Welcome back, Sister Goretti!

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Hello Hong Kong!

It was such a bonus to have Sister Maria Goretti return and be a part of the SPCS 160 Anniversary celebrations! Sr. Goretti was my classmistress in Form One. For someone just starting secondary school, it could not have been any more reassuring to have such a gentle and serene young nun and teacher as classmistress. Counting from my Form One is over forty years, and, Sr. Goretti has just gotten more and more lively, brimming with humor and laughter.

Sr. Goretti is still hard at work in the Philippines, taking charge of the lab kitchen of the hospitality faculty at St. Paul University in Quezon City, Manila. Many of her former students in Hong Kong maintain communication with her and some visit her at her university. So yes, we keep in touch but it is nothing compared to having her back with us at the school surroundings in Causeway Bay!

Her first day back was a joyous reunion, first, with the sisters at the convent. Whereas as a young student, I looked at the convent with reverence and some mystery, that day, I witnessed the love and friendship among the sisters – it was one big family. The evening was a lively reunion with some of her past students at a Chinese dinner at Regal Hotel. The pedestrian footbridge is a monument from years past, except that now we can all take advantage of a glass walled elevator!

 

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Welcome Dinner
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Welcome to Disneyland

The second day’s activity was “by special request” of Sr. Goretti and Sr. Mary Joy, a young sister accompanying her – a visit to Disneyland! And how she enjoyed it! And even for those of us who accompanied her – Doris Lau, Venny Ng, Irene Teoh and myself! It seems like we even forgot about the heat – except that Venny provided both sisters with those portable mist spraying electric fans and we did spend a good hour having dimsum – with Sr. Goretti clearing a plate of “lo bak go” by herself! And we even managed to catch the outgoing “The Golden Mickeys” show and the brand new “Frozen” show!

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A swell of a time
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Dimsum at Disneyland
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Dinner at Yacht Club

After Disneyland, Sr. Goretti and Sr. Mary Joy had a very pleasant dinner with Doris and spouse Lincoln, Irene and Venny at Royal HK Yacht Club before heading back to the Convent. “What a happy soul”, commented Lincoln on Sr. Goretti; and indeed she is, her warm personality and positive attitude inspiring everyone in the vicinity.

 

 

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A photo for keepsake until we meet again!

The next day was the Homecoming Dinner and Sr. Goretti was just surrounded by her admiring past students throughout the evening! And when she joined Sr. Margaret and all the other sisters and the senior management of SPCS on the stage for the School Anthem with the backdrop of the Alumni Choir and the Student Choir, she glowed with love and devotion, indeed she is, an indelible part of SPCS as we all are!

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Hark Daughters of the Great St. Paul!
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A quiet farewell dinner

Then of course, Sr. Goretti could not miss out visiting St. Paul’s Secondary School where she had also taught. I also was able to fit in a cosy evening Japanese dinner with the two visiting sisters and my husband and grand-daughter.

Then came the last day of a whirlwind five-day visit. After bidding farewell to the sisters at the Convent, her students took her for a short trip to the Tea Museum at Hong Kong Park and the Peak. It was followed by a farewell lunch and then a send-off by one of her favourite students, Susan Kwan, not without last-minute shopping at the airport!

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Farewell at the Convent
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Tea Museum at HK Park
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The Peak
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Farewell lunch

So Sr. Goretti, we hope there will be another opportunity to have you back! Meanwhile, your students will be in touch with you and visit you!

Jennifer Li (1971)