For the first time in the history of our Hong Kong Lasallian Family, managers from our eight schools came together on the 19th September for a training programme. The programme was held in the Hall of La Salle College and there was a large turnout of about 90 participants.
The event was blessed by the Brothers and coordinated by St. Joseph’s Primary School. The chief presenter was Ms Asha Sharma, a partner in a very reputable law firm and herself a manager of St. Joseph’s Primary. Indeed, her family has been closely associated with us over the years, her father, Mr. KC Sharma, having been a long-standing teacher at St. Joseph’s College.
Ms Sharma gave a splendid overview of ‘School-Based Management Governance’, ‘Guiding principles of Handling Complaints’ and of ‘Case Studies.’ The roles and responsibilities of school managers were clearly outlined as well as the most important documents for reference.
Feedbacks from participants were very encouraging and it is hoped that the Hong Kong Lasallian Education Council will organize similar workshops for our school managers and administrators in the future.
Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School was featured in TVB’s programme ‘News Magazine’ on 5 September 2020. In this episode, the Principal, the Primary 1 teachers and parents shared their views about how to prepare for a new school year with challenges. ‘We can’t use the old methods or strategies anymore… ’ Brenda Wu, the Principal of CSKPS, said in the interview.
Since the announcement from the Education Bureau of Hong Kong that all primary and secondary students must have online learning at home with support from their schools, all staff members at CSKPS have devoted tremendous effort towards arranging online teaching, parents’ seminars and e-learning materials, with the vision of continuing to provide quality education for all students. We are prepared for a ‘new normal’ teaching and learning mode.
Behind the scenes:
TVB reporter interviews Ms Brenda Wu, the Principal, about the new initiatives for preparing the new school year.
Ms Brenda Wu, the Principal, checks the school facilities with the janitor.
P.1 teachers have a meeting to prepare their zoom lessons.
Miss Cheuk Hei Ting, 1C Class teacher has the first Zoom lesson with pupils.
Ms Cheng Kit Ying and Miss Ho Mei Ting prepare the first Zoom lessons for P.1 pupils.
The Hakodate La Salle Mission Club had their weekend training camp last September 26-27 at the Laura Farm in Hakodate, Hokkaido. It was a day of prayer, games, reflection and community building attended by 8 students, Mr. Deok Bosco Han and Br. Rodrigo Treviño FSC. With the theme, ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’, 22 Vietnamese internship trainees who are active in the local parish also interacted with the students and staff. Despite a forecast of strong winds and rains, the weather was clear until the end of the activity. (Text: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC; Photos: Mr. Deok Bosco Han)
Songs are such wonders; they can inspire, uplift, and heal. The talent in bringing the lyrics and melody together to create a masterpiece is truly remarkable.
In Yangon, Myanmar, a young De La Salle Brother named Br. Josaphat Ai Saw Hung Htoo FSC writes songs about La Salle, family, love, etc. in English and Burmese languages. He composed “New Light of La Salle” and “Let Your Light Shine... Lasallians” to name a couple. Let’s get to know more about this budding singer-songwriter Brother and his music.
LEAD Story (LS): What is your earliest memory of singing?
Br. Josaphat (J): Actually, I never had such a dream of singing and composing songs. I was so shy to expose myself singing in front of people because I stammered during my childhood until my university life. This was the biggest problem for me. Also, I don’t have a good voice even if I wanted to sing a lot. That’s why I prefer composing songs than singing.
LS: What musical instruments do you play? When did you learn to play these instruments?
J: I play the piano, keyboard, guitar including bass guitar, harmonica, and flute. I started learning the keyboard when I was in Grade 7. I took the opportunity during my free time to learn other musical instruments in the formation program.
LS: What got you into writing songs?
J: After entering the formation program, I got some ideas or inspirations from different people in terms of composing different songs. It was just a makeup of my feelings in order to come up with some lyrics and tunes. I didn’t learn properly and formally from others how to compose songs.
LS: What musical genre do you compose?
J: Mostly my compositions are country, rock, and pop music. But if there is a requirement, I can try different style of musical genres.
LS: What is your formula in writing songs?
J: Since I am not a professional in writing songs, I go with whatever the situation needs in my ministry and it just all depends on the intentions that I am going to compose. Basically, I start composing a poem and develop it into a song. After that, I put the melody to it but it is the most difficult part because I have to be very careful when putting the melody, which might also be contained in other people’s composition. This part really takes a lot of time!
LS: Where do you get your inspirations for your original compositions?
J: Formation was the place where I started to have curiosity about discovering my gifts including playing musical instruments, composing songs, doing magic tricks, and some other interests. There were many times I wanted to try whether I have the ability to compose songs or not. I came to know that I can compose songs for my ministry as a Brother even though I can’t be a professional composer.
LS: Who is/are your idol musician/s when growing up?
J: Frankly, I can say that I am a copier because I imitated many people who compose songs or play musical instruments. That’s the way I learn and I believe that I can improve myself by doing so. I learn from them by observing the way they compose or play. Among the Brothers, I can still remember I had learned a lot about how to play the organ from Br. Mark Sixtus FSC during my high school.
LS: What do you do to develop your musical talents/skills? How do you wish to further develop your talents/skills?
J: I would like to develop my musical talents more if I were given a chance to pursue it. There are times that I feel little because I cannot develop my talents in some ways due to financial matters and doing my mission as a teaching Brother takes utmost priority. I am trying my best by starting slowly, and I hope that I will be able to use my musical talents in my mission in a more a fruitful way.
LS: What is the most joyful aspect of being singer-songwriter? In addition, what is the most challenging part?
J: Whatever songs I compose, I would like to make use of them. That’s why I am happy and this is my dream in the future that I would like to make sure that my songs are recorded well and sung by the professional vocalists. By doing so, people can use them properly and benefit from it. I want to give them my simple contribution for their spiritual life. As I mentioned, it is very challenging to record a good song when you have nothing.
LS: How does this talent/skill strengthen your vocation as a De La Salle Brother?
J: I use this musical talent in my mission. I am happy and alive in my vocation because it is one of my beliefs that interests and hobbies can strengthen me to go on as a De La Salle Brother.
LS: As a singer-songwriter De La Salle Brother, what can we expect from you in the future?
J: I would like to have support from the Brothers or Lasallians who are interested in writing songs or who are really good in music. I want to have more ideas from them and work together to come up with new songs as a contribution to LEAD. I plan to compose many songs to use in my ministry, especially in Myanmar. And I would like also to make La Salle well-known and alive because I realize that this is one of the most effective ways of promoting Lasallian Vocations in Myanmar.
LS: What is your message to Lasallians and aspiring composers?
J: There are many talented young Brothers and Lasallians who can really commit themselves to LEAD. They are somehow good in different aspects and we have to take the opportunity to make use of their talents, especially musical talents. We have to encourage them to use this kind of talent in the mission in order to animate the young people to be active and mobile.
Visit Br. Josaphat’s YouTube Channel to view his original compositions.
PHILIPPINES - On this Lasallian Vocations Day, we give thanks to the many Young Lasallians from various Lasallian Schools in the Philippines who were with us in the very first Brothers' Vocation Gathering. For three nights we talked about the different aspects of Lasallian life seeing these in the light of our vocation as De La Salle Brothers.
We are thankful that these young Lasallians continue to seek God's call for them and continue to journey with us. We are also thankful for the Brothers from different countries who took time to be with us to give sessions on vocation, on the Founder's story, on Lasallian Spirituality, and on their lived experiences as De La Salle Brothers today.
Most of all, we thank God for His faithfulness and love for all of us and for his constant and consistent call to live life to the fullest as Lasallians who journey together in the footsteps of St. John Baptist de La Salle.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever! (Text & Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)
PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA - One of the most dedicated old boys of the La Salle schools fraternity, Don Darrell Augustine Jayasekare, lost his battle with cancer.
Don Darrell, who had just celebrated his 52nd birthday with family and friends on September 20, died at his home in SS2, Petaling Jaya at 12:54 pm last Saturday.
His trademark was his instant captivating and striking broad, gleaming smile whenever he met someone, thanks to his decades of customer care service in the food and beverage industry.
Don Darrell was the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations (MFOLSA) honorary secretary, chairman of the Board of Managers of La Salle Sentul (Primary) School, chairman of the Board of Governors of La Salle Sentul (Secondary) School and also La Salle Sentul Old Boys’ Association honorary secretary for a good number of years.
Following wake services at his home the last two nights, Don Darrell was given a funeral mass at the Church of St Francis Xavier in Jalan Gasing, before being cremated at the MBPJ crematorium in Kampung Tunku today (Tuesday). It was attended by scores of old boys, teachers and La Salle Brothers who adhered to the Covid-19 pandemic's standard operating procedure . The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim offered blessings for Don Darrell at the wake service.
Don Darrell with the members of the Organising Committee – Celebrating 165 years of Lasallian Mission in Malaysia and the 40th Anniversary of MFOLSA
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim offering blessings for Don Darrell Augustine Jayasekare at the wake service at the latter’s home in SS2, Petaling Jaya.
With Brother Visitor of LEAD, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, during his visit to Malaysia
Br. Ambose and Don
The deceased left behind his wife Sue Ellen Chong and sons Don Dhilan, Don Nielsen and Don Melvin, siblings Denita, Derwin, Wendy and Raymond and grandmother Alawathie Jayasinghe.
His eldest sibling, sister Denita Jayasekare, 53, said Don Darrell had sought treatment at hospitals since early this year. "He was a gem of a brother, often not only helping the family but society at large with his charitable work. He was popular among the Lasallians from all over the country as a caring, obliging, big-hearted and overly-generous person," said Denita.
Br. Ambrose Loke FSC commended Don Darrell for his selfless services. "No words can express how eternally grateful we are to him for his love, loyalty and dedication to his alma mater and the Lasallian fraternity. May Almighty God bless him for his services to mankind in general. We are forever grateful to him," he said.
I will always remember him for his untiring contributions to the less fortunate. He was always ever-ready to help those in need and was magnanimous in charitable and social work. We will surely miss his presence. (Text & Photos: Mr. James Sia)
On Friday, October 2, 2020 Br Ambrose Loke, with some of the La Salle Sentul OBA committee members, joined the family of the late Don Darrell for 7th day prayers at his residence. Br Ambrose, on behalf of the OBA, also presented some love offerings to Sue Ellen Chong, the widow of Don Darrell.
In closing, Br Ambrose delivered the following message to those present.
“Justice has to be done…
I feel I have to say something to pay tribute to Don Darrell.
I have known Don Darrell since he was a student at La Salle Sentul. We kept in contact and since as an alumnus, he always expresses his love and loyalty to La Salle Sentul. I invited him to serve the school which, he accepted and literally gave his life to and for the school, first as a Board Member, as efficient treasurer and later as the Chairman of the School Board.
I feel he feels that there is much to be done for the school but God say, “enough is enough. You need to rest.” He has left us for another place where I believe he is in a better position to help.
Many of you who have know Don Darrell can vouch that he an exemplary leader and a kind gentleman. He has many virtues… he goes out of his way to help, …he is considerate, not wanting to hurt the feelings of others; very tactful in making wise decisions. He is a good friend to many.
I like to take this opportunity on behalf of the school, La Salle Old Boys Association and of the La Salle Brothers, to thank, his wife Sue Ellen Chong and children and other family members for allowing him to spend so much time for the school and to the La Salle Mission. May God bless all of you and to all present this evening.”
Eternal rest grant unto Don Darrell, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
One of our number, named Raphael, lived in Kowloon and was unmarried. He was a spiritual director of a Catholic organization called the Legion of Mary. The idea behind this organization is for members to give glory to God through honouring his mother. Each group meets every week for prayer and for reporting on work done for the poor and needy. The weekly meeting is regarded as important and members are not expected to miss it without good cause. Raphael’s group met every Sunday.
Early on Sunday morning Raphael would visit a florist’s shop and order a nice bouquet of flowers. He was a big-framed man and I guess he cut quite a figure carrying the flowers through the streets and back home. The flowers were for his Legion of Mary meeting. They would be placed in vases beside a statue of Our Lady, to honour her as the Mother of God.
The florist, it seems, had been wondering for some time about this weekly Sunday ritual. How come that this man came every week, at more or less the same time, for a bunch of flowers?
Finally, curiosity got the better of her and she probed: “You must have a very beautiful lady as your wife because you go to so much trouble every week to take her flowers?!” To which Raphael’s response was: “Yes. I think she is the most beautiful girl in the whole world.”