Recaps of the 7th Wah Yan International Conference
By by Albert Yong (WYK '62) President of 2000, Southern California Chapter
We concluded our Millennium Conference with a Big Bang! Our finale dinner at the Queen Mary was such a memorable event that people would talk about it in the decades to come. Surprisingly, everything came about so spontaneous and so naturally that moved everyone of us to tears. Every song that was sung and every word that was uttered were so full of love and emotion that the true spirit of Wah Yan was with us the entire evening. Mr. Wong Chin Wah and Mr. Francis Kong were trying to out shine each other in words and songs until Wilson Hsieh stepped in with a beautiful spontaneous out burst of his interpretations of their respective pieces. We had a wonderful time before and after dinner being in such a nostalgic mood and seeing friends among friends. All the teachers and fathers are honored and they all spoke their minds about us as students years after our graduation, we began to understand them better and appreciated more of their dedicated efforts!
Our Gala Dinner was a combined effort of many people and many other chapters notably from Vancouver and Toronto. We had the beautiful Couplets specially brought in by the Vancouver Chapter President Larry Yip to brighten up our stage and also had both Larry and his daughter sung for us to lighten up our spirit. The Toronto Chapter through my classmate Ho Pak Lee gave us a chance to view his great paintings and an auction that improved our finances for sponsoring our invited guests. Gordon Wu sent in his greetings electronically and discussed about Wah Yan spirit and how we could service our society wherever we are. Martin Lee told us how busy he was fighting for "democracy". We also had a plethora of power point presentations that made this event up-to-date especially in the land of Dot Com companies. The singing by our LA local chapter with Mr. Wong Chin Wah was indeed a welcomed surprise. We, the boys from Los Angeles were actually amused by our own showmanship! It was an evening of gala and dancing and comradeship of Wah Yan Boys that made Fr. Farren's eyes reddened. It was the true Wah Yan Spirit indeed!
Our conference was conducted by our great leader Professor Tong of UCLA and co-ordinated by our distinguished Peter Leung (Media Guru). This was a technical marvel. With the local technical team's(Franky Low, Raymond Chan and Robert Lee) help, the conference came off without a hitch. For two days, all I heard were wonderful comments that could fill a book. The efforts we spent paid off. Every Chapter was given a chance to speak and all issues discussed. Audiences were attentive and the spirit was high. We did accopmplish a number of agenda in the electronic linkage between chapters and had quite a few younger electronic wizards of several continents to work on the solutions. The spirit of giving was also evidenced by the establishment of the Jesuits health foundation fund. This examplified our deepest appreciation of the Jesuit priests that spent their life time to teach us to be a real person in our society. The conference facility got high marks and I heard no complaint of food services.
The final day of the conference came too soon for most and there were a few comments on the selection of the next International Conference location. But I have to say this was done with the utmost democracy and in the best of Wah Yan spirit.
We congratulate the Toronto Chapters for pooling their resources together to be our next host in the year 2002 and we admire the effort and the spirit of the Vancouver Chapter for their tireless pursuit for the chance of being the host. We are sure and have no doubt in our minds that they are ready and will be difficult to beat in their next quest.
Like Fr. George Zee, in his quiet wisdom, always says "it's all in one Big Family, lighten up and let's enjoy each other's company". And as a physician who is approaching retirement years, we shall say "life is short, be happy and don't treat yourself too harsh".
After all said and done, we have to report to all Wahyannites throughout the world that we had a wonderful time organizing the Millennium Conference. Your participation in this conference was our true reward. We, the Southern California Chapter, are looking forward to the Conference in the year 2002 and beyond!