In 1922, six Maryknoll Sisters in sweeping grey habits arrived by steamer from the U.S. to begin a mission. They had few resources other than their own faith, dedication and what can only be described as a divinely inspired ingenuity. Over the next 90 years, their expanded community established six thriving schools and a hospital.
They committed themselves to education and healthcare and laid the foundation for Hong Kong’s social welfare system. During the early 1950s, hundreds of thousands of refugees were living in wooden fire-prone shanties. The Sisters built stone houses for them and taught the women marketable skills so they could help support their families. Trailblazers in Habits, a 60-minute documentary film scheduled to be completed in 2012, will trace the origin of the Sisters’ work and highlight the enormous impact they have had in transforming Hong Kong from an underdeveloped, crowded city into a more civilised and humane place.
Nancy Tong, the director, has been making award-winning documentaries for more than 30 years. Her films have been on television around the world, and have been screened in many international film festivals. She is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the JMSC.
Vivien Ng, the associate producer, is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Associate Dean of Education at University of Albany in the USA. She is a key researcher for this project. Ng was President of the National Women’s Studies Association in 1993-94, and is currently the Association’s Treasurer. She was a Mellon Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies in 1984-85 and a Rockefeller Fellow at Hunter College in 1990-91.
Tong and Ng will be on RTHK Radio 3 live talking about the film on Monday January 24 at 11:30am on the programme Morning Brew.
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Venue: Lecture Hall on the ground floor of the Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
No need to book. All are welcome!!