At the beginning of the school year 2019-2020, I told our F.6 girls that they were a very special class as they can proudly announce to the world that they are from the Class of 2020. They thought I was saying something similar every year but just as I told them, they were truly one of a kind, as we did not have a Class of 1010 nor would we be around to witness the graduation of the Class of 3030. Being Class of 2020 would be pretty special. Little did we know at the time that this year group needed to go through a roller-coaster year!
We started our preparation for the 95th anniversary since the beginning of the last term. I shared a catchphrase for the 95th Anniversary celebrations - Bond and Build towards the Centenary! Faces of our students were captured on film shouting in unison this catchphrase in the school hall before the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.
In times of crisis, our bonding counts much more than on ordinary days. We can choose to bond and build or to divide and destroy. Our choices can lead to very different results. How secure is the bonding of the Maryknoll family? True tests came in the past months. What is our binding agent? Sola Nobilitas Virtus – Virtues alone ennobles. “Virtues alone” bind us together. For the past two years, we have focused on two of the four cardinal virtues, Prudence and Temperance, and one of the three theological virtues: Faith. If we reflect on each of these virtues, we can find that they can hold us together on the roller-coaster journey of the past months and the days ahead.
Despite the unusual circumstances that seemed to be clouding over all of us since the start of the school year 2019-2020, we are glad that Maryknoll girls have continued with their learning in and outside classes, online or face to face. We have learnt not to take things for granted. We might not have given a second thought about having successfully held a swimming gala, two sport days (Heats and Finals), a school picnic day, the Christmas Programme, the Chinese New Year Programme. However, we should have counted our blessings for having achieved these when not all schools had been able to do so. I was happy to observe that our students were able to grasp the limited opportunities to take part in various events and got very good results.
Memories of the past year might have been even more colourful than those of other years with the unprecedented challenges we have experienced. Let’s turn these memories into valuable lessons for us to start afresh.