By Katherine Chu Giannini MCS Class of 1960
Maryknollers from different parts of the world joined together in Hong Kong during February 19th, 20th and 21st to celebrate two very special occasions: the Maryknoll Convent School 85th Anniversary and the 7th Maryknoll Worldwide Reunion.
It was a delightful 3-day event beginning with school tours at MCS and MSS sites, class gatherings, Mass celebration at MCS; and culminating with a delicious feast at the HK Convention Centre. Tickets for the gala dinner were sold out by December 15, 2009. Over 2,200 Maryknollers, family members and friends gathered to celebrate that evening which began with an inspiring speech by Sister Jean Houlihan, then followed by elaborate entertainment, raffle, and a ten course scrumptious dinner.
Some twenty three different items of souvenirs were for sale at the banquet hall, such as the Maryknoll ball pens which sold for HK$40 each and the School Campus Music Boxes which sold for HK$1,980 a piece; all for a grand cause. The funds raised were to be donated to the Maryknoll Sisters Retirement Fund, the Sisters who lovingly gave us the best education in the world.
The event itself was most professionally orchestrated which joined the past to the present in an admirable way. The opportunity to spend a few precious days in the city where we grew up and reunited with our former classmates who attended MCS and MSS brought all us back wonderful endearing memories.
The day after, some MCS and MSS former students and their spouses led by admirable Sister Joan Delaney went on an excursion to Vietnam and Cambodia. There were a total of 10 in all. Their first stop was Hanoi, Vietnam where they saw the water puppet show and spent an entire day in Halong Bay, one of the most remarkable natural wonders of Vietnam where over 3,000 limestone green islands jutted out of the emerald bay. They purchased fruits from the local fishing boats and had lunch served on their large wooden boat.
The next stop was Cambodia, where the group visited the intricately carved temples in Cambodia and Angkor Wat, followed by a dinner dance show. Last stop was Saigon. They spent two days in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest and busiest city of Vietnam. They visited the French Quarters, the Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s residence and other famous sights. The second day was spent entirely in the Mekong Delta whereupon the group went on a large boat through the delta, visited a coconut candy factory and ate lunch on Tortoise Island.
It was altogether a most pleasant experience and best of all, they celebrated Sister Joan’s 80th birthday in Saigon. She was very happy and so were her traveling companions.