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1 November 2019

1 November 2019
 
I have been doing voluntary work for an organization since 2011, and became acquaintance with quite a few speech performance scholars from all over the world. Although we meet once a year every November, two were particularly close to me for we have had lengthy chats whenever we met.  I am sad because both of them passed away of old age this year, the gentleman in early-February, the lady in late-October.
 
At several meals, Sam sat with me and we chatted extensively on how differently we incorporated Shakespeare materials for secondary school curriculum. I voiced the difficulty I had in adapting Renaissance materials for Chinese students. He listened to my difficulties patiently and offered advice, all the time praising how talented Hong Kong students were, especially he had seen the improvement in speech performance over the years he had been visiting Hong Kong.
 
Hillary was even closer; she changed my mindset in appreciating speech performance. We also discussed administration difficulties and their solutions. A few times when I was on my duty visit to a London event, Hillary would take a very early morning train to the event venue to support our Hong Kong participants. Because of these conversations, I feel that their passing is my personal loss; but of course, it is the loss of the speech community.
 
The older the wiser.  Thank you, Sam and Hillary. RIP.
 
Lesson learned here: never pass over a conversation which can be meaningful and educational, lest future regrets.
 
Anson Yang