After organizing the 6th Maryknoll Worldwide Reunion with Kathy Giannini MCS1960 in 2007, my hat off to the Steering Committee of the 7th Maryknoll Worldwide Reunion held from February 19 to 21, 2010 in Hong Kong. I do understand the hardwork that they had gone through. And it will not be successful with real love and passion for the school and the Maryknoll Sisters. It was a double happiness event as it was also the 85th Anniversary for Maryknoll Convent School. What blessed occasions!
Being a MSS graduate, I naturally will focus more on the homecoming visit of Marymount Primary School (MPS) and Marymount Secondary School (MSS. It is with mixed feelings that I visited the campuses where I spent most of my formation years.
Visit to MPS and MSS
February 19, 2010 was an extremely cold morning, it was around 9° C or 49 °F .A 23-seater bus was chartered to drive the 11 Maryknoll sisters from the King’s Park and the Boundary Street Convent to and fro MPS/MSS and MCS. The Sisters were:
We were also being graced by the presence of the Bishop Ignatius Wang of San Francisco who was visiting Hong Kong at that time and agreed to visit the two schools out of his busy schedule. Bishop Wang has been very supportive of the Maryknollers in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. I have to thank Wisdom Tse MSS 1976 in driving Bishop Wang to MPS and MSS .
We arrived MPS at 9am which is one hour before the actual schedule. The reason was the road condition was excellent that day and we did not run into any rush hour traffic jam. Embarrassingly, being so early, we walked into the entrance of MPS and we were warmly welcome by the staff and the principal Julie Ma who was I am sure was in awe to see such early visitors. We were being chaperoned into a very nice conference room and was served tea and cakes.
MPS is a newly built building. The open architecture is really very nice. The image of Our Lady on the school wall is most impressive. At the entrance was also the former statue of our Lady with two students in the old white uniform with blue tie from the demolished MPS. Many of us spent a few minutes of reminiscence there. At around 10a.m.we were brought to the School Hall where student ambassadors from Primary 4 were waiting for us. Also by that time, some 80 Maryknoll alumnae also arrived together with some former MSS teachers namely Mr. Peter Wong, Miss Alice Cheung , Mrs. Julie Woo to name a few; Mrs. Nancy Wong , former principal of MSS also came.
A warm welcome ceremony was arranged. Firstly, we sang the Maryknoll Sister’s School song. What a touching moment! The MPS Vice Principal, Mrs. Molly Lim, represented the MSS Alunmnae Association Exco member Stella , who was not feeling well, to give an opening speech. Then the school supervisor Dr. Eadaoin Hui of the Christian Life Community (CLC) gave us a very sincere welcome which included a short account of the success of Marymount Primary and Secondary Schools. The legacy of the Maryknoll Sisters was well recognized. Sister Rose Duchesne‘s talk was very meaningful. She also mentioned those Maryknoll Sisters who were not able to come namely Sister Marylou Teufel, Sister Margaret Shepherd and
Sister Virginia Flagg who are now in the Maryknoll Motherhouse and slides on them were shown on the screen. Mrs. Veronica Ma of MSS also gave a very warm welcome to all of us. We were later chaperoned to visit MPS and also there were beautiful violin recital by the primary students in the open playground. One highlight of the tour is to be able to see the newly finished chapel. It is elegant place of worship for the student and staff. The student ambassadors , primary four students, were dressed in different types of uniforms of MSS , including the “cheong sam” of the Holy Spirit School. I am really impressed by the details that principal of MPS Mrs.Julie Ma and the teachers had put into this open house.
After the MPS tour, we walked through a covered walkway that connects the MPS to MSS building. And I was back to a building which I know so well. Some of the Maryknoll Sisters who were with us were looking for the rooms they slept in and the classroom they taught at . It was such a reminiscing visit for them. Some of the alumnae took pictures in the classrooms. The MSS students ambassadors were very informative, polite and helpful. I wished I am studying at MSS again. The Geography room, the D.S. room gave me lots of memories. The library now is the former chapel, the music room was the former Biology lab. After the tour, we were invited to lunch at the School Hall. The food, the conversations, the laughter,
souvenirs selling , the photo exhibit lead the visitors to the highlight of the day. All the good memories of the school and the present success of MSS are all God’s blessings. Maryknoll Sisters, we thank you.
The Gala Dinner
It is a spectacular event. The program were meticulously planned and produced.The welcoming lines of MCS primary students were most impressive and cute. We, Maryknollers are a blessed herd with so many talents given to us. Maryknollers excel in administrative, executive, creative and technical works and are also sincere, conscientious , graceful , passionate and loving people. Sister Jeanne Houlihan’s speech was inspiring. The MCS/MSS joint reunion will not be possible without the support and encouragement of Sister Jeanne and Sister Rose Duchesne. The entertainment program was very professionally done.I am especially overwhelmed by the lion dance of the primary students. What a delight to see such discipline and energy. Bravo!!!
Around a little over 100 Maryknoll Sisters School alumnae and former teachers came to the reunion dinner, the minority presence has not lessen the amount of joy , happiness and the MSS spirit. We sang our school song loud, clear and with pride. A number of us returned from overseas to join this meaningful occasion. Many interesting stories were shared. and I have made many MCS alumnae friends in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. I experience such the real union of Maryknoll spirit. I always remember a Chinese saying that “when you are away from home, you depend on your friends”. Maryknollers support each other a lot when we are together. In California, the Maryknoll Alumnae Association is MSS and MCS combined association; one Maryknoll big family.
Reunions and anniversaries are always happy occasions and my heart felt thanks to the steering committee. What a great job they have done! And also to Our Lady of Maryknoll, thank you for your blessings.