Oi tobpinai ngaavi ku id di Tuhan Otumbazaan zou do…
KOTA KINABALU – The old boys of St Joseph’s School Papar, former seminarians and personal friends of Frs Klijn and Wang recently spruced up and completed beautifying the two tombstones at the gravesite of the two priests at the Catholic cemetery at Mile 1 1/2 Tuaran Road. It is a testament of their love for their beloved priests, mentors, as well as educators, and there is no other better way to honour their memory than to maintain a well-kept tomb where they and others could visit and pray.
Fr Joseph Wang, from Ho Pei, China, came in 1950 when Bishop Bius began to accept a number of priests from China threatened by the rise of communism there to serve in the Vicariate. Besides Fr Joseph Wang, others who were accepted were Frs John Tshung, Tobias Chi, Peter Ma, and Aloysius Tung.
Fr Wang was the first priest to take over as principal of Kung Ming Primary School, a respected Chinese institution founded in Jesselton in 1938.
While Fr Klijn, originating from Holland, after being interned in Kuching during the Second World War, was assigned to Sabah and served as a
formator in the minor seminary (now the Initiation Year Formation House of St Peter’s College Kuching) in the mid 1950s. He also taught for a number of years at St Joseph’s School in Papar and was fondly remembered by many of those students who passed through his hands.
Both Frs Klijn and Wang died while still active in the minor seminary. Fr Wang died on 17 December 1961 while Fr Klijn died on 1 February 1962. – F Chong/CS