母校自 1925 年起屹立香港，百年來秉承瑪利諾修女的辦學理念，以校訓「明德惟馨」春風化雨，為無數我等香港女子提供終身受用的全人教育。我們一直積極投入社會服務、關懷社群，而非只顧追求學業及課外活動成績，畢業後亦致力在社會不同崗位傳承瑪利諾精神。這理念在校歌可見一斑：「The mother of our future／From whom we shall carry truth／To home, to country, to the world／We call this our first duty」
瑪利諾的辦學者和學生一直努力實踐學校宗旨。瑪利諾修女多年來在世界各地為社會不公發聲、以謙卑的心服務弱勢社群。1955 年，她們在美國堪薩斯城開辦第一所黑人、白人共處的醫院，比禁止種族隔離的美國民權法案足足早了九年。1980 年，一群瑪利諾修女在薩爾瓦多內戰期間挺身而出保護受逼害的平民，最終卻被強姦、殺害和棄置於亂葬崗，但她們並沒有因此向強權屈服。正如舊生 Nancy Tong 所拍攝的瑪利諾修女紀錄片《Trailblazers in Habits》中的受訪者所言：「我們曾被監禁、我們曾被殺、我們繼續服務人群。」
Note from the organizers: Letters aside, the artwork of the English version deliberately takes out the 'y' from 'Carrying truth', with the ardent hope that Mrs Helen Yu will find her way back to join her fellow Maryknollers, to fulfill her first duty to seek and carry truth.
Carrying truth - to home, to country and to the world
An Open Letter to Mrs Helen Yu,
Maryknoller and member of the Independent Police Complaints Council
Dear Mrs Yu,
In the past few months, Hong Kong has been rattled by mass protests and police violence. The anti-extradition bill movement and the government’s response to it have exposed grave institutional injustice. In light of your appointment to the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) and the statements you recently made, we venture to offer our views both as Maryknollers and as fellow citizens.
Since 1925, our alma mater Maryknoll Convent School has educated countless strong and independent women. From the first day of school, we were taught the values embodied in our school motto, "Sola Nobilitas Virtus", which is paraphrased thus: as one lamp lights another, nor grows less, so nobleness enkindles nobleness. As our school song goes: "The mother of our future / From whom we shall carry truth / To home, to country, to the
world / We call this our first duty". Generations of graduates have lived by this pledge.
We Maryknollers have always striven to follow the footsteps of our school's founders, pioneers who fought against injustice across the world. In 1955, the Maryknoll sisters established the first hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, which served patients irrespective of their race. This was nine years before the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited racial segregation in the US. In December 1980 four aid workers lost their
lives in the Salvadoran Civil War. Three were Maryknoll sisters. An interviewee says in "Trailblazers in Habits" (a documentary on the Maryknoll community produced by a former student Ms Nancy Tong), "We have gone to prison, we have been killed, and we have continued to serve".
From the outset Maryknollers have expressed solidarity with the anti-bill marchers. We believe that the people's voices must be heard; we condemn police brutality against peaceful demonstrators and we deplore oppression in any form. Maryknollers will always stand up against injustice because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We understand that you are a Jane Austen fan, so much so that you can cite a full page from Pride and Prejudice. It was therefore appalling to hear you describe yourself as apolitical to the press. You might have learnt from Austen that none of her heroines would cower under pressure. Indeed, much of Austen's writings are about the pursuit of truth.
Maryknoll has always upheld democracy, freedom, equality and openness in education. As early as the 1960s, we were the first school to have a popularly elected student association. The tradition has continued to this day.
This is in stark contrast to the way our Chief Executive, most of our lawmakers and the IPCC are chosen. As critics have pointed out, the IPCC lacks not only a broad-based mandate but also the power to conduct independent investigation and call witnesses. Such a toothless mechanism is utterly inadequate for a fact-finding job. Nothing less than an independent commission of inquiry will do. This is the consensus of Hong Kong's best
legal, political and professional minds. It is what the vast majority of Hongkongers want and they want it without delay. Unfortunately, the SAR government thinks differently and you agree with it. We are disappointed in you.
The coming year is our school's 95th anniversary. Throughout its history Maryknoll has taken pride in turning out responsible young women keen to serve their city and fearless in expressing their views. We hope that, as a Maryknoller and a public figure, you will set an example by embracing the Maryknoll spirit and fulfilling our first duty: to carry truth to home, to country and to the world and to faithfully act on our school motto, "Sola
Nobilitas Virtus" - Virtue Alone Ennobles.
A group of Maryknollers
Note: this open letter speaks only for the signatories and does not represent the views of the school, the Former Students' Association or the Student Association.