The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889), Gillian Bickley
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The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889)

Author: Gillian Bickley

Narrator: Verner Bickley

Abridged: 13 hr 31 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 09/01/2022

Genre: Biography & Autobiography - Educators


Frederick Stewart, born in Buchan, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was the first headmaster of the HK Govt Central School for Boys (now Queen's College) and second Inspector of Schools. He was considered by contemporaries as the Founder of Hong Kong Government Education. At the Central School, his consistent policy was to educate pupils in Western knowledge, while preserving their Chinese identity, and he insisted on equal time for Chinese and English studies. A career change was forced by the intervention of Governor John Pope Hennessy who wished the teaching of English to be given prominence. Subsequently, Stewart, a modest and unassuming man, popular within Hong Kong and also at the Colonial Office, became Police Magistrate, Registrar General, then Colonial Secretary, acting as Governor of Hong Kong on several occasions. By the end of his life, Stewart’s intimate knowledge of Hong Kong was considered unequalled among non-Chinese in Hong Kong at the time.

"Dr Bickley's life of Frederick Stewart is beautifully written, eminently readable, and at times moving." — Lady Saltoun.

"To all intents and purposes, Stewart's life and work was lost to posterity until the publication of this biography — the product of some eight years of devoted research which spanned the globe. The end product is certainly worth the effort. We need more studies of this type if we are to understand fully the complexities of colonial rule. The life stories of men like Stewart highlight both the high and low points of colonial service, the personal sacrifices that were often made and the legacies left behind.[I] thoroughly enjoyed this book." — Clive Whitehead, University of Western Australia, Int. J. of Lifelong Education.

"Surely few will dispute her contention that Stewart's legacy to modern Hong Kong has become something of enduring value and interest." University of Edinburgh T. J. BARRON


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