Sydney YWGSAA gathering on 9 December 2021

Esther Chan Siu Wa 陳少華 (’07)

Front row (left to right): Esther Cheang, Frances, Yvonne, Cynthia, Anastasia; Back row: Ellen, Winnie, Adelina, Evelyn, Esther Chan, Viola, Vonne
Group photo in front of restaurant, The Panda Yum Cha

Thanks to the Alumnae Association’s help, I was recently introduced to Esther Cheang 譚煥嫻 (’67), the Sydney Chapter coordinator.  Esther kindly invited me to yum cha with a group of 11 other Ying Wa ladies.  It was my first time meeting fellow “Sze Tses”, but I immediately felt welcomed.  Also welcomed to the Sydney Chapter were two other first-timers,  Evelyn 馬穎瑤 (’64 S2) and Frances 張麗英 (’68).  A bit of history there, Evelyn is the sister of Winnie 馬穎生 (’64 S4) (a member of the Sydney Chapter since it was set up), and was in the same class as Esther!

I’m sure all of us newbies felt instantly at home as everyone was friendly, genuine and straight-talking.  This is a group of ladies with a great sense of humour, and we were laughing the whole time.  Just like the good old days in Ying Wa.

We shared delicious food at The Panda Yum Cha in Macquarie Park, on Sydney’s North Shore, and went around the table and introduced ourselves.  We talked about when we graduated, life after that and our hobbies and interests.  One thing that struck me was that even though most of the sze tses are very busy with family obligations, they are determined to make time for themselves.  They spend time with friends, cultivate their hobbies and go for things they enjoy, be it exercise, translation or travelling.  I’m reminded of how we were always taught to be kind but fearless, to have a sense of community but be independent, and most importantly to always be ourselves.

It was my pleasure meeting and spending a lovely afternoon with Adelina, Anastasia, Cynthia, Ellen, Esther, Evelyn, Frances, Viola, Vonne, Winnie and Yvonne.  I hope we would meet again soon!