Not too Late to Dream

26 September is a day to remember as five residents of the SAGE Madam Ho Sin Hang Home for the Aged, who were older than 90 year-old, fulfilled their long awaited dream on CUHK campus. They were deprived of education in teenage due to the Second World War, and they spent their whole life making a living for their beloved families. Knowing their unfulfilled dream, students of S.H. Ho College initiated a one-day simulation programme to help them experience the life as a university student.

In the morning, the ‘senior students’ started off with a Chinese Medicine lecture on health cultivation, and paying visits to the University Gallery and ‘Remembering the Breeze: Hong Kong in the 50s and 60s from the Ng Ho Collection Exhibition’. The exhibits such as the magazines and newspapers they read in the 60s provoked their memories in adulthood, and they eventually shared with students their past experience like the 1967 riot. Having previously visited the SAGE Madam Ho Sin Hang Home for the Aged, Ching Yee, Psychology student of the College, immediately signed up for the experiential activity. ‘Wong Por Por was a bit shy at the beginning. She eventually opened herself more after getting to know each other, particularly when she realized that we were attentively listening to her. Communication is a bilateral process. I’m touched to know they felt our sincerity and our bonding could be built,’ said Ching Yee.

After having lunch in Ho Sin Hang Hall, the participants attended a graduation photo-taking session. Despite their physical disabilities, they all attempted to stand up and take their own graduation pictures donning in gowns. Dreams do rejuvenate our souls and keep us young. ‘Although I’m merely a fresher, the way they embraced the joy of graduation influenced me. We may perceive university education as a target achieved by hard work, but it was an unreachable star in the eyes of the residents,’ Wong Tsz Wai remarked, a legal student of S.H. Ho College. ‘The society has progressed. We should cherish what we have as they are granted by the older generation who had been building the society for decades.’

Uncle Yu could not forget the moment he was donned in an academic gown as he did not have a chance to go to university in his teenage. He laughed light-heartedly for his ‘university graduation’. Student helpers also gained a lesson listening to the stories of ‘the elderly students’, which reminded them of cherishing the opportunity of university education. Every step they walked with the ‘students’ on campus left a footprint of pursuing dreams.

Paying visits to the University Gallery

Having lunch in Ho Sin Hang Hall

The elderly participants take their own graduation pictures donning in gowns.