Category Archives: Hong Kong

Spacious Places in Hong Kong

During October a set of seven reflections I wrote were featured in Rejoice magazine. The theme of the issue was Faith in the City.  Here is one of my reflections.

rejoiceO God you have tested us. . . . Yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

Psalm 66: 10-12

Read: Psalm 66: 1-12

Reflect: We moved to Hong Kong when the city was still reeling from the SARS epidemic. People had become virtual prisoners in their homes. Medical professionals who had risked their lives caring for SARS patients remained isolated from their own families. Businesses were recording millions in losses. Real estate prices had plummeted. Tourism had ground to a halt.

Students at teachers at our school during SARS

Students and teachers at our school during SARS

Schools, places of worship, restaurants, and concert halls had shut their doors. People in our Hong Kong church said SARS was a time when the faith of many was severely tested.   

Hong Kong street sweeper

Hong Kong street sweeper

Yet during the six years we lived in Hong Kong, we watched the city make a remarkable recovery. Expanded sanitation and security departments quickly restored its reputation as a clean, safe place. Slowly the tourism industry blossomed and the economy improved.


Chestnut vendors in Hong Kong

Schools, temples, churches and cultural venues reopened and people confidently returned to the routines of daily life.  

Verses 10-12 of Psalm 66 describe a time of severe testing for the community of God’s people. They have been through fire and water. They have been forced to bear heavy burdens. They have felt trapped. the many faces of hong kongPsalm 66 is a prayer of thanksgiving because God has delivered the people from their time of testing and led them to a place of spaciousness and calm.  

Cities, like the community of God’s people in Psalm 66, often go through times of testing. It may be a natural disaster, political unrest, or a medical emergency. The psalmist encourages people to remember to draw close to God as they go through hard times. God can lead them to a more peaceful place.

Other posts…….

Hong Kong Inspiration

Chestnuts Roasting in Hong Kong


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Ubi caritas et amour

Ubi caritas et amor,  ubi caritas Deus ibi est

Wherever there is true compassion and love, that’s where God is. 

On Saturday I listened to the boys’ choir my daughter-in-law conducts, sing a beautiful version of this hymn which dates back to the fourth century. It brought back some wonderful memories.

tao fong shan_1024In Hong Kong we attended a church called  Tao Fong Shan or Mountain of the Christ Wind. We always sang the taize version of the ubi caritas hymn as our final parting song after our communal meal.  The song was a blessing for people as they left the church each Sunday. We were to remember that no matter where we went in the coming week we would find God whenever we witnessed or expressed true compassion and love. 

Other posts……….

Do Buildings Have Souls?

The Value of Silence

A Tiny Church


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Filed under Hong Kong, Music

Hong Kong Connection at a Winnipeg Church

all saints churchWhile visiting the All Saints Anglican Church at the corner of Osborne and Broadway here in Winnipeg I was surprised to find………hong kong veterans all saints church

this banner with Chinese style lettering saying Hong Kong Veterans hanging from the church’s ceiling. I knew  a regiment from Manitoba, The Winnipeg Grenadiers, had served in Hong Kong during World War II and that many Manitobans had been killed there when Japan attacked and captured Hong Kong. I also knew many more Winnipeg soldiers had died in Japanese prisoner of war camps.sai wan war cemetery hong kong

Many Manitoba soldiers are buried in the Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong and it was a place I visited frequently during the six years I lived in Hong Kongcanadian soldiers grave sai wan

I even wrote an article about the cemetery for the Winnipeg Free Press. winnipeg grenadiers veterans
This plaque  is on the wall at All Saints and pays tribute to individual members of the Winnipeg Grenadiers regiment that served in Hong Kong. I learned that for many decades after the war veterans of the Manitoba regiment got together for an annual memorial service and meal at All Saints Church.all saints church winnipeg 2It was intriguing to find evidence of a connection between a church in my home city of Winnipeg, and a cemetery in Hong Kong, the city that was my home before I moved here. 

Other posts…….

Matching Macau and St. Boniface

Hong Kong Inspiration

The Amazing Race Canada- Where They SHOULD Have Gone in Hong Kong

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Dave’s Christmas Orchestral Debut

One Christmas in Hong Kong Dave was a guest reader at our school Christmas concert.  He read The Night Before Christmas while the middle school orchestra played an accompainment.  Click on the picture below to listen. Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 1.37.26 PM

Other posts…..
Driedger Santas

Christmas Day in Hell

This Christmas Will Be Different


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Filed under Holidays, Hong Kong, Music

My Movie Debut

I made my film debut in Hong Kong when my husband Dave asked me to appear with him in a reenactment of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #138. Dave was giving his high school English class an assignment to write a modern-day version of a Shakespearean sonnet and he wanted to perform one himself as a sample for the students.

I was a little hesitant to give it a try but I think I didn’t do too badly in my first screen role.  See for yourself by clicking on the photo below. There are some breaks in the film but do watch till the end where Dave does a great recitation of the sonnet. 

driedgers acting out shakespeares sonnet 138

Other posts…….

My Modeling Debut

So Proud of Them- Visiting My Students in New York

Multi- Tasking- Wisdom From A Former Student

She’s Done It Again- Proud of my Former Student


Filed under Education, Family, Hong Kong, Movies, Poetry

Matching Macau and St. Boniface

We had a visitor from Hong Kong recently and we took him on a cruise down Winnipeg’s Red River. When we passed the St. Boniface Basilica we explained how the cathedral had burned down in 1968 and only the front facade of the original church remains. It has become a well-known Winnipeg landmark.  Our guest said, “That’s just like in Macau.” We had never thought of the comparison but it was very apt.  

At the church facade in Macau with my parents

At the church facade in Macau with my parents

We visited the island of Macau many times during the six years we lived in Hong Kong. There is a famous church there The Church of St. Paul built by the Jesuits. church facade in macauIt was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in  1835. The facade remains and is probably the most photographed spot in Macau. 

We watched a play behind the St. Boniface Basilica facade at the Fringe Festival last year.

We watched a play behind the St. Boniface Basilica facade at the Fringe Festival last year.

Two famous church facades a world apart. It makes me think of a phrase you hear often when you travel in Asia- same-same-but different. 

Other posts….

Quo Vadis A Perfect Setting

Hong Kong Visitors

Winnipeg’s French Quarter- St.  Boniface


Filed under Hong Kong, Winnipeg

Ivan was Here!

Dave and Ivan climbing the steps to the top of the Human Rights Museum

Dave and Ivan climbing the steps to the top of the Human Rights Museum

We took him to the tallest spot in Winnipeg, to church, to the movies, golfing, out for ice-cream and even toured our old hometown of Steinbach with him.

Dave and Ivan at a graduation banquet in 2009

Dave and Ivan at a graduation banquet in Hong Kong in 2009

This past weekend a former student of ours from Hong Kong was visiting. Ivan just graduated from York University in Toronto and is making the journey to a new job in Vancouver. dave with ivanHe is traveling by train and decided to make four-day stop over here in Winnipeg to visit us. Dave was Ivan’s coach in basketball and baseball in Hong Kong and taught him physical education.  

Our tour group in Israel- I am in the back row and Ivan is just in front of me in the green shirt and shades

Here’s our tour group in Israel.  I am in the back row and Ivan is just in front of me in the green shirt and shades

I was his Literature and Composition teacher one year and chaperoned him on a school trip to Israel.  

Meeting with Ivan and some of other former students in Toronto in 2012

Meeting with Ivan and some of other former Hong Kong students in Toronto in 2012

We had met with Ivan, along with some of our former students, a couple of times during his study years in Toronto.  Now we could show him our city.

We took Ivan to a Winnipeg Goldeyes game. Ivan is a great baseball player.

We took Ivan to a Winnipeg Goldeyes game. Ivan is an accomplished baseball player.

Ivan is the perfect guest. Polite, helpful and ready for any adventure. He even brought us gifts. 

On a cruise down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers

On a cruise down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers

Ivan treats us to Chinese food.

Ivan treats us to Chinese food.

Saturday morning breakfast at the Free Press Cafe

Saturday morning breakfast at the Free Press Cafe

bronuts six kinds

Making hard decisions at a donut shop

I know these photos look like we ate out all the time but Dave made homemade pizza one night for supper and cheese biscuits one morning for breakfast and I did cook one chicken dinner. Ivan’s Mom in Hong Kong worries about him eating properly so he took photos of the food to send to her. I think we fed him pretty well.
It was great to have Ivan here. We are hoping now we can go and see him at some point while he is in Vancouver and are looking forward to visits from more of our former Hong Kong students and colleagues who may make their way to Winnipeg someday.
Other posts……

Meeting with ICS Students

The Burnetts and the Bison

Visiting ICS Students in New York


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Filed under Education, Hong Kong, Winnipeg