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#Supervisor’s Messages

 

End of Term Ceremony 2019-07-17

Mr. Fung, vice principals, teachers, parents and students,

First of all, thank you Mr. Fung for joining this end of term ceremony. I hope the event revives you of sweet memories of your alma mater and let you see what the school is like currently. I hope our students will impress you as courteous, conscientious and talented, as you expected of a true Maryknoller. The principal is sending his regards and apology as he is unable to attend due to a broken leg.

I have been thinking for some time on what to say in this address. Many events unprecedented in HK’s history have happened since June, all of them will have profound impact to the Hong Kong community, and particularly to you, the generation who will be at its prime when 2047 arrives. I therefore choose to repeat to you the message I gave to 2018 graduates and to this year’s graduates. I think that the message is most relevant to the current situation and very important to emphasize to you at this pivotal time in HK’s history. Dear teachers, please bear with me for having to hear this for the third time.

No matter if you have watched with bewilderment or passionately participated in the many activities related to the extradition bill amendments, have you relate any of the issues with our school motto “Truth” and “Loyalty”?

Dear students, as secondary school students, you would probably think that I am putting your intelligence down to ask you what is 2 plus 2.

Yes, to all of you, the answer is easy, it is 4.

But what if I say that it is 22. Isn’t writing a 2 next to another 2 showing 22?

What do you think of my argument? Would you think that I am trying to be funny and would laugh it off without giving it any further thought? Or would you think that it is a quibble to attract attention, that I am a jerk and a nuisance? Or would you ponder that there is indeed another perspective to look at the matter, and you would try to understand the theory I present?

What if I insist that as Supervisor of the school, you must accept this mathematical theory without question and apply it to all arithmetic calculations from now on?

When I indeed forced the theory on you, what would you do? Would you go to your teachers and all the mathematics books that you can lay your hands on to prove this misleading statement wrong? Would you view that it is your righteous duty, and would you have the courage to confront me and tell me that I am misleading and superficial?

Dear students, this is not a hypothetical question. These perplexing situations are right in front of all of us, at this very moment. For you, at this time, they may appear to be remote and distant, that they are adults’ business or politics which you are not supposed to be involved with. But when you leave this decent and protected school environment and begin to live as an independent adult, you will have no choice but to deal with these perplexities. They will come to you head on, in your university studies and professional pursuits, at work, with your family, on politics and social issues. You can’t avoid them and you have to deal with them, on your own.

To deal with these perplexities, you will have to identify the truth to believe in and uphold. Many of the issues will involve matters that you have not dealt with or no need to deal with before, issues that even teachers or parents may not know the answers to and are unable to advise. You will have to discern and decide for yourself what is truly right and what is truly wrong - the truth to believe in and adhere to.

What is the truth to believe in the current disputes on the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance amendment (or Extradition Bill)? If the equation is RULE of the LAW + DEMOCRACY = JUSTICE, will “Justice” be meaningful if the value of “Rule of the Law” or “Democracy” is ZERO in the equation. And what if some people say that FREEDOM of EXPRESSION + DEMOCRACY = CHAOS, how will you prove this equation right or wrong? Yes, this is abstract algebra. If you have difficulties with these two equations, please go to your Mathematics, Religious Studies, or Moral and Civic Education teachers. They should be ready to help.

Have you ever asked yourself what is the truth that the school has taught you to uphold and be loyal to? My answer: the Truth you should uphold is the core values of Christian faith, truth based on discernment that is logical, factual, ethical and humanistic. “Love God above all things and love our neighbors as ourselves” is the Truth in Catholic belief, i.e. love, equality and justice for all men. While the argument of 2+2=22 can be explained by some delusive logic, it cannot withstand the rigorous reasoning of number theories and is a sophism that can be quickly nullified by mathematical logic.

As upright and conscientious students of this school, you are to discern and uphold truth loyally. Hence when I say 2 plus 2 is 22, you should be ready to tell me that it is fallacious, that it contradicts with rigorous mathematical logic and cannot be a universal truth. You should have the courage to object to my twisted argument, even though I am your school supervisor who signs your graduation certificate.

You should defend and uphold truth with conviction, courage and civility. Jesus gave us many examples on standing up to preach and defend truth. We may not be able to match His gallantry in confronting the Pharisees but there are many other creative and effective ways that we can employ to loyally uphold the truth we believe in.

Now back to more earthly matters. Many of you are unhappy that the school facilities are dated and unable to support efficient teaching and learning. I am pleased to announce some good news. When you return to the school in September, you will find many changes in the campus. First, all classrooms will have energy saving lights and new ventilation system. Second, we will have a new Visual Art room for junior forms to teach art on campus without having to go outside to ATEC. Teaching Visual Arts on campus is important for the school to fully include Art in its STREAM education objective. The Student Activity Room has to give way to the Art Room but the school will relocate the displaced facilities to new locations so you can continue to enjoy their use. And I guess the most delightful news is that the school’s digital infrastructure network will be overhauled to support 4G transmissions for e-learning and digital voice broadcasts, so you will be able to see video displays and hear broadcasts more intelligibly. These improvements are made possible by government funding and generous donations from alumni and parents. Please make yourselves worthy of the benevolence by studying attentively and diligently, and using the facilities responsibly.

In the summer vacation ahead, please make the best use of the time to read good books and as importantly, pay heed and learn from all that is happening in the real world around you.

Have a restful and reflective holiday. God bless!

#Supervisor’s Messages

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