2020 is a milestone year for the Class of 1960. It is the year to celebrate our graduation 60 years ago (花甲重逢) and our school’s founding 120 years ago (甲子迴旋). It is a year of anticipation, preparation, participation and satisfaction.
In 2019, we started planning for a reunion in Hong Kong coinciding with the March 2020 Founders’ Day celebration at our Alma Mater. We also suggested regional reunions understanding not everyone could travel the distance back to Hong Kong at the same time. Then came COVID-19 in December 2019, and gathering became difficult. However, that did not dampen our desire to celebrate this important year. A “class album” was what we decided to create to memorialize our times in our beloved Ying Wa. Susan Jong and Esther Wong were the pushing force behind the project. Regional representatives, Selina Wong (Toronto), Grace Yue (Vancouver) and Stella Chow (Hong Kong), were the planning brains. Together we made it happen.
We agreed that “The Class of 1960” will include not only those graduated in that particular year, but all those who had grown up with us during the span of 15 years we spent in Ying Wa. In August 2020, a brief form was sent out for classmates to fill out which included basic personal information and then 5 very simple questions: time period studying in Ying Wa; the fondest memory while in school; an additional memorable experience if any; update about oneself since leaving school; and any additional words to share with classmates.
Response was incredibly enthusiastic. There were 36 participants, including some who left Ying Wa during high school but had maintained contact and some that joined the class in Forms 6 and 7. In 1960, our graduating class comprised 44 people. 11 classmates had since passed away and we have lost contact with 8 others. Our first edition was completed in October 2020. There were a number of suggestions to perfect it. The final edition came out in mid-November 2020. The album is meant to be a tool to renew connection with one another and share some lost memories. We have accomplished that. We have already seen increased participation in social media and email reconnections.
There were some shared “outstanding memories” among our classmates. A good number of us remembered “morning prayer” time. Classmates felt it had helped build their faith and personality, and some could still remember the short hymns sung. Another common memory was the basketball tournaments after school, whether one was a player or spectator, with a lot of fond remembrances of our coaches, “Miss Bow Sui Hing” and “Miss Lee Ching Chee”.
Our class album is a tangible thing that we can hold in our hands (saved in our computers) and relive the memory whenever we like. In a way, it is more effective than a physical reunion because we can never hope to have all 36 of us in Hong Kong at the same time, and we may not have time to share the thoughts like those in the album. We still look forward to visiting the new school campus and walking through memory lane in person. We treasure the memories and the friendship, and we are all thankful that we spent part of our growing up years in Ying Wa. A copy of the abridged version of the album (with personal pages removed for privacy reasons) has been sent to Mr Francis Kwan, Principal, for safekeeping at the school. It is also available on our Alumnae Association’s website at http://www.ywgsaa.org.hk/news/class-album-1960.