La Salle Study Centre Changjiao
June 2006 Newsletter
Visitors – LSCOBA … the Wangs … Dato S.Y.Yong
Greetings to all. Peace and Joy is within you. In my last article, I ended by saying that the price of land in the village has shot up 500% because of recent developments. The fact is that it is all about “fengshui” and has nothing to do with market forces that drive up the price of land in normal economic development process. Fengshui, in transliteration which means “wind and water” is actually about geomancy. Anyway, what happened was that a farmer who obtained permission to build his house on a piece of farmland three years ago finally saved enough money to start building. When the foundation stones were laid, it was obvious that his main door was perfectly aligned to the main door of the richest man in the village and faced exactly the same direction. Words went around the village that his intention was to “steal” the fengshui. Immediately, the rich man made an offer the farmer could not resist and that was to buy up his land at 5 times the market value not for himself but to be donated to the village to use as a garden and car park. He then offered to buy the adjacent piece of land at normal price to enlarge the garden and car park but the owner refused to sell as he too wanted premium price. He refused to buy. So, it’s best that I do not to buy any land in the village for the time being.
Meanwhile, besides managing the repairs to my ancestral house, teaching English and preparing materials for this summer’s English Reading Programme, I have the happiness of receiving visitors to La Salle Study Centre, Changjiao.
Let me begins with the last item. Easter Monday, 17th April 2006, will always be remembered by all in Changjiao as the day Liao Laoshi’s mysterious La Salle Hui Guan Tong Shi (roughly translated as Lasallian Family members) finally turned up. I always remind them that I can do what I do for the children of the village because of support from La Salle Hui Guan. I want to thank Dr. Bernard Kong and Mr. Charles Chan, President and Deputy President of La Salle College Old Boys Association for organizing the visit. Brother Visitor Peter Foo also joined the group of 16 students, teachers and old boys for this historic visit. Of course, LSCOBA came bearing gifts of computers, projector, photocopying machine, books and a whole variety of very useful materials for LSSC but the impact was not what they bring. That they would make a day’s journey all the way from Hongkong, visit the centre for 2 hours, have dinner and then return to Meixian for the night before returning to Hongkong the next day, was and still is incomprehensible to the villagers. My position in the village and even among government officials in the district capital of Dabu-Huliao is greatly enhanced. I want to record my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the visit possible, all who contributed support and services and those who provided materials and money. I look forward to your continued support. Who knows where the Good Lord will lead us in main land China through LSSC Changjiao.
While still on the subject of visits, I must mention that there were other visitors too. From 31st May to 16th June, I was honoured with the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Wang Chee Seng. Mr. Wang was formerly headmaster at Balik Pulau. He had just retired and immediately volunteered to come over to help me. On 6th June, Dato' Yong Seng Yeow of SFI Melaka, who was with an official Malaysian Delegation visiting Meizhou, made a detour from his official schedule to visit me at LSSC. It was raining when he arrived and I was at the village barber shop having my haircut. When I was informed of his visit, I returned to LSSC wrapped up in my raincoat and riding my little doggy motorbike. Mr. Wang pointed me out to Dato’ Yong as I rode into the hamlet of Baijiang. Dato’ Yong exclaimed, “What? Where is Brother’s car?” To be honest, Dato’ Yong informed me that he would visit me a week before. When I told him not to go out of his way to come to see me since he was with an official Malaysian Delegation, he replied that he would come to see me so that he could fulfill a promised he made to me last year. Syabas to you Dato’. Your generous donation comes in very handy just as I am working on a very tight budget this year because of the unexpected development of repairing my ancestral home and refitting it as the new and considerably enlarged premise for LSSC.
Work at repairing my grandfather’s house was delayed for a total of 27 days because of continuous rain. This, I was told, is the wettest end of Spring weather for more than 18 years. Some of you may have heard in the CCTV News that Meichou was declared a flood disaster state. The town north of us, Charyang, which was the former capital of Dabu, was flooded three time, the worst with water up to 3.5 meters right in the middle of town. Changjiao was hit by a sudden flash flood on 25th May. It overflowed the banks at the lower half of the village. Some houses were flooded and crops destroyed. Pigs had to be driven up to higher grounds. LSSC was not spared either. At about 7.45 p.m. on 1st June a loud rumbling sound was heard followed by a loud thud. The children studying at LSSC screamed and ran out of the house. I was working in my room at that time. I rushed out and after making sure that the children were safe, went out to investigate. There was a minor landslide. The old retaining wall collapsed and crushed against the back of the house smashing the water pipe. Water gushed out. I immediately went to the surrounding houses to inform them and asked them to start storing water. Within 2 hours, the small reservoir on the hill was empty. As it was dark, we decided to leave things alone till daybreak. At first light, a work team was assembled to clear the debris and repair the water pipe. Water supply was immediately re-connected to all the houses except to my house. By evening the slope was temporary secured and water supply to my house re-connected.
Children’s Day 1st June 2006 was celebrated in a very special way this year. I started the ball rolling by donating RMB1000/– . The village administration followed with RMB500/- and an overseas visitor joined in with RMB200/-. Mr and Mrs Wang Chee Seng and I were guests of honour for the event. It was so wonderful to see the children all dolled and dressed up. After the formalities of the speeches and performances by the children, it was fun time. The teachers organized games and gave away many small prizes to the children. The finale was a high tea of milk drinks, fruits, cakes and sweets for everyone. It was a memorable Children’s Day for the students.
I cannot end this report without saying that Mr. and Mrs. Wang worked tirelessly to help me prepare for this summer’s English Reading programme. Mrs. Wang scanned in pages of teaching materials and Mr. Wang organized my teaching materials into powerful Power Point Presentations. I am indeed very lucky to have them help me. On top of that they also helped me paint the new desks and chairs for the expanded LSSC. They left us on 19th June to return to Malaysia but will return on 15th July to help run this summer’s programme.
I wish to record my thanks to all whose support have contributed to the fast expansion of LSSC. My next report will be about this summer’s English Reading Programme.
As always with love in DLS, in the service of youth and nation.
Take care and God bless. BDLiaoFSC
La Salle Study Centre
27th June 2006
All good things must
come to an end...