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My First Encounter with Ying Wa
Ruth Lee*

The fifth of August 1967 was a day I will never forget.

The sun was scorching and my mother and I navigated our way to a very unfamiliar destination. With much fear and excitement, I entered 8 Bonham Road to register as a Form 1 student.

I had many fears. One was having to adjust to a new environment, new friends and meeting strangers and learning everything in English. There was also the fear of local-made bomb attacks (after the 1967 riots) on the long journey back and forth from school. However, I was excited at the same time for I had made my way through the keen competition of the Secondary Entrance Examination and entered into a school with a long history and good reputation.

The first batch of students moving into the 1967 blocks

The group of newcomers and their parents gathered in the Gymnasium and attended a briefing by a foreign teacher, probably Miss Pilkington. We were told that we were the first batch of students to enter the new school campus and this added much excitement to the day for we could soon enjoy the new facilities. How fortunate we were! We further learned that the new school buildings were near completion but the occupation would be delayed due to some final touch-up work. So the school had to adopt a bi-sessional operation, with us, the new students, attending the morning session. So I had to get up very early every morning in order not to be late. We even had lessons on the Double-Ninth (Chung Yeung) Festival to make up for the time lost due to the work delay.

About two months later, we moved in the Robinson Road Block. Our classroom was on the 10th floor – a long way to climb up the stairs! We were overwhelmed by the excitement of being the first occupants and explored every corner of the buildings. How proud we were of this super big structure!

One morning, we lined up along the stairways to bid an old lady farewell. I had only a very quick glimpse of her and that turned out to be my only view of Miss Silcocks, the memory of whom consists of that very blurred picture of her waving good-bye to us. Since my return to serve in Ying Wa, I have begun to know more about her and what she had contributed to Ying Wa, and particularly about her being the mastermind behind the 1967 redevelopment project. How I wish I could have known her in person!

Once in a Lifetime:
A blessing, an honour and an opportunity for the gift of love

I am very fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to serve my alma mater after leaving nearly three decades ago. During the past few years, I have reconnected with the noble heritage of Ying Wa and so many loving members of the family. In the face of this huge redevelopment project, I am again reliving the fear and excitement I felt years ago.

My training and experience in education must surely be inadequate for me to handle the entire project. There are so many hurdles to overcome along the way. Fortunately, God has enlightened me to see that this is not just my project, nor Ying Wa’s project but this is His project. The hurdles will be cleared one by one in His time. To be able to participate in it is indeed a blessing and an honour. To many, it is a precious opportunity, afforded only once in a lifetime. For those who had the privilege of participating in the 1967 project as well, I must say they are doubly blessed.

This project has a very special meaning to me. As one of the first batch of students freely enjoying the new campus in 1967, now is the time for me to express my gratitude and render support. I am sure many would agree that Ying Wa has given us the best environment in which to grow and develop, and it is now time for us to give back to the school. It is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Ward (English artist)

Never before in the history of Ying Wa have we had to raise such an astronomical amount. It is a test of our faith as well. Remarks made by Rev. So Shing Yit, the General Secretary of the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China and our School Council member, must surely be an encouragement to us all: “I deeply believe that God’s work depends on people and not on money. With people who have a willing heart to serve, there will be generous contributions and donations”#.

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Our redevelopment theme is Space for Transformation. We are looking not just for the transformation of physical space but most importantly the mental and spiritual transformation for all those involved (including Council members, staff, students, parents and alumnae). To me, as I experience the transformation, the reflections along the way have resulted in very inspiring perspectives, which further draw me nearer to the Lord and the people around. When the new campus is ready, many young girls will proudly walk in to be nurtured and transformed, to develop their potential, to fulfil their life goals and to form bonds that will last for a lifetime. 

At present, we are heartened to see more than 60 alumnae of different years and teachers working selflessly and fervently in the various sub-committees for the project. Our heart strings are further tugged by the donations which have been sent in (without being asked!) by our faithful supporters even before the official commencement of the fundraising drive.

I sincerely invite you to take part in this wonderful project and experience God’s amazing work.

 

# The Annual Report of the Hong Kong Council of Church in Christ in China 2009 with original text     in Chinese "我仍然相信,上帝的工作是靠人不是靠錢,只要有甘心樂意事奉的人,就有甘心的奉獻"
*  Current Principal since 2001


Synopsis

With an original score and script, Alice retells the class tale of a girl lost in Wonderland where nothing seems certain. The girl Alice is an average student with an overdose of imagination, which she uses to get her out of the mundane world around her. With a whole load of problems at home and school, Alice, accompanied by a bear she talks to, escapes into Wonderland—a place at once alluring and menacing. It’s up to her to decide which is home in the end—Wonderland with its opportunities or her estranged parents and a sister who beats her in any imaginable way, except for her imagination, perhaps.

All fundraising activities/events will be announced in due course.
© 2012 Ying Wa Girls' School. All Rights Reserved.