Selling Zongzi for Jene Wah’s Building Repairs

Selling Zongzi for Jene Wah’s Building Repairs

The collective energy put in by both the young and the elderly for the repair project is tremendous.

Event: Father’S Day and Mother’S Day at Jene Wah

Even though Mother’s Day was an immediate success when proclaimed in W. Virginia in 1908, subsequent proposals to recognize a Father’s Day did not meet with similar enthusiasm. Rather, it was opposed because of commercialism. It wasn’t until 1972 when President Richard Nixon officially proclaimed the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day in the US.

Jene Wah, Inc. – a multi-service and senior citizens center has always been celebrating Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day of 1995 specifically marked the turning point of Jene Wah, Inc. when the mothers told their children to contribute toward Jene Wah’s building fund, making it possible for Jene Wah to settle into its own building.

With the Jene Wah Sing group, there had been several karaoke singing events before someone started yelling “Unfair!” for not celebrating Father’s Day. In 2014, then Board member Desmond Li donated money for ga song (“extra food”) and invited his karaoke singing friends to help celebrate Father’s Day. After Desmond passed away this spring, we meant to carry on his legacy.

Unfortunately, the spring rain revealed leaks on Jene Wah’s roof. Besides, the 20-year-old toilets, lighting, walls and carpet all screamed for replacement or repair. Our appeal for funds to help with the repairs again started on Mother’s Day, when the karaoke party brought in over seven hundred dollars while the children of Jene Wah ladies contributed generously toward the building fund.

Since work was immediately underway, the office and the Board meeting room became all cluttered with furniture and files. Upon reassessing the situation, we decided to call off the Father’s Day karaoke singing this year. Instead, we would have a simple program before lunch on Friday, June 17 (starting around 10:30 a.m.). As most of our seniors had lost their fathers, this became a time of remembrance. Jene Wah Sing members would serenade all fathers in the audience.

父親節在美國定在六月的第三個星期日。1908年在維吉尼亞州發起的母親節非常成功。其後有人要 發動父親節,却少人附和,甚至有人反對,認為這個假日商業氣氛太濃。1972年才由尼克遜總統正式 宣佈為節日。

在振華服務中心,慶祝母親節由來已久。遠在1995年的困難時期母親們為振華買屋籌了不少錢。振華聲 社成立以來辦karaoke歌唱會慶祝母親節,也有七年的歷史。三年前有人抗議說不慶祝父親節是不對的, 當時的董事李東泰先生就出錢「加餸」,還找了他的唱家班朋友來開karaoke歌唱會,去年亦是如此。 不幸今年春天李東泰先生去世,原想繼續搞個加餸和唱歌,不料春雨綿綿,振華屋頂漏水,而且入伙二 十年來,廁所、電燈多項極需維修,故在母親節前後發動捐款,而且立即開工。

目前振華辦公室及會議室的一應檔案櫃及雜物都堆積如山。為了騰出位置來裝修,無法容納外來的嘉賓 來參加父親節午膳和唱歌,只好取消像往年一般的「慶祝」。振華平日的「常客」可在六月十七日星期 五照常來振華用午餐。

至於父親節的意義,振華的耆英成員,大部份人的父親早已過世,振華聲成員同意把慶祝改為懷念和 追思,並準備了幾首歌曲在午飯前為大家獻唱。並祝各位父親級和公公爺爺級的男仕們身心康泰,如松 柏長青。

父親節 ─ 慶祝與懷念

Before lunch on Friday, June 17, Jene Wah seniors celebrated the memory of their fathers with a one-hour song and music program. Jene Wah Sing 振华声members started with singing qiu liu 秋柳,with beautiful Chinese lyrics set to the music of the Christian hymn “The Sweet By-and-By.” As most of us seniors have lost our fathers, the song threw us into a pensive mood.

Then the MC reminded us that Jene Wah, Inc. the Multi-service and Senior Citizens Center is where we put into practice what Mencius taught: “Care for all elders like they were our own.” Then the singers presented the iconic jing lao ge 敬老歌 with lyrics set to the Cantonese melody of ping hu qiu yue 平湖秋月,admonishing the younger generation to treat the elderly folks well. Then it was nian qin en 念亲恩, remembering our parents’ love and kindness and wanting to reciprocate.

After a break for a Cantonese music ensemble with Mr. Tan 谭迟邦, Mr. Guan 关秋准, Mr. Chen 陈伟霖 and Mr. Zhou 周国权, and an er-hu solo by Mr. Guan, Jene Wah Sing singers returned to sing a few more songs including “The Moon Represents My Heart” 月亮代表我的心, accompanied by the violin of Elysa Yim, granddaughter of Thelma Yim, a Jene Wah Sing member. “You and Me” 我和你 was sung with the English refrain:
       Come together,
       Put your hand in mine.
       You and me, from one world,
       We are family.

The group ended with a Cantonese tune with words by Jene Wah Sing’s own lyricist Xin Cai Tan 谭周新彩glorifying a father’s sacrifice and contribution toward his children. All were well received by the audience.

At 11:15 a.m., fifteen minutes before lunch, Mei Xiu Tan 谭黄美秀 suddenly got an idea to raise some funds for Jene Wah’s roof repair. She suggested that each person in the audience should donate $1 for Xin Cai Tan to sing a Cantonese operatic aria. Everyone agreed. Xin Cai sang and Mei Xiu went around the room to collect donations. From a gathering of 102 people, $164 was collected. At 11:30 a.m., a delicious lunch with chicken drumsticks and vegetarian delight (all made in Jene Wah’s kitchen) was served, each rounded off with a square of sa qi ma 萨奇马 donated by Chin-mou 钱茵姆. All present were touched by the spirit of generosity.

今年六月十九日是父親節,振華則在六月十七日星期五舉行為時一個小時的歌唱會及「加餸」的午餐來 過節。因為所有振華耆英的父親都已經過世,我們把重心放在懷念上,因此第一首歌是李叔同 ﹝弘一法師﹞填詞的「秋柳」,把大家帶入默默的追思。