Aberdeen Technical School (ATS), Hong Kong, 29 December 2020 -- Thanks to the Don Bosco Past Pupils 'Newsflash' no. 40 (Christmas 2020) we come to know about a wonderful gift in 2020 within the EAO region. It took no less than 5 years of preparation to get the 10 CNC machines and many other useful school items from China province of Mary Help of Christians (CIN) to the Vice-province of St Callisto Caravario - Timor Leste (TLS). In two articles - first is the 'story of the gift' written by Mr. Michael Eng (Hong Kong) and the second is the gratitude for the gift received by Br. Adriano de Jesus (Timor Leste) - we appreciate the wonderful inspiration for interprovincial solidarity within the EAO region. Full text available in Newsflash no.40 (Christmas issue 2020). It should also be mentioned, of course, that AUL Province has been shipping containers of goods through the efforts of Bro Michael Lynch and others to TLS for many years as well, this year included, but the story below involves the Past Pupils of Don Bosco from CIN Province in a particular way, so read on:
The whole operation took about 5 years: starting from the visit of Br. Adriano and Fr. Apolinario (TLS viceprovince) to Macau (April 2015) on the DB 200 year celebrations. Thanks to the patient and consistent mediation of Fr. Francis Hung, SDB (China province) based in Macau, many efforts were made to get some institutional help from Macau (former Portuguese colony) to Timor Leste (another former Portuguese colony). However these efforts didn't bring any results.
In 2016 Fr. Hung took part in the 11th East Asia - Oceania Regional Congress of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco in Dili, Timor Leste. During this visit he had an opportunity to personally experience some of the hardships facing the Salesian mission in this country. To answer the urgent needs Fr. Francis collected a large number of philosophy and theology books, mechanical workshop tools and almost 100 computers and many school uniforms. The first container was successfully shipped from Macau to Timor Leste.
Then, as inspiration from the second visit with Fr Hung in Timor Leste (2019) some computers were received from Hong Kong schools and more than 10,000 brand new golf shirts were shipped immediately in the second container. At the end of 2019, an past pupil of ATS in Hong Kong, H.P. Chan, was in the process of moving his factory from Shenzen to Thailand, leaving idle a large amount of factory items, notably some valuable CNC (computer numerical control) precision machines. With the help of another Past Pupil, Mr Stepehn Mok, another 7 large containers were assembled to ship all these items. They reached Dili in July 2020.
These valuable CNC machines were distributed around the Don Bosco TVET, Technical schools and government National University and other public schools.
And the last, the 10th container, was assembled in response to the Covid19 epidemic, when SDBs in Timor required a large amount of face masks, enabling children to attend classes while abiding by government regulations. Another ATS past pupil, Andrew Chiu, immediately stepped forward with a donation of 300,000 face masks. The shipping costs were covered by many Don Bosco Past Pupils who added their efforts to this large operation of solidarity.