Tag Archives: hong kong

Good-Bye Lot Sze

Dave and I were so sad to hear this week of the death of Lot Sze.  He was a student at the highschool in Steinbach from 1976-1979 . Although we lived in Steinbach at the time we never met Lot.  When we first moved to Hong Kong in 2003 one of Lot’s former Steinbach teachers Peter Dick e-mailed him to let him know some Steinbach folks were arriving in the city where Lot worked as a radio broadcaster, movie actor and documentary director. That was all Lot needed to know.  He rolled out the red carpet for us.  He told us people in Steinbach had been so kind to him when he lived there that befriending us was a way to pay that kindness forward. 

Lot orders ox tongue, sweet dumplings and souflee for us at a 150 year old eating establishment in Hong Kong called Tai Ping Koon Restaurant.

Lot took us out for gourmet meals at top restaurants in Hong Kong and gave us a tour of the radio station where he hosted a regular program featuring his legendary movie reviews. He gave us gifts.  He took us to movie premieres.  Lot  was a television director and had made two documentaries about Bruce Lee. He had acted in more than a hundred movies and served as the Chinese voice of characters like Robin Hood and Pinocchio in Disney films. Lot planned a weekend jaunt for us to the city of Guangzhou to see theater shows. He often talked to us about the kind and caring teachers he had in Steinbach and the many friends he made as he served as the organist for Husky hockey games and ran a judo club in town.

Visiting with Lot in our Hong Kong apartment

Lot’s parents encouraged him to move to Canada because they were fearful of the consequences of the takeover of Hong Kong by China. Lot had an uncle who was a minister in a Chinese church in Winnipeg so Lot headed there. His uncle recommended he study at Steinbach Bible College and live in the dorm but Lot chose to go to the SRSS and board with local families. He often talked fondly of Mennonite foods, like farmer’s sausage and vereneki.  He remembered especially the wonderful meals made by Margaret Friesen, the mother of his good friend Kevin.  It was Kevin who contacted us a few days ago to tell us Lot had passed away.  

Jim Peters and Lot enjoying Menonite food

When one of Lot’s former Steinbach teachers Jim Peters and his wife Bonnie were coming to Hong Kong to visit we told them how much Lot missed Mennonite food so Bonnie and Jim smuggled a couple rings of farmer’s sausage into the city in their suitcase.  Together Jim and Dave figured out a way to make vereneki using Dave’s Mom’s recipe and Chinese dumpling wraps.  We invited Lot for supper and after tasting Dave and Jim’s vereneki Lot provided an evaluation of their efforts using a Low German phrase he had learned in Steinbach, “Schmeckt Gut.”

Lot treats us to a night out at the gala movie premiere of the documentary Bruce Lee My Brother

After we returned to Canada in 2011 Lot continued to keep in touch with us periodically but we had not heard from him in quite awhile.  We knew his health was precarious already when we left Hong Kong and things were difficult for him because his entire family lived in San Francisco and so although he had a thriving career in Hong Kong he had no family support. 

This week Kevin Friesen e-mailed to tell me Lot had passed away and his sister Elizabeth was looking for any memories people might have of her brother.   I sent her the four Carillon articles I had written about Lot as well as my sincere condolences. 

We used to call Lot our Hong Kong Santa Claus because he was so incredibly generous to us during our years in Asia. Whenever we thanked him he said he was only repaying the kindness he had received during his three years in Steinbach. 

We were so sorry to hear of Lot’s death.  He was a talented and well known media personality in Hong Kong but we knew him as a kind and caring friend who made us feel at home when we were far from our home and family. 

Other posts……

The Swimmers of Tolo Harbor

Hong Kong Inspiration

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Leaving Hong Kong

This year many people we worked with and spent so much time with in Hong Kong are leaving the school where we all taught and are moving on to other adventures in different places around the world. Seeing all their “farewell to Hong Kong” photos on Facebook reminds me of our own farewell to the city we grew to love so much.

at the top of mount batur biking in bali

Dave biking with our friend Kathy. She and her family are moving back to the USA.

ics orange

Two of the guys on Dave’s Hong Kong basketball team are leaving Hong Kong this year, Steve is moving to Kenya and Bryan to Colorado. 

book club hong kong

Sue at far left was a member of our Hong Kong book club and is leaving Hong Kong this year after many decades living there. The only person who is still in Hong Kong from this photo of our book club is Meena on the far right. 

cat marylou jazz club

Our friends Cath and Jon are moving back to the United States 

burnetts and wilsons mid autumn

Celebrating the Mid Autumn festival with the Wilsons  who are leaving Hong Kong 

We wish all our friends well as they make the transistion to new living and working situations.

Other posts………

Biking in Bali

Mid Autumn Festival

Jazz Club

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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-sellers-hong-kong

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

Rejoice

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Dave Meets Rose

dave and roseOur friends Bryan and Emily just adopted a little girl named Rose. This was our first time meeting her. We sat behind her at the wedding we attended in Kansas City.  At first Rose was a little shy.  But Dave’s magic touch with children quickly won her over. dave and rose
dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave rose

Other posts…….

Tad and Wendy’s Wedding

All that Jazz in Kansas City

The House with the Obama Chair

Southern Barbeque in Kansas City

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Tad and Wendy’s Wedding

tad and wendyWe were in Kansas City this last weekend attending the wedding of Tad and Wendy.tad and wendyWe taught with Tad in Hong Kong for four years. He was a good friend who traveled with us quite a number of times and even came to Winnipeg to visit us after we returned home. 

wedding programWe were very happy to have a chance to meet Tad’s bride Wendy and to celebrate their wedding with so many of our Hong Kong friends. ics crew

Not everyone is in this photo but I think there must have been sixteen or seventeen former and current ICS staff members and their families at the wedding. 

marylou emily julie

jeff julietad wendy rebekah danielmarylou and meghantad wendy megan mike

dave and jon

cat ml redave tadjeff tad jonmarylou rebekahbryan daniel jon jack daverebekah and emilyIMG_1437dave bryanIMG_1474Other posts……

All That Jazz in Kansas City

Barbeque in Kansas City

The House with the Obama Chair

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Hong Kong Inspiration

the many faces of hong kongYou take delight not in a city’s wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours. ― Italo Calvino   victoria peak tramWhen things are steep remember to remain level-headed. -Horacefuneral pots 023No one can be free who has a thousand ancestors. – L.M. Montgomeryworld is my book hong kong The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page – Augustine  bird cages in bird gardenThe caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.- Maya Angeloucalligrapher at work in hong kongSuccess requires single-minded attention to detail and total concentration. – John Dulles mahjong game hong kongLife is more fun if you play games.- Roald Dahl jardine house hong kongThere are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. ………What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. ― Chuck Palahniuk gardener in hat hong kongWithout hard work nothing grows but weeds. – Gordon Hinckleywu shu twins ma on shan park hong kongThe only way to have a friend is to be one. – Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Other posts…….

Hawaiian Inspiration

Inspiration to Speed the Coming of Spring

Inspiration at Assiniboine Park

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Hong Kong House Guests

marylou and meenaOur Hong Kong friends Meena and Anil  spent the last four days as our house guests.  By a serendipitous “it’s a small world” coincidence Meena and Anil’s son lives and works in Winnipeg now. They were here to visit him and their daughter-in-law.  We hosted Meena and Anil in summer when they came for their son’s wedding. This time they were busy doing things with their children so we mostly had our visits over breakfast and late in the evening. It was lovely to catch up and reminisce. Dave and I were in a book club with Meena for six years in Hong Kong and she was my colleague in the English department at the international school where we taught. With their son here in the city we’re pretty sure we can look forward to seeing Meena and Anil again. They are the consummate guests, considerate, generous and great conversationalists. 

Other posts……..

A Quick Visit to Assiniboine Park

Food From the Land

The BDI

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