Our Headmaster’s travels to Hong Kong and China

Posted In Academic, Alumni, General

Mr & Mrs Healy travelled to Hong Kong on the first Monday of the Half Term Holiday and, within a few hours of landing, attended a wonderful dinner arranged by the Hong Kong Alumni. Many former pupils gathered who had attended Bethany School over the past 30 years. One such person was Terry Kan who started at Bethany on the same day as Mr Healy 29 years ago! It was truly brilliant to hear of their many successes, from barristers to architects, from entrepreneurs to parents themselves, they had all succeeded and reflected positively on their ‘Bethany Days’. Further events will be planned, and we’ve learned that WhatsApp is the best way to make this happen!

During the day meetings with agents, prospective pupils and parents were attended and by evening sumptuous meals of authentic Chinese food were shared with generous hosts who were mainly parents.

The final day spent in Hong Kong was frantic and parent-teacher meetings went on until after 10pm! The meetings started punctually but soon overran. Luckily the final parent, Mr McQueen – father to Amy, James and former pupil Lauren – was in no rush and was able to spend some time with Mr & Mrs Healy as they contemplated the next part of their trip to China.

Shortly after arriving at Shenzhen in Southern China, Mr & Mrs Healy were whisked off for a traditional meal with the parents of Lucy Bao, a Year 10 pupil. They also had the pleasure of meeting her six-year-old brother, Jimmy, who was a superb translator and incredibly articulate.

After even more appointments they travelled to Dongguan following a generous special invitation to visit the Live Life Stem Cell Centre which was organised by Mrs Liu, mother of Lucy. This was a unique experience during which Mr & Mrs Healy were asked to wear protective ‘blue’ garments and were shown around the highly protected area that stores stem cells at -197 degrees. A fascinating presentation showed where many successful case studies were shared following stem cells being re-introduced to the body in order to cure diseases, enable reproduction and reverse ageing. Dinner followed where more discussion took place on the ethics and costs involved.

On Wednesday, Mr & Mrs Healy travelled by car with Mr & Mrs Bao, to HuMen where the Early Bird Education establishment is situated. The school is stunning and offers a purpose-built campus that prepares young people for an education in English. As well as placing pupils in suitable schools they also expertly help with the integration of Chinese youngsters into the English education system. It was wonderful for Mr & Mrs Healy to meet some parents and pupils who are now at Bethany School. It was a pleasure to interview many bright and ambitious youngsters wishing to gain a place at an English school. After this long and busy day, it was time to bid farewell to Lucy Bao’s wonderful parents who had shown incredible warmth, care and generosity to Mr & Mrs Healy during their stay.

To reach the final destination, Guangzhou, Mr & Mrs Healy travelled by train. Here they visited several agencies and attended the biggest trade fair in China called the Canton Fair to consider sourcing Bethany School merchandise. It is fair to say that they had not previously imagined that such variety existed in staplers, pencils or paperclips!