CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 9 December 2017

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Caritas Bazaar Season up and running

HONG KONG (SE): The first two of six in the annual Caritas Bazaar Season were kicked off at Tuen Mun and Victoria Park on November 6.

The season was formerly opened at Victoria Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the secretary for development from the Hong Kong government, Paul Chan Mo-po, flanked by the chairperson of the Caritas Council, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung; and the executive director of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited, Ip Kwun-tong.

In his welcoming speech, Bishop Yeung said that besides communication and acceptance, there is a need for coordination and the building up of a platform of love and care among different parties in society.

He added that he believes the bazaar is a charity event that gathers together the efforts of the government and the business sector, as well as the people in the street.

The bishop described it as being the fruit of social harmony and unity among people.

Bishop Yeung also encouraged people to face their daily lives with perseverance and a positive attitude.

Over 40 parishes, schools and Caritas organisations set up booths in Victoria Park, doing a lively trade as the swarms of visitors walked away with their arms full of new-acquired items.

Evelyn Cabucos, who has volunteered on the booth run by St. Joseph’s in Central for several years, said, “It was the best I can remember. There was never a moment from the opening of the gates until they closed that people were not crowded around us. It showed in the cash box as well.”

The bazaar in Tuen Mun Cultural Square was opened by the assistant chief executive of Caritas, Father James Boey, together with Father Joseph Ng Shu-shing, the dean of the Northwest New Territories Deanery.

As many as 12 parishes and Catholic schools, as well as eight Caritas organisations set up sites to sell their wares, as over 800 volunteers were mobilised to help at more than 40 booths. 

At least 6,900 came into the park to give their support to the citywide effort.

On November 13, bazaars were also held at Cheung Chau Pak Tai Temple Playground and Kowloon Fa Hui Park at Boundary Street; and the final two are scheduled for November 20 at Tsuen Wan Sha Tsui Playground and Shatin Yuen Wo Playground.

Games, gifts, snacks and a wide variety of items from new and old clothing to artificial flowers, model cars to trinkets, kitchen utensils to stuffed toys, sun hats, office equipment and, well you name it, it was probably there.

Playgrounds proved to be a smash hit among the children and parents as well, who had the joy of watching their offspring enjoy themselves.

The Caritas Bazaar has winners all round. First up are the beneficiaries of Caritas social service programmes, which the takings from the season help to support.

Those who work to organise and run them are winners too, as they are a strong witness that there are people in the city prepared to give their time, money and energy to the support of those in society that need a helping hand.

Everyone who comes through the gate is a winner too, as their presence reflects that a healthy community gives support to its members who need some assistance in keeping their heads above water.

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