Monday, June 11, 2007
二零零七年是大熊星社（II）同學驛馬星動的一年。繼三月十一日重回澳門母校粵華之後，五月九日，承蒙懋德航運集團董事長鄭承忠同學之邀請，前往上海參加外高橋造船廠 (SWS) H1075號命名與交船典禮。
在午膳前各同學趁尚餘少許時間，在西湖天地漫步，並於 HAGENDAZ 雪糕店前閒坐一下，該天恰為母親節，趙崇就女兒文琪小姐特為母親獻上芝士蛋糕及雪糕，聊表孝思，各同學太太齊齊合照，渡過溫馨的一刻。
畢業四十四年後大熊星社 (Great Bear II) 同學重回母校記
次日(星期日) 上午九時，另六位同學攜同家眷在香港港澳碼頭出發，在澳門居住的兩位同學及早在澳門的六位同學齊到碼頭接船，最難得的是，從 Form III 時一直擔任班主任的黃兆川老師暨夫人也在接船行列，一時受到各同學熱烈歡迎，大眾握手相見之時，容顏有改，熱情不減，各同學自道姓名，黃老師竟一一記得清楚，時間和歲月不能洗卻老師對同學之印象，黃老師之記憶力真驚人。
Saturday, June 2, 2007
It is over now and I don't think my marks were very good.
After having our Physics and Geometry I went home and had lunch
Then I went to James' house. He and I went to Raymond's and then the three of us went to Mr. Victal's place.
We then went to my house and had some drinks.
Afterwards we went to James house again. Raymond got some books and I got a Physics book.
We plan to go swimming tomorrow. (I recall that we actually swam in the ocean. There were no beaches in Macau. People had built little bamboo huts out over the waters edge where the Guia Circuit meets the ocean. You paid them your fee, changed and went right into the ocean. The water temperature was perfect...although the water was brown with silt)
After dinner I went to James house and we both came back here.
After he left I did some paintings on a sheet of celluloid (I always thought I would be an animated cartoon artist)
I was the second one to finish.
After exams I went to the chapel.
I left school with James
After dropping him off at his house I went home.
In the afternoon, the rest of the boys in our class had their Chinese exam in the afternoon (My brother and I were exempt because we could neither speak, write nor read Chinese) so Victor came over to study Chemistry.
Later Raymond and James dropped by.
James had to give something to Fr. Vandavar so we had to go back to school.
We then went to James house thinking Victor might be there waiting..He wasn't. So we went to Raymond's house thinking that Victor had gone there. He wasn't there either.
James and I rode back with me sitting backwards on the bicycle.
We found Victor at his house
So we all went to James' house.
We joked around and then left.
Later that evening James came over. Mom and Dad went out again looking for a house.
James and I talked a bit, had some drinks and then when my parents returned , James went home.
After church mom and dad went looking for ceiling fans.
Tomorrow we will have exams in English and History
I went to James' house and we worked on History.
We studied into the night.
I might as well say something about Macau.
This town does not really belong to the Portuguese. It is owned by the Communists.
Not long ago they had an anti-Communist meeting in the school next door to our house (It was a school run by Nationalist Chinese, I think) They were composed of the Catholic School. They had about 1000 people attending. This town is full of opium dens and gambling houses. There are also a lot of poor people living here.
I was really tired from last night and I had overslept this morning.
Today is the Feast of John the Baptist.
Fr. Krishner is trying to get me to become a Catholic but I don't think I ought to .
Anyway I go to the Catholic Chapel with James whenever he asks me to.
After church James and I went back to my house and had breakfast.
Then it was off to his house.
On the way I stopped off and bought a new pen. It's gold color and looks expensive. It cost $3.20. (in those days we use the old style ink fountain pens)
My brother and I went back to James house in the afternoon and found him sleeping. He said that he might drop by tonight but it's quite late now so I doubt he'll come.
Paul Chui, Habang Singh and Lau Yat Man were messing around with my books so I went and sat in the Captains desk.
Fr. Rubini came to the class and told us that we need not come to school in the afternoon.
Victor came over my house and we studied algebra .
Frank went over to Raymond's house.
When we finished I took Victor home and then went to Ramond's house.
I stood outside their house and called but no one answered so I went back home.
Later I went to James house and we spent most of the time fixing the coolers in his father's barber shop.
James came over in the evening and we did a little Geometry.
After school I went to church with James and then we went to his house and did some calculus. I know nothing about calculus.
The I went downstairs to his father's barber shop and got a hair cut.
The barbers there always joke about me because I don't speak Chinese.
James' little sister was in the barber shop getting her hair fixed and she was laughing at me. I could see her in the mirror.
The guys in the back of the class got a little noisy so Fr Rubini stepped in.
He called Captain into his office and gave him a scolding because he wasn't able to keep the boys quiet.
On the way home Captain was riding me on the bicycle as usual and we almost crashed into another bicycle. The other guy didn't give a hand signal to turn.
After school Victor came over to our house and we studied Ethics.
We shall have a test on that subject tomorrow.
My mom and dad went looking for a house to buy. Didn't find anything
Fr. Rubini came to monitor us. During study period Fr. Rubini got angry at Habang Singh because he was joking around in class instead of studying
In the afternoon we had our geography test.
The questions were fairly easy.
Captain didn't do so well.
Some of the kids in our school have already finished their exams which were held upstairs next to our classroom.
There's not much to do in Macau and I don't know how I'll enjoy myself during the holidays.
Macau only has theaters and swimming.
It's too moist here.
I haven't written to Eddie or any of the others in America yet. I'll have to do that during the summer.
We shall have our geography test tomorrow.
I had to go and get some clothes at the laundry for my mom.
As I came back home one of the girls downstairs (the landlord who lives downstairs has 5 daughters) saw me and ran away. The girls always run away when my brother and I come in the gate.
So before morning exercise Paul Chiu (he forgot his also) and I went home..like we did yesterday.
Fr., Cota came back from Hong Kong where the boys of Form VI are having their exams (GCE).
The kids from the orphanage got to go to the carnival they have in Macau every summer. It's not much...just a merry-go-round and a lot of cold drink stands.
The kids got to go on rides.
Frank and I had to stay home because we are going to have our geography test Thursday.
Friday, June 1, 2007
During Physics period, Paul Chiu and I went home to fetch our books...which we had forgotten to bring.
We went to his house first...and then to my house.
Mr. Victal got angry at the boys in the back of the room because they were making a lot of noise.
He asked the offenders to step to the front of the classroom. He made each boy recite 20 words from the dictionary.
This happened again when the bell rang and he let a few of us go while the others had to stay behind.
My mom charged me 20 cents for some books I left laying around the house.
The kids from the choir (at the Protestant Church) came over later that day and went up to our rooftop.
We all had dinner and then dad showed them 16 mm movies he took of our family in America.
the Chinese are a little like the English in manners. They don't joke around like Americans.
After showing the movies of Disneyland ,the San Diego Zoo and Marineland we all went downstairs and sung some Christian songs.
I went into my room to do some studying but the heat got me down.
Finally everyone left. Thank heavens!
Today is my brother's birthday.
I forgot my homework again so during the morning exercise I left and went home to get it.
Day after tomorrow will be the "Dragon Festival"
Dragon Boat races will be held in Hong Kong. The people here in Macau can't afford dragon boats and besides the ocean around Macau is very muddy due to all the silt that comes down from the Pearl River.
My mom said she would start charging us money if we left our school books lying around the house. So far she owes me 3 dollars.
Michael from Form II came over after school and we talked about our school marks.
I'm not sure I'll pass because last year I knew nothing about Algebra or Geometry (In those days our school in Palm Springs didn't teach those subjects until we got into High School). When I entered Yuet Wah this year they had already finished 1/2 the book.
In the afternoon we had our dictation test on "Arctic Explorations"
After the test we had our music exam.
When school let out, Victor Kuan and I went over to find out our marks.
So we headed over to Mr. Victal's house. Several boys had arrived before us and were reciting ten words from the dictionary to Mr. Victal. This was their punishment for something they had done wrong earlier in class.
Mr. Victal thought we had come over to give him his cigarette lighter. He had forgotten it and left it in class.
We checked our papers to see what kind of marks we had gotten.
Mr. Victal wanted me to go to school and get his lighter but I proposed that he should go instead.
So he hopped on my bike and headed off to school
When he returned Victor and I left.
Mr. Victal picked ten titles..one of which was "The Use Which Man Has Made of the Forces of Nature".
Captain had memorized a composition from a composition book. He thought Mr. Victal would let us pick our own titles. But it turned out just the opposite. He ended up having to write down the one he had prepared.
We got a letter from China. Since my dad has agreed to buy fertilizer for the Chinese government, they have gone a step further and asked for $20,000 US.
We've had an invasion of cockroaches.
The town has quieted down since the festivities Saturday
As usual I had "stewed fish over rice".
In the afternoon we went to James's house and begged him to come with us to Raymond Chu's place so we could all study Physic's together.
James was just about to go to bed because he was very tired.
Anyway, we went to Raymonds, studied and then we gave Raymond and James a ride on our bikes to our house. They wanted to go to the book store but it was raining so they stayed at our house till the rained stopped.
Right now they are having basketball matches next door so it's hard to concentrate on studying.
(When we first arrived in Macau we rented a house. We live on the second floor of a two story building. The landlord, his wife and 5 daughters live downstairs. Right next door there was some sort of gymnasium.)
I got dressed, ate and then went over to James Lai's house with my algebra book.
Unfortunately he wasn't home.
So back home I went.
There were army soldiers everywhere. They were marching up and down the street in their tan colored uniforms.
People thronged the streets and stores.
After I got home James and another one of his friends came over.
We played records and then hopped on our bicycles and rode out along the water dikes all the way up to Don Boscos school.
In the afternoon I went to James house again. We sat around and joked. Then I took him on my bike to his teacher's place...and I went home.
When I arrived at the house I found Raymond and his brother, Patrick, waiting for me.
We all had planned to work on Physics with Frank.
When Raymond left, he forgot his pen...which I am using to write now.
It's night time now. and Frank and I have just finished having a big debate with my dad about Communism.
It all started when dad read an article about how the American's were planning to launch a space ship to the moon. "That's ridiculous..impossible " , dad said.
That's how the debate got started.
The argument, as usual, turned from Russian satellites to freedom of the press..and from there it lead to Communism.
During the argument dad offered us 10 dollars to prove that newspapers could run without advertisements.
In the afternoon today we had our gymnastics test. I wasn't able to do my exercises so I think the teacher gave me a failing grade.
"Egyptian" (I recall a fellow student who went by the nick name "Egyptian". I can't remember who he was. Maybe later in the diary it will come back to me. Most students had nicknames. I remember some of the names :"lady","the nun", "pig". ) gave me some stamps from his stamp collection in return for some stamps from mine.
Tomorrow there's going to be a big celebration in honor of Luis de Camoes.
He was one of Portugal's most famous poets. So the day is a holiday and we are off from school.
There is suppose to be a parade of soldiers. I don't care about it.
It gives me more time to catch up with my maths.
We are going to have our composition test on Monday. But I don't need to prepare for anything.
This morning I forgot to bring my homework to Maths so I had to rush home and get it during the morning exercise drill (we all had calisthenics out on the main courtyard every day. It was compulsory. Everyone had an assigned spot on the field and roll was taken. If you weren't in your spot...not good )
It rained again as we were going home for lunch
We have much to review in maths. Mr. Wong, our new math teacher, goes much faster than our old teacher, Mr. Olivera.
When the bell rang it started raining just as we were leaving.
I went down to get my bicycle but the rain wouldn't stop so I went back upstairs to the classroom to wait it out.
By that time I was soaking wet.
We waited and when the rain finally did stop we all headed home for lunch.
In the afternoon Victor Kuan came over to our house and we studied a little Physics.
It rained again today.
During the Physics experiment some boys in one of the Chinese classes got into a fight.
They got a scolding for it.
James gave me his negatives to develop (back then we developed contact black and white prints from negatives in our bedroom at night when it was dark) but my dad had used the plug for the extension cord so I couldn't use the light for contact printing.
We spent English period rearranging the tests schedule. It was a difficult job.
It's getting so boring in Macau. I can't wait to get out of here.
Nothing much to write about either
In the afternoon Fr. Kirkland wasn't feeling well so we had a "free study" period.
We are getting nearer to the tests dates and I don't know if I'll have much time to write in this journal.
I don't read as many books now because it hurts my eyes. I'll have to get glasses during the vacation.
We are revising for the final exams.
Yesterday in the South China Morning Post I read that President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev met and talked for a long time in Vienna.
Communist China objected to the meeting...but tough luck for them.
My dad has decided to buy fertilizer and send it to China because he supports the Communist cause. His relatives in China have been begging him to do it because for every ton of fertilizer sent to China, they get some rice or something.
Both of them had gone to see Mr Victal.... but he wasn't at home.
We all joked around and listened to records.
My dad needed some gasoline. He was trying to make rubber glue.
So we all went out looking all over town for gasoline.
It rained really hard part of the day.
It's the hardest rain we've had so far.
The hall of the school is filled with pictures which are to be voted for (I don't recall what this was. Must have been a drawing contest or something)
Mr Vital asked Raymond, James Lai, Frank and I to come over to his place and listen to records tomorrow but I can't go because my mom got mad at me for wrinkling my Sunday clothes.
James Lai came over in the evening and we talked and did some algebra sums.
We went to "junk alley" (that was a street in Macau that sold a lot of used things...books and stuff. Many were just poor people who had a few odds and ends to sell on the sidewalk. Sometimes they would have good English novels and books so we were always on the lookout)
before dinner to see if there were any good books or not. There wasn't.
Not much to do here in Macao. Business is going on as usual and the Communist are getting the upper hand here. That's because the Portuguese government is too weak (I don't recall much about the political situation in Macau at the time. Not sure what I was referring to)
Today Frank and I got to school and found we had the wrong books.
He thought it was Tuesday. I thought it was Thursday.
I rushed home to get the exercise books that Mr. Victal had asked us to help him check for his Form II class.
I went first to my house and then to James.
I got back in time before the bell rang the second time (I think there were two bells. The first was to call us to class. The second was to signal that everyone not in class was late)
Mr. Victal got mad again today (because the boys were talking).
The boys in the back of the class are the most talkative.
He asked all the offenders to step forward to the front of the class.
Mr. Victal once again invoked Fr. Rubini's name.
That was enough to get the boys in the back to step up in front of the class.
The lessons started again.
Victor Kuan and I went to Mr. Victals after school and we listened to one of his comical records, checked some more exercise books for him and chatted some. Nothing much to do except study now since the heat is too oppressive.
While we were at Mr. Victals, a postman came and Mr. Victal tried to converse with him in broken Chinese (as I recall Mr Victal was either born in China or lived in China for a long time.
I think he came from Shanghai area. I recall him telling stories about old China. I remember vividly his description of the time he witnessed someone in China being beheaded..how they dragged the frightened man out. And when they cut off his head his teeth kept chattering. Funny how some recollections stay with you)
Mr Victal lost 4 dollars playing ping pong against some other boys and by the time Victor and I had finished correcting a stack of exercise books, he had lost another 2 dollars. Mr. Victal complained that there was nothing else to do around here.
After church I went to his house to get some study books and we then went to my house.
The door was locked so I had to go to the orphanage for the key.
The rest of the day we studied.
In the evening I studied by myself since James had to go home and Frank had gone to the orphanage to paint the new shower.
I slept on the couch in the living room where there is a nice breeze.
It is still quite hot.
The Laos bit is clearing (Fighting broke out between the Royal Lao Army and the Pathet Lao in 1960; in 1961, a neutral independent government was set up under Prince Souvanna Phouma, based in Vientiane) and South Africa now has a white president ( -May 31, 1961 South Africa becomes a republic. Charles Robberts Swart becomes the first State President of South Africa)