Edward Chan ・75
by Mabel She ・65

M: In what year did you graduate from St. Mark・s?
E: I graduated from St. Mark・s in 1975. Then I stayed one more year at St. Mark・s to finish Lower 6, before furthering my studies elsewhere.

M: When did you come to Canada?
E: I came to Canada in 1993.

M: Did you settle in Toronto first?
E: Yes, Toronto is the first Canadian city in which I came to live.

M: What made you decide to build your life in Toronto?
E: I was born and raised in Hong Kong. It is an interesting place, but it is also very small and crowded, and very busy too. I had always wanted to see what it would be like to live in a foreign country. I don・t mind a busy working life, but I really admire being able to learn something new in a totally different place, and to enjoy myself in a spacious environment during my spare time. In the 1980s and early 1990s in Hong Kong, a lot of people migrated to Canada, mainly because of the 1997 issue. Many of my friends and colleagues had come to Toronto. My sister had come here too. So I told myself: :Why don・t I go and join them in Toronto to experience a whole new life? I wouldn・t be lonely there.;

M: How do you find the different work ethics in Hong Kong and in Canada?
E: There is this old saying that people in Hong Kong :live to work;, and people in Canada :work to live;. I think people in both places are basically hard-working. But there is no denying that opportunities really abound in Hong Kong. There is always more work than you can ever cope with, and people in Hong Kong believe that if you work hard and accomplish more, you can get promoted faster, earn more money, and lead a good life. Life in Hong Kong is centred on getting more work done and, in the process, earning more money and being more successful.
On the other hand, there are not as many opportunities in Canada as compared to Hong Kong. So, while they also work hard, people in Canada are generally satisfied that achievements would come naturally with time. People here know more about how to enjoy life. They have developed a wide range of after-work activities, from gardening to sports. With a good welfare system, people tend to think that they can now enjoy the fruits of their past efforts. The open space here also plays a part, making people feel less confined, enabling them to strike a better balance between work and leisure. I prefer the Canadian way.

M: How did you learn about the Alumni Association?
E: Cedric Ng (・69) told me about it. I was working at The Bank of East Asia (Canada) in 1995, when Cedric was appointed the new CEO of the bank. A few days after he became my boss, Cedric asked me into his office, and told me that he was a St. Markan too. He had just reviewed the personnel files, and found that he and I were of the same :tribe;. He also asked me if I knew his elder sister, Evelyn Ng, also a St. Markan, who had taught at St. Mark・s. Of course I remember Ms. Ng. She taught me English in Form 5.

On the introduction by Cedric, I started joining in the activities of the Alumni Association. The rest is history.

M: Any suggestions for expansion of our alumni network?
E: Since the peak of immigration from Hong Kong has passed, we may not see too many new alumni coming our way. So we basically have to turn to encouraging the participation of the existing alumni base and their family members. I believe the best way to do this is to continuously perfect our Association. For this, I think we can all agree that the Board・s efforts are beginning to pay off. Though some progress has been made, we can never afford to be complacent. We need to keep on working hard to make our events interesting and attractive, so that people would want to join in. I am glad to see that happen in the last few years. More alumni are willing to get involved in organizing the activities, making them happy occasions, and that is promising in making our Association strong. I hope that enthusiasm will continue to motivate more alumni to join our committee. A constant infusion of new blood is also important in expanding our Association and making it successful.