Newsletter No. 388

10 No. 388, 4.12.2011 …… 如是说 Thus Spake… 你是否有一套掌管校园发展处的管理哲学? 我认为世上没有完美的方案,只有最佳的妥协。举例说,要 在一张白纸上画些东西,或许难以画出点什么来。反而,在 某些限制,甚或冲突情况下,会衍生最佳的解决办法。我喜 欢的设计是:从用家角度出发、具成本效益、无需维修,且 可持续发展的。美感是主观的,但除了考虑功用和可持续发 展以外,建筑师有责任设计优秀的建筑,像艺术品般供大 众欣赏。 你的人生经历怎样影响你的处事? 年幼时,我在内地是个放牛童,六十年代来港跟母亲团聚, 成长环境极为穷困。那时来自五个家庭共八个人挤在一个 只有五十平方呎的房间,我和母亲睡在双层床的下层。为免 增加电费,房东太太限令我们午夜后不准开灯。可是,我们 每晚都要串珠子帮补生计。无奈之下,唯有偷偷亮灯,为防 止泄光,要用毛巾封闭门隙,又要遮盖窗子。炎炎夏日,气 温高达摄氏三十五度,房间密不透风,没有电风扇,更遑论 空调。由于有着这样的经验,我深深明白让贫困学生得到帮 助是多么重要,也因而设立奖学金和助学金。 请谈谈你设立的奖学金。 在念建筑的最后一年,由于没有钱制作毕业论文的作品,只 得申请数百元紧急援助金。2004年,我在福建故乡的村子 成立第一个奖学金,并以父母亲的名字命名。我向乡里展 示我的小学毕业证书,事实上,无论到哪里工作,长期放在 我办公室的就是这张小学毕业证书,而不是其他学位或专 业证书。到现在奖学金受惠人数有近五百,其中包括中小学 生和获著名大学录取者。要补充一点,奖学金不只是为村里 的年轻人而设,也提供予来自北方省份的学生。去年,有两 名获奖学生分别入读全国排名十四的山东大学及排名十六 的华中科技大学,让我引以为荣。另外,还有一个海外学习 奖学金,但至今仍未颁出。 我的女儿亦效法我,在她的母校成 立奖学金。今年初岳母仙游,我和妻 子遂以她的名字成立奖学金,作为纪 念。去年我花了近二十五万于奖学金 开支,对于靠每月支薪的我来说,并 不是一个小数目,但我并不因此而感 到口袋轻了。 可否介绍你于2005年和2010年在 福建和潮州举办的暑期英语义教 计划? 我的妻子是本港一所著名英文学校 的副校长,故我们想善用这项优势来 协助内地学生学英语。该计划现广受 欢迎,学生很是喜欢。当然在成立初 期也得经历些阵痛,最初招募义务教 师并不容易,我还试过在校园宿舍派 单张。其后,我们邀得朋友、同事的 子女、国际生及在港的外籍英语教师 参与。现时,我们与中大的暑期计划 合作,招募国际生当义务教师。我们 已获邀明年暑假到顺德义教。 初来香港时,我连一个英文字都不 晓。我曾经辍学,在一家照相馆当学 徒。但一星期后,便重踏校门,因为我知道不念书便没有将 来。说我是在跟英语搏斗,已算轻描淡写了。后来,一个晚 上,我偶然听到邻居收音机的广播,一位大学讲师正在说学 习外语是怎样困难,但我们要记得语言只不过是用来沟通 的,应专注于让人明白你说什么,不必拘泥于文法和词汇。 此后,我努力练习英语写作和会话,又请老师改正作文,最 终入读大学。 你是建筑师,有哪些建筑最让你叹为观止? 当学生时,我最欣赏由勒 ‧ 柯布西耶设计的法国廊香教堂。 除了是执业建筑师,我还从事过很多不同岗位。我曾投身酒 店管理和物流,是一家酒店的建筑师、项目经理、承建商, 最后成了其营运主管;又曾从事溜冰场生意,并涉足巴士及 制造业。可是,事业生涯中最灿烂的一章,就是在中大工 作。我十分高兴有机会参与校园发展,力图完善设计,工作 既获赞赏,亦获大学全力支持。 As the head of the Campus Development Office, are you guided by any philosophy when making decisions? Well, I believe that there are no perfect solutions in the world, only the best compromise. For instance, if given a clean piece of paper on which to draw, one may find it difficult to produce anything. But with constraints in the brief, even conflicting ones, it is rewarding to come up with the best solution. I like user-oriented, cost-effective, maintenance-free, and sustainable designs. Aesthetics are subjective; but, architects have a role in creating good architecture as art for people to appreciate, besides functionality and sustainability. How have your eclectic experiences in life shaped the way you behave? I grew up in an unimaginably poor environment in the 60s after I came to Hong Kong to join my mother as a village boy from the mainland. My mother and I shared the lower level of a bunk bed in a small room of 50 sq ft housing eight people from five families. The landlady required us to turn off the lights at midnight because not doing so would hike the electricity bill. But we had to string beads at night to make ends meet, so we had to leave the light on and stuff up the door gap with towels, black out windows in the summer heat of 35 ℃ without fans, let alone air conditioning,. My past made me realize how important it is that needy students get help, and that is why I’ve set up scholarships and bursaries. Tell us about the scholarships you set up. In my final year as an architecture student, I didn’t have money to present my thesis. I had to apply to emergency funds for several hundred dollars in order to be able to graduate. In 2004, I set up my first scholarship in my native village in Fujian Province and named it after my parents. I showed the villagers my primary school graduation certificate. In fact, instead of degree and professional qualification certificates, that certificate follows me in my office wherever I go. Up to now my scholarship has benefitted a total of some 500 students, including primary and secondary school students, and those accepted by key universities. Let me add that it’s open not only to youngsters of the villages, but also to youngsters from Northern provinces studying there. Last year, a student got into Shandong University ranked 14th nationwide, and one to Huazhong University of Science and Technology, ranked 16th. This makes me very proud. There’s also a scholarship for overseas studies but so far none has been given out. My daughter followed my footsteps and set up a scholarship in her alma mater. When my mother-in-law died early this year, my wife and I also established one in her name. I spent about a quarter of a million last year on scholarships. It’s not a small amount for a wage earner, but I don’t feel any poorer for it. Please tell us about the Voluntary Summer English Programme you started in Fujian (2005) and Chaozhou (2010)? My wife is the vice-principal of a well-known Anglo- Chinese school in Hong Kong, so we wanted to see if we could make use of her background to help mainland students learn English better. The programme is very well received now—the students love it—but it had its teething pains. Recruiting teachers was difficult initially. At one point, I had to distribute leaflets at residences on campus. We managed to get friends, children of colleagues, international students, and NET teachers. Now, we work with the summer programme of CUHK to recruit international volunteers. It was well worth the effort, we are invited to extend the programme to Shunde in the summer of 2012. When I came to Hong Kong, I didn’t know a word of English. I gave up schooling and got a job as an apprentice at a photo studio. After a week, I went back to school feeling there was no future without education. I struggled with the language, to put it mildly. One night, I overheard a talk show on a neighbour’s radio. A lecturer from a university was saying how difficult it was to learn a foreign language, but if we kept in mind that the purpose was communication, then we should just focus on getting ourselves understood, rather than fret over grammar or if the words we were saying existed. After that I kept practising English and asked my teacher to correct my writings. Eventually I got into university. Can you tell us, as an architect, which buildings fascinate you? Well, as a student, I loved the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, designed by Le Corbusier, in Ronchamp, France. I’ve played many roles in life, besides practising as an architect. I was in hotel management and logistics; I was once architect, project manager, contractor and finally the operator of a hotel; I was involved in amusement, bus and manufacturing businesses. But the best part in my career was working for the University. I was very happy for the opportunity to pursue design excellence in campus development, for the appreciation of my work, and for the full support of the University. Mr. David Lim, Director of Campus Development 校园发展处处长林泗维先生

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