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What a Report Card, Brother David ! Print E-mail

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ImageBrother David Liao spends the past 10 years in his grandfather’s village in Dabu county teaching English to the village children - a perfect example of altruism personified. The moral lesson that we can learn from the good Brother's dedication and commitment is that only hard work yields results. Verbal ornamentation never does.

It is not surprising that he was duly honoured and acknowledged as the “Yang Lei Feng (洋雷锋)  by the Education Ministry’s special committee in Beijing headed by Li Chang Chun 李长春, who is a member of the powerful Central Politburo.

ImageHe was humbled by all this as he said:
“I never expected this to happen.  I thought the award given to me in Guangzhou last year as one of 10 notable persons in South China was the limit of recognition I can get in China.  I thank God for this wonderful surprise.  Only God knows how our Lasallian Education Mission will be in the future in China.

I acknowledge that I cannot do what I have done so far without the support of our Lasallian old boys’ network in Malaysia, Singapore and Hongkong.  This unexpected “report card” that has come my way is totally unexpected.  I want to express my grateful thanks to everyone who are supporting and accompanying me on this God send mission.”
Note:

  1. Lei Feng (1940-1962) is a local hero icon who gives concentrated expression to noble ideals, moral integrity and values of the Chinese people in the modern China.
  2. Yang Lei Feng (洋雷锋) means “The Lei Feng from overseas”

                       

Both his noble deeds and the  La Salle Study Centre were featured throughout the country in connection with National Lei Feng Day on 5th March 2012.

An article dated 25 February, 2012, in the Guangming Daily, a Government newspaper has much to say about our Liao Laoshi. The said article is translated to English for the benefit of fellow-La Sallians who are not well versed in the Chinese language. Those who wish to read the original newspaper article may click on the link hereunder:

http://epaper.gmw.cn/gmrb/html/2012-02/25/nw.D110000gmrb_20120225_7-01.htm?div=-1 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Guangming Daily (February 25, 2012 01 Edition)
Mountainous Eastern Guangdong, "Yang Lei Feng" [The Lei Feng from Overseas]

Liao Le Nian, an overseas Chinese from Malaysia returned to teach English in a hill village in Huliao, in the Dabu County in northeast Guangdong Province.  Foreign visitors find it incredible to hear little children speaking in English in this remote hill village. Villagers and locals are thankful that Liao Laoshi has already spent 10 years teaching English.

When he first arrived in 2002, he was often referred to as the “Dian Gui Laoshi” [the “mad teacher” in local Hakka dialect].  Some just tolerated him as an “uninvited guest”, while others would not allow their children to learn English from him. However, over time he slowly gained their confidence.

Liao Laoshi is a retired teacher and secondary school headmaster from Malaysia.  He is a third generation Malaysian Chinese.  His grandfather Liao Nam Mu left the Changjiao in 1904 to seek his fortune in Malaya.  Before returning to his ancestral of Changjiao, he self-taught himself basic Mandarin for 4 months and went with Hongkong students to study Mandarin in Beijing for two weeks.  He relearned his Hakka from the villagers.

ImageLiao Laoshi, left a comfortable life of retirement in Malaysia, declined employment offers to teach English in other parts of China, and chose to return to Baijiang, a little corner of his ancestral village of Changjiao.  He completely repaired his grandfather’s house, Chui Xian Kong Ji, which had fallen into disrepair, and used it as his English Tuition Centre.

A villager Liao Xuming recalled.  He has a grandson in Shenzhen in primary 4 who was very poor in English averaging only 20 marks.  After studying for one summer with Liao Laoshi at LSSC Changjiao, his marks not only improved considerably but he also won the third prize of English in his whole grade.

Since the early beginnings when Liao Laoshi was contented to have about 20 students per class, the enrollment has grown many folds to more than 200 students during the summer.  In recent years, Liao Laoshi had to invite his relative, former students and friends to help him teach. His students come from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zuhai in the south to Xiamen in the north.

ImageLiao Laoshi not only teaches in his own ancestral home but he also teaches at Changjiao Primary School, Pui Ying promary school in Jicun and Hushan Senior Middle School in Dabu-Huliao.  The Principal of Hushan Senior Middle School remembers that one morning when it was pouring rain, he did not expect Liao Laoshi to turn up.  Yet, right on the stroke of time Liao Laoshi turned up soaking wet but dead on time.  Indeed we can proudly call him “Yang Lei Feng” – the Lei Feng from Overseas.

Liao Laoshi’s contribution to the village is not only in education such as free English tuition and subsidies for village universities students but he is also very involved in community building activities.  He has to date raised more than 2 million yuan to fund his mission Changjiao.

For the love of education and in order to be fully involved in education and community development service, he chooses to be single.  He told reporters that if he has a family, with wife and children, he will not be able to give all to help students in need.  Since he arrived he has been helping village students studying in universities with their tuition fees thus lightening the financial burden of their parents.

It is said, “Doing a good thing once is easy.  Doing good all one’s life is difficult.”  Liao Le Nian Laoshi, now known affectionately as “Yang Lei Feng”, has gained the love and respect of the public.  At the end of 2011, he was awarded as one of Guangdong’s Top Ten Chinese Philanthropist.

Reporter:  Wuy Chun Yan.

Original article in Chinese was published in the Government Newspaper:  The Guangming Daily News on 25th Feb 2012.

http://epaper.gmw.cn/gmrb/html/2012-02/25/nw.D110000gmrb_20120225_7-01.htm?div=-1

Brother David, we congratulate you. We are proud of you for touching hearts and afford them an opportunity to carve out a better life for themselves and their families which otherwise. would have eluded them

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