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The Indefatigable Brother David Print E-mail
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Bro. David Liao
“All good things must come to an end so that better things may begin”, he often said in his e-mails to me. A good philosophy indeed from a man who has vast experience in the art of teaching the young since 1968. Brother David Liao came from a family of educators. Early in their lives, his father was a Headmaster of a Chinese Secondary school while his mother was a Headmistress of a Chinese Primary school. His father was later called home to take over his grandfather’s business when his grandfather died. “I wanted to complete my father’s career as an educator,” he reminisced. Brother David Liao is the fourth in a family of six. He is a very outdoor person, loves sports and played most games when he was a student at St. Michael’s Institution, Ipoh.
             
Lasallian students from the late 60’s to year 1999 will no doubt have personal contact with him or have heard of his name as he has served widely in a number of schools in Malaysia, namely:
               
St. Francis Institution, Malacca    : 1968 – 1971 and 1978
St. Anthony’s School, Teluk Intan: 1972 – 1973
La Salle School, Petaling Jaya       : 1976 – 1977
St. Andrew’s School, Muar           : 1980 – 1982 (As Principal)
La Salle School, Klang, Selangor    : 1983 – 1985
St. Joseph’s College, Penang       : 1986 – 1989 (As Director of Novices)
                            
Bro. David recalled that he joined the Brothers’ junior training programme in Penang in 1962 and entered the Brothers’ Novitiate in January 1964. He has been a Brother ever since. He was elected Brother Visitor, Penang District in 1990 and served for nine years till 1999 in this  capacity. He took a year sabbatical in 2001. He has truly lived up to his religious commitment - to go wherever he may be sent and to do whatever is required of him. Brother David is presently in ChangJiao, China developing a La Sallian Service Centre for English Language and Computer Literacy. According to him, the village elders were sceptical about his commitment in the earlier stages as those going before him had somehow let them down. However, through sheer grit and determination, he managed to overcome all difficulties and has completely won over the whole village! He is hopeful that this pioneer village project will be duplicated and initiated in many outlying villages in China.
         
When asked what he thought was the most memorable incident in his life, he reflected before replying:
                 
Quote:
The most memorable incident in my life so far was the day in October 1985 when Brother Matthew Liew, Brother Visitor at that time, visited our community in La Salle School Klang. He told me that he had decided to assign me as Novice Master in charge of the training of young Brothers at  St. Joseph's College, Kelawei Road, Penang.  It spelled the end of my school  career but more importantly, it meant that I had only 15 years developing my network of "old boys". I was not even fully 40 years old then.
          
At that time I was in the forefront pioneering computer education in secondary schools in the Klang Valley. I had good apprenticeship in the art of Brother Directorship under numerous able Directors such as Brothers Edwin Cheng, Philip Daly, Damian Oliver, Felix Donohue, Harold Reynolds, Robert O'Sullivan and Alban Rozario. I felt at that time I was not even at the peak of my career as educator and it suddenly ended for me, just as my father who was recalled to take over the family business. However, my commitment to my vocation "to go wherever I may be sent and to do whatever is required of me" took charge. Today, as I look back, I am very thankful to Brother Matthew Liew for insisting that I take on the assignment as Novice Master. Today, China beckons. I once again have  the wonderful opportunity to be very hands-on, to experiment and to develop an English Language and Computer Literacy programme in an environment where English, though much valued, is almost never used or spoken.   ..... Unquote
                    
In true spirit, he often keeps in touch with his classmates, past students and the teachers he has worked with.

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