 午 十 時 , 在 跑 馬 地 聖 瑪 加 利 大 堂 舉 行 安 所 彌 撒 , 並 移 葬 跑 馬 地 天 主 教 墳 場 。

侯 神 父 曾 任 香 港 男 女 童 群 益 會 會 長 。

一 九 一 0 年 他 生 於 愛 爾 蘭 , 一 九 二 七 年 加 入 耶 穌 會 , 一 九 三 五 年 至 三 八 年 期 間 曾 在 本 港 華 南 總 修 院 和 華 仁 書 院 任 教 , 一 九 四 一 年 在 愛 爾 蘭 晉 鐸 , 一 九 四 六 年 重 返 本 港 , 繼 續 在 華 仁 書 院 任 教 。

他 對 街 邊 擦 鞋 童 的 生 活 至 表 關 懷 , 不 久 在 當 時 位 於 羅 便 臣 道 的 華 仁 書 院 為 他 們 組 織 了 第 一 個 協 會 。

後 來 , 類 似 的 團 體 相 繼 成 立 , 為 適 應 實 際 的 需 求 , 組 成 了 香 港 兒 童 群 益 會 。 一 九 五 九 年 , 該 會 總 部 遷 往 洛 克 道 新 址 , 港 督 柏 立 基 爵 士 曾 親 蒞 致 詞 。 侯 奕 純 神 父 也 是 香 港 公 教 社 會 福 利 聯 會 的 第 一 任 主 席 , 曾 與 華 德 中 蒙 席 攜 手 推 進 香 港 天 主 教 福 利 會 的 發 展 。

他 曾 兩 度 中 風 , 一 九 六 五 年 的 一 次 最 為 嚴 重 , 以 致 半 身 不 遂 , 使 他 無 法 再 從 事 積 極 的 工 作 。
1972 年 9 月 1 日

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Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.
先賢錄--香港天主教神職及男女修會會士 (1841-2016), 天主教香港教區檔案處, 2016.
一九二六年至二零一六年在香港的耶穌會會士影像回憶, 紀歷有限公司, 2016.