A Flicker of Candlelight

With a strong sense of belonging to the College, Adi does his best to send the College facemasks. This photograph of Adi was taken in January. He forms a team with a College peer and students from other local universities. The team wins the 2nd Runner Up in Hong Kong Techathon.

Well goes an old saying, “When one in trouble, help comes from all sides.” As soon as the coronavirus outbreak spread rapidly across the community, the College had already worked hard to procure protective equipment. At that time, the acute shortage of facemasks was the greatest concern for everyone in the city. It was almost impossible to come across even one mask. While the College had been keeping a close contact with suppliers to explore the possibility of purchasing facemasks, College members, alumni and students were also keen to lend a helping hand in this matter.

A non-local student spared no effort to ship 200 surgical masks to the College hostels through the help of his family. The student, who comes from India, is called Aditya Varshney. His nickname is Adi.

Adi was admitted to the College last year. He said, “Despite my freshmen year being full of ups and downs with semester one and two eventually going online, there is something that makes me always feel connected to the College even when I’m away, a home away from home.”

Since January, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections has been growing steeply. Many people rushed to the stores to buy out the facemasks for protection. “I came back home during the CNY holidays, but I could hardly ever imagine that I would not be able to go back to complete my semester altogether,” said Adi. After returning to India, he found out the shortage of facemasks at the College. He immediately thought about what he could do then.

“I cannot help everyone but whenever possible I try to help to the best of my ability.” Adi inquired about the availability of surgical masks in his city. With his father’s assistance, he was able to order 200 masks beyond his expectation. However, there was another tough nut to crack. “Most courier companies refused to take my package citing customs issues in Hong Kong due to the virus outbreak.” Eventually, one courier company gave it a go shipping Adi’s package overseas. One week later, a box of hard-earned facemasks landed on the hostel reception counter.

Apart from Adi, Prof. Samuel Sun, former College Master residing in the United States now, also sent the College 600 facemasks.

Father James Keller from the Maryknoll Order said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” If we are willing to share candlelight in the midst of darkness, even a flicker of light could bring out hope and warmth and shine the world. The College is thankful for the kindness and enthusiasm from College members, alumni and students.