WYK 61 Grads - Greetings to Father Farren  (updated Apr 24 01:25 pm Toronto time)
Dear Father Farren,

During my recent visit to Hong Kong, I tried to look you up at Wah Yan Hong
Kong, but I was told you have gone back to Ireland on your retirement.

On the occasion of the 1961 graduates of Wah Yan, Kowloon holding their
re-union gathering in Toronto, I would like to join my fellow school mates
and teachers in sending you our warmest regards, and to wish you a long and
happy retirement.

Thank you, Father, for teaching and taking care of us during our days at Wah
Yan, and to continue to provide us with comfort, support and your prayers
especially at a time of need. My daughter, Robina, whom you met in Hong
Kong has asked me to say a special hallo.

God Bless.

Harry Aitken (5 April 2002)

Father Farren:

I meant to say a few words earlier, but the Hospital I work for is
undergoing an inspection and we in Human Resources have a lot to prepare
for, and so I'm late with this.

If you remember me at all, which I doubt, my Chinese name is Siu Lee; I was
in your Form 6 (A?) class in 1961-62, one of those nondescript fellows who
was good at neither academics nor sports (although I have retained my
passion for soccer all these years, and I am a great rooter for the
Republic of Ireland team which I believe will give a better account of
themselves in the World Cup than the English).

Since I left Hong Kong in November 1962, I have lived in the San Francisco
Bay Area (I can hardly believe it's been almost 40 years), am married, have a
daughter and a grandson who is turning four in July. All these years my Jesuit
education (at Wah Yan Kowloon and the University of San Francisco) has
stood me in pretty good stead: whatever English I learned I learned at Wah Yan.

I did come back to Hong Kong for a visit last May, and my wife and I took a
taxi to the school for a look-around. Unfortunately it was a holiday, and there was
no one about, but it turned out to be a very emotional occasion for me.

May I take this opportunity to send you my best wishes, and my heartfelt
thanks. Please feel free to write and keep me up to date.
Roderick Siu Lee Auyang (Apr 11, 2002)

YEAH, so happy to read all these responses...4D, Fr. Farren, Your face with
the perpetual smile reminds me the happy daysof WYC.   Soccer, classical
music gang, that's what make me to-day.  So, as far as I'm concerned, we are
still your students, like forever.  May the spirit be with us as always.
Also, the 3 recent pictures bring back a lot of memories, especially Mr. Tam,
my first physics teacher, and Fr. O'Neill, form master of 2D, the handsome
gentle pianist.  Please keep it up, everyone!

From, Yiu Man Chan (Apr 11, 2002)

Dear Fr Farren,

I attended Wah Yan Kowloon from 1961-63, and I have very fond memories
of the experience. You were the principal at the time, and also taught religious
studies. I want to thank you and the Wah Yan College for the excellent education
I received which has sustained me for the past 40 years.
With best wishes,

Peter Chang (Apr 19, 2002)

Dear Father Farren:

I don't recall my years at Wah Yan with a great deal of pleasure.  I remember a
great urge to fit in and a deep despair of ever doing so.  It wasn't until after my
university days that I finally came to feel at peace with myself and the world
about me.  I could not have been an easy boy to deal with.  Yet, shining through
those days of insecurity and uncertainty, is the support and the comfort that my
teachers and friends at Wah Yan gave me, and especially the sacrifice and
dedication of my Jesuit teachers who had come all the way from Ireland.  I will
always be grateful for that, and in my heart there will always be warmth for
Jesuits and for the Irish!   Whenever I meet someone from Ireland, regardless
of their religion, I cannot resist bringing up my indebtedness to my teachers at
Wah Yan.

With love and respect, and gratefully,

Bob Chen, Wah Yan Kowloon Class of '61 (Apr 12, 2002)

Dear Father Farren,

Time really flies. It has been more than forty-five years since we entered Wah Yan
College, but the fond memories of those happy days are still vivid in our minds.

I still remember clearly that when I was in P.6 we won the overall C grade
championship in the inter-school athletic meet (by the way I was the champion in
high jump), and school treated the C grade athletic team members to dinner in the
canteen (the whampoa scrambled egg was one of the dishes and it tasted so good).
It was a very joyous occasion.

When we were in F5, you as headmaster encouraged us to be enumerators in the
Hong Kong census. It gave me a first and also wonderful working experience.
The F6 and F7 classrooms were in the secluded area below the canteen.  Very so
often Father Chan, the discipline master then, charged down the stairs in order to
catch those naughty students for their disruptive behaviour, but always in vain
because they were very alert and acted innocently when he arrived. I feel very
sorry for Father Chan, and I understand his feelings and perhaps frustration as I
myself had also been a discipline master some twenty years later.

Somehow we the ignorant young kids transform, as in metamorphosis, into
mature adults and make contribution to the world in various ways. Thanks to
the nurture at WYK.

Best regards,

Fong Wang-bun (Apr 15, 2002)

Dear Father Farren,

I am so glad that I have this opportunity to say a few words to you.  You
were my form master of 4C in 1959.  I haven't seen you since leaving Hong
Kong after graduation.

I went back to our old school a few times but did not run into you.  A
couple of times I strolled by and paused outside the Head-Master's office
at the far end of the right wing.  I couldn't help remembering the few
times when I arrived late for classes.  You people didn't treat tardy
students very nice those days.  Not trying to look for an excuse, but I
had to travel a long way including crossing the harbour every morning.
As witnesses, I have Ho Ping-Kwong and Martin Lee who often took the
same ferry with me.  By the way, this Martin Lee is the bad one, as I just
learned from these emails...sorry Martin.

Anyway, after climbing the long flight of stairs leading to the side
entrance,  the first challenge was to pass your office without being
caught.  It was difficult to tell through your windows whether you were
inside looking out or not.  I can almost feel my pounding heartbeats now
as I dashed pass your office blindly 40 years ago.  Well, I eventually
did get caught, but not by you.  Not a bad achievement on my part as I
think about it now.  However, I wonder was I really lucky that you never
saw me, or someone was showing mercy on that scared soul.

It is comforting to know you are resting in your homeland after so many
years of selfless service in the foreign lands.  How fortunate are we to
have you and the other Jesuits came so far away to prepare us for the
world in our younger days.  I wish your retirement years are full of
peace and happiness.


Fok Kee-Sau (Apr 16, 2002)

With best wishes from Yum Sing Kung (Francis) (Apr 12, 2002)


Dear Father Farren,
I was so amazed that you remembered me when you were in Toronto in 1999 for
the Wah Yan, Kowloon 75th Golden Jubilee reunion.  You still remembered that
there were two "Martin Lee"s in your class.  In case you cannot tell the
difference between the two Martin Lee's, just remember that I am the good
one - just kidding.
I went back to Hong Kong last year in October after 21 years' of absence.  I
was going to look you up at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, but was told that you had
already left for Ireland for good.  However, I had a chance to visit Wah
Yan, Kowloon.  The trip brought back a lot of good memories - with you in
the midst of most of them.

Dominus vobiscum
Martin LEE (Apr 6, 2002)

Dear Father Farren,

Please give us your telephone number, email address and postal address in
Ireland. 2 Years ago I was in Ireland on a PDA project developed in Ireland.
I find Ireland a peaceful country and becoming very prosperous in the IT/
electronic business. I suggest our Wah Yan friends to visit Ireland when we
are in Europe and pay you a visit. We also have all reached the age of 60 and
we still need your advice about this life and afterwards. I want to say how
grateful I am for all the Jesuit fathers I have met in Wah Yan.
With email, you and us can always keep in touch. We can send photos with
voices and songs to you on the personal side, I am still working in my
business.  Web site: www.aaa.com.hk. I plan to retire at 75. My wife & I
just celebrated our 30 years wedding anniversary. My two sons are graduated
from the universites and working in Hong Kong.

My mobile phone is (852) 91956856, office tel is (852) 29510146.

Happy Retirement to father Farren!
Merry re-union to the Wah Yan boys in Toronto!
Hong Kong re-unions are organized by Camelo Leung & I am most grateful for
his efforts.

Love From

Clement Lee Wen Hao (Apr 11, 2002)

Email : clement.lee@aaa.com.hk

Dear Fr. Farren,

I heard from Martin Lee Chuen Kam, a fellow Form 5 classmate who graduated
in 1961, a couple of months ago when he was in HK for vacation, that you had
taken up retirement in Ireland.

As a parishioner of St. Margaret's Church in the past two years, I used to
see you once or twice a month there saying Mass as a visiting priest.  No
wonder I'd not seen you lately.

Although I had not been keeping contact with the Jesuit priests diligently,
I felt I did stay in touch with many of them reasonably closely over the
years.  My wife and I were extremely pleased that you did recognize us
(Jennie Stradmoor and Carmelo Leung) at the re-union dinner in Toronto,
Canada in the summer of 1999.
We sincerely wish you a relaxing and healthy life in your home country.  We
will always remember you for having helped shape our character during our
formative years.

Thank you.

Carmelo Leung (Apr 6, 2002)


Dear Father,

How are you?

It may be difficult to recall who I am.  If you do, you have great
memory.  I was in your last Form 4C before you became the Head Master
and there was not much else to go by.

I do remember you.  You and Father Moran are my two favorite Form
Masters.  He was kind of serious and quiet and you were more sociable.
You were away from your homeland most of your life doing what you
believed in.  It is time to enjoy your retirement.
Good luck, good health and God bless!

Yours respectfully,

Peter Lo (Apr 17, 2002)

Dear Fr. Farren,
Greeting from Down Under. Having been away from Hong Kong for over 40 years,
I have to say that I now call Australia home. Whenever my elder brother
(Thomas W.Y.K.), younger brothers (Louis & Edward W.Y.H.K.) and I got together,
we recalled our history in Hong Kong.

We are all thankful for the good solid support and guidance provided by Wah
Yan College and the Jesuits both academically and spiritually. I rarely go back
to H.K. nowadays. My last trip was in 1997 when Francis Ho and I paid you a
visit at W.Y.K.  The short reunion brought back a lot of fond memories.
It is nice to know that you are back to Ireland and retire among your
friends and family.
God Bless And Have A Heathy Retirement.

Albert Miu (Apr 13, 2002)


To My Dear Rev. Fr Farren,

I wish I could be in Toronto this very moment to say to you how thankful I
am from your cultivation of me during the years in WYK I became a happy and
confident individual since.  Through ups and downs in life I get along healthily
to enjoy survival with peace of mind all the time.

Thank you so much for the wisdom and discipline in me an outgrowth of your
education of me that always help to see the bright side of things later on
in my existence till now.
Remember I was intensely weak in History in school but I obtained the best
improvement within the period of a couple of terms with you being my teacher
of that subject.  I worked as an assistant clerk in the WY general office after
graduation.  Accessible to the Sch. Cert. Exam. records I found I should have
got one more "Credit" just for a few more marks out of a total of 600.

At present I am coaching two junior school soccer teams.  With a good grasp
of the combination of firm air and friendly atmosphere in executing the
authority you used to manage your class I learn to treat my boys and girls,
likewise to your modus operandi.  I, therefore, was well-liked and loved
and an idol and a pal to them all.

Hope you relish your retirement.  Enjoy such a worthy gathering with your
past students.  I miss you so much ever and May God bless you always.
Your devotional student,

NG Matthew Kwok King (Apr 18, 2002)


Dear Father Farren:

I've learned from Harry Aitken that you're back in Ireland.  How are you
these days?

I remember the last time we met was in 1999, when you attended the 75th
Anniversary in Toronto.  I introduced myself to you, but I'm still not quite
sure whether you remembered me or not.  (On the other hand, you definitely
remembered David Chan.)

I was in your class (Form 4C) in 1959-1960.  I still remember once I was dozing
off in one of your BK classes, and suddenly I was woken up when a chalk hit me.
I looked up and you were kind of half-smiling, half-reproachful at me.
Even though you were very busy as the Head-Master later on, you were very kind
to be a sponsor/supervisor of our classical music appreciation club - me, Bobby
Chen, Chan Yiu-Man, Chan York-Lung, Jacob Chow, Jerome Shih and a few others.
I remember typing up reports and mailing them to you after we had those periodic
music appreciation sessions.  Anyways, at certain time, I didn't send those reports
to you any more.  And that was over 35 years ago...

We in Toronto often mention your name when we have our 61 grads reunion dinners -
usually more than once each year.  When we heard that you were not feeling well,
we worried about you.

Hope you're feeling well now and hope you have a peaceful retirement.
Your former student with love,

Hin-Shing Wong (Apr 4, 2002)

<< At Fong-Lun's request, this message is forwarded to Father Farren >>

"Remembering Our Former Teachers"

Dear Hin Shing,

I play Bach, Beethoven, Handel and Vivaldi pieces all the time. I have more
than enough of their music pieces to play right now. Anyway, thanks a lot
for your offer to burn some CDs for me. I hope to discuss in length about my
musical repertoire to all of you dear and beloved old pals in Toronto later
this month. I am exceedingly flattered to have so many Wah Yan guys come to
the reunion table. Shall we refresh our memory about Father Chan, Father
Kennedy, Father O'neill, Father Farren, Father Tony, Father Cryan and Father
Doody?  To me, they are all clean-cut and dedicated Jesuit Priests coming
all the way from Ireland to serve the whole bunch of we Chinese guys in Hong
Kong. I appreciate their sacrificial love from the bottom of my heart!

Thinking of you and your family as always,

Yu, Fong Lun Philip & Kelly Wong (wife) (Apr 5, 2002)

Dear Fr. Farren,

You were my principal when I graduated from matriculation in 1963 to go to
the University of Hong Kong. You also taught us arts students B.K. in form
six, I think. We studied St Luke (Knox version), and partly from your urging
I committed most of chapter one to heart, and can still rattle off a few lines!
And I was not a Catholic. I still am not one, but am grateful to the Jesuits for
the imparting of biblical knowledge such that I am aware of the teaching of a
great religion and have been guided consciously or unconsciously by its
doctrines. The sense of both Catholicsim and religious tolerance that infused
the school, and the fathers' kindness to all are aspects of Wah Yan that make
it so influential in my own upbringing, and I thank you for it.
I would like to join my many good classmates to wish you the best in health
and work in the coming years in your home country.
You remember Mr. Patrick O'Flanagan? He was my literature teacher and mentor,
and I would like to remember him in this greeting although he passed away some
years ago.
Yours respectfully,

Yu Fong-ying (1955-63, WYK)

Vancouver (Apr 15, 2002)


Hi, Dear Fr Farren,
Long time no see.
I trust you have no problem remembering me, as we saw each other for good many
years when we played soccer in Wah Yan on Saturday afternoons with Cheung Siu
Keung, Ng Chun Bong, Lai Ming Chung, Leung Koon Chuen, Tony Cheung Chi
Tung and all that until the swimming pool was put up at one end of the soccer pitch.
Of course, you were playing your tennis.
In any case, I attach a 'funny looking' recent picture of my to refresh you. (It might
confuse you even more as I may not look quite like that in your memory.)
Any way, it was a bit sad that I didn't get to say good-bye to you before you went
back to Ireland for good. (I heard that from Fr Deignan quite a bit later.) I hope this
short note will find you in good health and that you are enjoying your retirement.
I am still in HK, (working at the HK Polytechnic University), seeing the old Wah Yan
class/school mates once in a long while, when someone comes in town and when
someone (like Carmelo Leung and Albert Lam Kwong Yu) is kind enough to organize.
We are all getting a bit old now. Eating is about the only thing we can do together. No
more football like in the good young days. But it certainly is great to be together and
talk about the old times as well as the more recent affairs. There is always much to
talk about in HK - the politics, the Government, the education, the mainland, Wah Yan ....
Previously I spent more time in Toronto when my family lived there. Since their return
to HK a couple of years ago, I go there roughly once a year on business trip and catch
up with the Wah Yan boys, particularly the '61ers and Wong Hin Shing. I am thankful
to see so many classmates still in good health and well established in their respective
fields. I might go back in the coming July/August time.
Well, I have to go now. Please do drop us a few words if you would. Try email, it's a
lot of fun and we all can read it very very quickly.
Please do keep well and take care.

Richard Li (Apr 22, 2002)

Dear Fr. Farren,

It's time to reflect how much the Wah Yan Jesuits have done for us and our
families during the stages of growing up from "naughty teenagers" to mature
and successful men everywhere in the world . I want to send special regards
to you even after your retirement back to Ireland. I still remember the time
you were the Principal and I was normally a good decent student in Wah Yan.

You were the one who sent me to detention for the first and last time in my
life, because I was caught playing outside the Lower 6 classroom during
recess time. This was traumatic, but I learnt so much from this.

No matter what, my respect towards you and the other Jesuits remain the same all these
years. What a fond memory we have our acquaintances with you.

My best regards,

Stephen Lam (Apr 22, 2002)


Dear Fr. Farren,

I am Andrew Man, a relatively quiet guy of the 61 grads.  I don't think you
remember me but it is ok.  I just want to say how much I have used you, and
other Jesuit Fathers, as role model in my past 25 years as a teacher at a
university.  I have always admired and appreciated the Fathers for coming a
long way to Hong Kong to educate us, sacrificing your ties with your family
and your own motherland.  I pray to God that you have a wonderful retirement
in Ireland, a reward you deserve so much.

Andrew Man (Apr 22, 2002)