QESOSA Ontario

                                            Lasting Friendship
                                                                                                                                               Speech by Dr. Hinton, 2007                       

    I stayed with James and Nancy Tang for that week and was well looked after by them;
    ‘mollycoddled’ is a rather old-fashioned word to describe how well they treated me.  Apart from
    the major gathering of old students at the Richmond Hill community centre and a barbecue at
    Jackie Chiu’s home, I met other QES alumni for lunch, tea, dinner, enjoyed the company of
    some former colleagues – Kwok Wai Man, Pamela So, Ruth Wong, Kay Tam and Phyllis Chow –
    and was able to spend some time with other friends.  James and Nancy took me, via wineries,
    to Niagara, not my first visit but always impressive, and also to the theatre to see Lord of the
    Rings.  Time passed all too quickly and when the week drew to a close I wished I was staying
    longer.  I would like to thank the QESOSAONT and particularly James and Nancy for all that
    they did to make my visit so memorable, for the good company and the excellent food.  I
    apologise for not remembering the names of so many of you but my poor memory does not
    mean that I was not pleased to meet you all.

    From Toronto I flew to Vancouver for a rather longer stay.  My hosts there were Miranda and
    Paul Yeung who, like James and Nancy, took great care of me.  Miranda is my Chinese ‘sister’
    for, during her years of nursing training in England, she was a frequent visitor to my parents
    whom she regarded as her English Mum and Dad.  Soon a few 1966 graduates arrived from
    elsewhere to join those living in Vancouver: Helen Cheng from HK, Elisha Lau from Australia,
    Michael Chan and David Lai from the US, and Patrick Chow from Toronto. Sixteen of us,
    including Walter and Helene Ng, enjoyed a noisy and excited lunch together and on the same
    day the OSABC hosted an excellent and cheerful dinner at which old friendships were renewed
    and new ones made.

    On 20 May, the 1966 graduates and spouses, 15 of us, crossed to Vancouver Island where we
    first visited Victoria.  There I was able to spend a few hours with my friends Peter and Victoria
    Chew. Peter was at one time chairman of the Canadian Club in Hong Kong which had for
    several years gave scholarships to some of our students and he and his wife were guests of
    honour at the Speech Day in 1967.  We had remained close friends and it was a pleasure to see
    them again.  From Victoria we drove to the Sea Resort near Nanaimo where Kingsley Lo had a
    condo and where he had rented others for us.  For three enjoyable days we stayed there by the
    sea, the fishers able to catch fish and crabs and collect oysters to supplement the huge amount
    of food we had brought with us.  Some went kayaking and all talked and ate to their hearts
    content.  On the evening when we were to hold a barbecue it started to rain but cooking
    continued under umbrellas and the evening was not spoilt.  Afterwards, the rain having
    stopped, we went for a walk to aid our overloaded digestion and then had a campfire,
    boisterous if not always very tuneful.  From Nanaimo eight of us moved to Tufino on the west
    coast of the island, the other unfortunates having to return to work.  We enjoyed two days
    there despite rain, at times very heavy, walking various trails and visiting beaches and, of
    course, eating copiously and happily.  Then on 25 May came the return to Vancouver after a
    cheerful holiday in which we had become a very close-knit group.

    Back in Vancouver Helen, Elisha, Miranda and I had a delicious lunch at the home of Walter and
    Helene Ng, a beautiful and tranquil home, all of us thankful that QES had brought us together.  
    In the next few days I was happy to spend time with other friends and on 29 May, the evening
    before I flew to London, Miranda gave a wonderful party, delicious food, excellent company and
    cheerful singing, a happy end to a most enjoyable holiday.

    QES has played a very important part in my life.  I loved teaching there, conscious of a cheerful
    and cooperative spirit in the school, and I have enjoyed the lasting and friendly contact I have
    with my former students.  It gives me tremendous pleasure to see you and to know about your
    progress through life.
Thanks to the pleasure of seeing former students and colleagues, the
warmth with which they welcomed me and their great hospitality, and I
thought it might possibly be my last such visit as I am not getting any
younger and long journeys are tiring.  I certainly did not plan to make a
further trip to Canada this year.  However the 1966 graduates decided
to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their graduation and, apart from
the major gathering in Hong Kong in October, planned to hold a mini-
reunion in Vancouver in May.  I received a pressing invitation, so
pressing that it amounted almost to a command, to attend both, so
being obedient I willingly accepted.  Since it would have been foolish to
go to Vancouver without visiting friends in Toronto, I arrived in Toronto
on 3 May for a week’s stay.