Dear AITECE teacher,
As we come to the end of a most unusual year, I wish to send you special Christmas greetings from our Aitece Office here in Hong Kong. Whether you are in China or overseas I hope you are all safe and well despite the dangers posed by the corona virus in so many parts of the world.
One of the big changes for us in Aitece during this past year is the departure of Fr Joseph Houston as General Manager of Aitece. I wish to acknowledge Fr Joseph’s long years of service with AITECE; first of all, as an AITECE teacher for twenty-five years and more recently as our AITECE General Manager for the last six years. As he moves into his new pastoral ministry at St Joseph’s Church on Hong Kong Island, on behalf of all of us connected with Aitece, I want to thank him for his long service and wish him all the very best in this new stage of his life. Last Monday some of us gathered with him to celebrate his eightieth birthday here in Hong Kong. His commitment to Aitece over 30 years as both a teacher and later as our General Manager was particularly noted and celebrated.
Before Fr Joseph left the Aitece Office he organized a lunch for the members of the Aitece Board of Directors at which Rita Chiu’s contribution to Aitece was acknowledged and celebrated. Rita has given great service to Aitece teachers for over twenty years since she started work with Aitece back in the year 2000. Rita’s contribution to the smooth running of the Aitece Office was recognized by all present, especially at this time of transition as I try to continue the work of earlier General Managers.
From left to right: Fr. Joe, Christine and Louis Tong, Fr. Tommy, Rita and Eva Liu
This has been a difficult year for all Aitece teachers. Corona related restrictions has made return to China almost impossible this year and we all hope that the arrival of credible vaccines will result in the lifting of some of these travel restrictions in the coming year. Many of you are teaching online from outside of China. While this has been better than not having any class it still has a lot of drawbacks and often is far from ideal.
The good news is that Janice Tennant was able to return to China last month and is now back in Chongqing teaching students face to face. She was able to get the necessary papers, including this new PU document, which allowed her to get back to Chongqing. We hope that this will become a reality for all of you sooner rather than later.
Four former Aitece teachers hope to return again to China next year; they are Noreen Ward, Marjorie Baldenweck, Ruairi Somers and Margaret Cleary. Two other newcomers have also shown an interest in joining our Aitece Programme in 2021.
From here in Hong Kong I wish to send you all the best of Christmas greetings and may this be a special blessed time for you.
With kind regards,
“Ring Out, Wild Bells” is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published in 1850, the year he was appointed Poet Laureate, it forms part of In Memoriam, Tennyson’s elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, his sister’s fiancé who died at the age of twenty-two.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
“For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.