Salvage the Boat

 

Bro. Hans Seubert - better known as Bro. Gregory or "James Dean" in his good old days as teacher and principal at SFX - is doing missionary work at St. Martin Youth Training Center located on Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria in Kenya.  The only means of transportation between the island  and mainland was a 42-foot fiberglass boat with a 48HP outboard engine.  Unfortunately, the boat sank to the bottom of the lake in an accident on January 24, 2003.  Staff and students at the youth training center were shock.  Salvaging the boat would cost US$27,000.

Bro. Gregory appealed for help and the Boys of St. Francis Xavier's RESPONDED!

The total amount raised was enough to purchase a new boat with a 75HP Yamaha outboard engine and accessories with spare change to buy essential equipment for their technical school workshops and even a trailer for their tractor which is the only motorized vehicle on Mfangano Island.

Following is chronicle of how Bro. Gregory got his new boat (see pictures above) through worldwide efforts of the SFX family:

Feb 20, 2003 It all started when Philip Chan, past President of SFXCAA-Toronto received a personal letter from Bro. Gregory. Click to see letter.
Feb 21, 2003 Webmaster created this web page and sent email to appeal to every SFX Boy plus webmasters of all SFX AA and Schools.
Feb 28, 2003 SFX Boys responded to the appeal: Philip Chan organized a fund raiser at home, Paul Yeou of Vancouver offered to donate an underwater sonar,  others challenged the rest to donate generously.
Mar 2, 2003 Concern about charity fraud was raised by some members.

1)  Philip Chan responded to assure he has the personal letter with Bro. Gregory's authentic signature (Philip has been keeping in touch with him for quite some time). 

2) Paul Yeou of Vancouver has received a phone call from Bro. Gregory to discuss possibilities of shipping an underwater sonar system to Kenya.

3) Each donation cheque received by our designated fund collector will be documented and audited by our local Association committees. 

4) See below also email from Michael Ho dated Mar. 03, 2003.

Mar 3, 2003 1) Hits to our web site reached 147 in week ending Mar 02, 2003.

2) Email from Michael Ho (K-65) of Ontario, Canada:

"I just talked to John Leung at Queen's Kingston and he confirmed the validity of Bro. Gregory's appeal for financial help. John has maintained direct contact with Bro. Gregory for over 30 years. Every year he lines up with other ex-students of his year (1963) in Canada like Francis Ho Hong Wai etc. to arrange not only bank remittances but also foodstuff to Bro. Gregory due to his poor nutrition in that part of the globe. John received a similar letter two weeks ago and in fact they already sent out some money to Kenya as temporary relief."

Mar 7, 2003 1) SFXCAA-Toronto fund raising collected C$3,100.00 (reported by Philip Chan). Two largest donations of  $500 each, one is from Hong Kong. Also received a cheque from Montreal.

2) Here is a paragraph from Bro. Gregory's earlier letter to Philip Chan describing life in Africa: 
"Maybe more people should come to taste life in Africa so they could come to realize that there are simpler way of living. On the island where I have been living for the past twelve years, there is no car, no electricity, no motorcycle, no email, etc etc, but there are a few donkey carts and several bicycles. Our Youth Training Centre is somehow the most "advanced" spot on this island of 20,000 people. Our struggle for survival in trying to put some seventy young people through training over a two-year period is continuous. Still God has made our life possible through generous help, mostly from my home area in Germany, but also through some Old Boys from Hong Kong/Shanghai who still live there or in the US and Canada."

Mar 12, 2003 1) SFXCAA-USA.  Quite a few cheques have been received. At least one cheque was from England, and one cheque for US $200. (Report by Treasurer). 

2) Reminder email was sent to all U.S. alumni to urge donation before end of March, 2003. 

Mar 16, 2003 Email from SFXAA in Hong Kong:

1) The Alumni Committee in Hong Kong has resolved to set up an emergency fund in response to this incident and would appeal for your donations.  Please send your cheque payable to "SFX Alumni", marked "Salvage the Boat" together with your name and year of graduation on the back, to:

       St. Francis Xavier's Alumni
       c/o Chan Cho Hung
       St. Francis Xavier's College
       45 Sycamore Street
       Kowloon

We hope that we can get US$15,000.00 by the end of March 2003 so that we may wire the sum direct to the Marist Brothers bank account at Kenya as soon as possible.  In case we can collect more than our target sum, we shall set the balance aside in special fund to cater for any emergency need for the Brothers in future.  So let's do something for the Brothers now.
Thanks a lot!
Regards
Raymond Ng
President, SFX Alumni

2)  Click to see Bro. Gregory's letter  to Bro. Anthony, Principal of SFXC in Kowloon.

Mar 24, 2003
Update from Philip Chan, SFXAA-Toronto, Canada:

Here is the revised donor list. If you have made contribution but your name is not on the list, do notify me.

Danny Lau Edward Leung Francis Chan Francis Ho
Francis Kwok Francis Leung Godwin Chan Joseph Goh
Kevin Kwok Koo Lam Sang Leonard Ng Michael Ho
Patrick Cheung Paul Wong Peter Chow Philip Chan
Raymond Kwok Stephen Cheung Stewart Mak Sumner Ling
Thomas Soong Thomas Sun Victor Tang  

Once again, donation from Hong Kong breaks our record with a cheque of $1,000.00 (Canadian).

May I also take this opportunity to thank all of our campaign coordinators to make "Salvage the Boat" campaign a very successful one particularly Bosco, our webmaster, in communicating our appeal to all the SFXC boys in the world.
Frank Lau SFXCAA-Australia
Raymond Kwok SFXCAA-Toronto
Bosco Ho SFXCAA-USA
Jobic Yeung SFXCAA-Vancouver
Apr 10,  2003

SFXCAA-USA  (April 2, 2003) update by Bosco Ho  (webmaster)

It is indeed heart-warming to see so many alumni donating so generously for a good cause.  We had donations by cheques and cash from alumni all across the United States (plus a donation from England), from retired old timers and young struggling new graduates. The donors represent four to five generations of  SFX Boys !!!

The total amount so far is $3,735.00  with a couple more cheques in the mail. Donation amounts range from $500.00 (two donations) to $20.00.  Eighteen alumni each donated $100.00 or more!  Any donation, no matter how large or small, is a reflection of a response from the human heart, and is greatly appreciated by us, and to a much more profound extent, by Bro. Gregory and his young students in Kenya.

Thanks to Simon Lee (Treasurer) and Angus Chow (self appointed canvasser who collected $800.00 from alumni buddies) for their efforts.  We will be sending the money to Bro. Gregory in a couple days.  For anyone who has missed the window of opportunity to write a cheque you may send your donation to Bosco Ho (re: Bro. Gregory) at:  1076 Windjammer Circle, Foster City, Ca 94404.  He will make sure your donation reaches Bro. Gregory. Better late than never - Join the Gallant SFX Boys!

Following is a list of our donors (If you have donated and your name is not listed properly (please contact Bosco Ho at once):

Chan, Donald

Chan, Ricky

Cheng, Thomas

Cheung, Danny

Chu, Hoi Ling

Chow, Angus

Chow, Paul

Chiu, Warren

Ho, Bosco

Ho, Ping Tong

Lai, Merwin

Lai, Terry

Lee, Bosco

Lee, Jimmy

Lee, Simon

Lee, Winston

Leung, Victor

Lo, Edmund

Lo, Isaac

Lu, Cary

Lui, Bill

Mak, Richard

Moore, Arnold

Shu, Tony

Szeto, Ronald

Tai, Frank

Tam, Peter

Tsang, Lance

Wong, Cary

Wong, Dan

Wong, Francis

Wong, Ken

Wong, Timothy

Woo, Frank

Yan, Peter

Yee, Richard

Ying, John

Total: 37 donations

June 2003 Contribution through SFXAA in Hong Kong has reached US$24,000.
July 2003 Letter from Bro. Gregory acknowleging receipt of US$3,735.

Nov 15, 2003 Contribution from Australia.

The students at Marcellin College Bulleen in Victoria, Australia have raised AUD1,000 to go towards the salvage of the boat that sank in Kenya.
Regards,
Chris Bence - VP Pastoral

Note: Marcellin College is a Catholic Boys College conducted by the Marist Brothers. A check in the amount of US $699.40 was sent to the Treasurer of the SFXCAA-USA.  Arrangement is being made to wire the money to Bro. Gregory as soon as possible.

January 2004 Bosco Ho received letter from Bro. Gregory with pictures of the new boat.

April 2004 Click to see another letter from Bro. Gregory as reported in SFXAA Newletter 1st issue 2004.