La Salle Study Centre Changjiao

June 2013 Newsletter







29th June 2013

I am now sitting in the waiting room of Guangzhou East Railway Station waiting to board an express train to Hong Kong.  What am I doing in Guangzhou?  Well, I came to Guangzhou on Thursday evening to take part in an award ceremony organized by the Xinhua Monthly Newspaper on Friday afternoon 28th June at the Zhujiang Xin An Hotel.  The award is known as The Outstanding Contributors to the Development of Guangdong for year 2012.

Let me go back to my report on March.  For those who have been following my quarterly report, you will remember that I encountered problems when I wanted to start work cementing the narrow hill road so that farmers can conveniently ride their motorbikes to their land in the hill.  Thank God, with the help of village authorities and the generosity of two villages who graciously offered their land, we were able to make a detour and by-passed the blockade.  I chose to and was in Hong Kong when the alternative road was built.  I was told three brothers from that family actually used logs to block the existing road and even threatened trouble for those working. I feel sorry for the family as they no longer have any standing in the village as a result of their very unreasonable and selfish stand.  Although they claim that their action was not against me but against another villager who will benefit more from the road, I am at a lost to understand the argument as their youngest brother has many pomelo trees planted at the very end of the road. 


This above episode is a story of a blessing in disguise.  An officer in local Huliao town government, who is a parent to one of my students knew about the incident and decided to take affirmative action to “right the wrong”.  He timed his action perfectly by making use of the Qingming (Grave Sweeping) festival to invite six businessmen from Guangzhou who returned to our village to pay their respect to their respect to their ancestors, to have dinner with him [which they could not refused] and invited me along.  To cut the story short, I received a donation double the amount I spent.  We have not started cementing the road because of the rain.  Thank God, I have put this event behind me and I am looking forward to have the road cemented by the end of this year.


In connection with another item in my March report, the construction of the new Bishopric in Meixian, it is with great joy that I want to inform you that I attended the ground breaking ceremony on Thursday 27th June just before I travelled to Guangzhou for the above mentioned award ceremony.  With latest CCTV publicity, it looks like what I foresaw as a possible opening of starting an English Language Centre in Meixian at the Bishopric can become a reality.  I will need people and financial resources then.  I pray some of you who regularly read my adventures in Changjiao will consider accompanying me on this possible new mission in two years time.


Another item mentioned in my March report is the 10 Top News Media Personality of Guangdong 2012.  We attended the award ceremony held in Guangzhou on Friday 22nd March at the Guangdong TV Center.  The Liaos of Dabu who live and work in Guangzhou heard about the event and decided to gather at the TV station with banners and placards to show their support and appreciation.  We had dinner with the organizers after the event and the Dabu Liaos hosted us to a lunch the following day. 


On 30th May CCTV4 broadcasted a programme: Hakka People in Dabu.  Two persons were featured in for the programme.  The first is the famous late Zhang Bishi, the founder of Zhangyu Brandy and Red Wine.  I was featured second as a third generation Overseas Hakka returning to serve and bring about development in a rural hill village.   


On Friday 24th May, CCTV13 in cooperation with Beijing’s Guangming Ribao, sent a reporter and a cameraman to interview and film us for a national activity entitled “In Search of the dedicated rural village Teachers” in conjunction with this year’s "China's Dream" activity with the aim of exhibiting the spirit of selfless contribution of the village teacher, self sacrifice and model for uplifting human spirit and character.  They were here from Friday through to Monday filming and interviewing us. I was literally wired throughout as they wanted to have a recording of everything I said to students, parents and villagers.  As a follow-up to that interview, LSSC appeared as a 3 episodes feature of the morning 7.30 a.m. news of CCTV13 for 3 consecutive days on 17th, 18 and 19th June.  We then appeared again as a main feature on 8 p.m. news of CCTV1 on 22nd June.  I do not know what effect this national media exposure will have on our summer programme this year but I am certain it will bring additional pressure on the number of students seeking a place.  We have already received telephone enquiries about this summer’s programme from all across China.

Another key event for LSSC was the invitation to address the students and faculty of the Education Department at Jiayin University in Meixian on 13th March.  I am proud to say that my lecture on The Vocation of a Teacher was well received and the follow-up Q&A was lively and interesting.  Invariably, the question as to why I am not married poped up.  Thank God, I have been asked this question so often that I had great fun answering it.  As a follow-up to the talk, about 60 students and 10 members of Jiayin’s Education Faculty visited LSSC on 2nd June 2013 and attend a lesson at LSSC entitled “China’s Dream”.

The weather here has been unusual in many ways.  It was raining heavily and almost daily in May and June and as a result many young pomelo fruits fell off.  Since last week, the rain has stopped and now we are experiencing very hot weather.  Thank God, the day before yesterday, the Political Secretary of Huliao together with the GM of the Electricity Board visited LSSC and agreed to lower the tariff for our power usage.    

Now is that time of the year where we want peace and quiet so that we can prepare for the summer.  We have posted our registration dates and conditions but keeping to the schedule is not easy as some anxious parents and relatives turn up early so as not to miss out. 


With this we end this latest report.  Please keep us in your prayers.


Take care and God bless.  

As always with love in the service of youth and nation through DLS,


29th June 2013

La Salle Study Centre



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