Harbin Trip Report by Nixon Lee and James Wong

Two SJCAA Directors – Nixon Lee and James Wong went with Rev Paul Tong and Ms. Angela Ying (10/F sister) to Harbin between May 8-10 this year to review the Hulan School Project particiapted by St. John’s College.

Harbin is the Capial city of Heilongjiang Provice. It is the closest city to Korea, Russia and USA. (Pic 1 – St. Sophia Church in Daoli, Harbin).

The Population of Harbin is 9.54M and the GDP is ¥141.48 billion (ca. US$17.149 billion) in 2004. It ranked no.17 on total GDP and no.29 on GDP per capita among Chinese cities in 2004.

In terms of competitive ability, Harbin Ranked no.10 in “2004 Chinese City Competitive Ability Reports” – Less attentive city comparing Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou.

Since 2002, with the Funding raised by Rev Paul Tong, 3 schools (Pic 2 – one of the new schools) have been built (HK$1.5M), 2 existing schools have been refurbrished (HK$0.73M), new equpipment have been provided to 4 other schools (HK$0.21M) plus scholarship (HK$0.3M)to assist poor students in Harbin has been granted.

Memorial plates at the entrance of the new schools (Pic 3 & 4)

This time the small delegation led by Rev Tong to Harbin was warmly welcome by the school commitee and the government officials. There were banners everywhere and interestingly, the students in Harbin liked to call Rev Paul Tong by the name “Tong Yeh Yeh” – see the banner inside the building in Pic 5.

From the banner of Pic 6 in front of the school, one could image how much contribution Rev Paul Tong has been provided to the school in Harbin and how much appreciation the students in Harbin have shown to him.

Also in Pic 6, you could see the sister of Paul Tong standing 2nd to the from the left hand side. Our Alumni – James, Angela and Nixon were also among the group in the picture on the right hand side.

Part of the plan beside the contribution to the schools in Harbin is to build a St. John’s Culture Centre to improve the English level in the area. (Pic 7 and 8 are pictures of the St. John’s Culture Centre under Construction.)

In Pic 9, the Flag Pole on the left hand side was constructed by the current St. Johnians during one of the summer work camp over there.

This summer, 18-25 July 2006, another group of current St. Johnians will be going to Harbin again, and their assignment this time will be paving the playground in Pic 10. Do you want to join?

Nixon and James are planing a trip for the Alumni to Harbin again this summer – 22-25 July. It will also coincide with the closing ceremony of this 5 Year Plan of the Harbin and we will also be joining the current St. Johnians after their training program in Harbin.

The cost of the trip including accmoodation and air-ticket will be around HK$4-5K. They are now in the process of finalising the details. If you are interested and would like to know more information, please email to Nixon Lee at nixonlee@gmail.com.