Brother Fridolin Gaughran was born on 15th November 1915 in Trim, on the plains of Math, Ireland. He received his early education at a local school. In 1930, he joined the Juniorate in Castletown. He entered the Novitiate the following year and took the Holy Habit and was given the name Brother Fridolin of Jesus. Brother went to Inglewood in England to compete his studies. It was in Inglewood that he felt called to serve in the East. In 1934, not yet 19, Brother Fridolin started teaching in Singapore. He taught in different schools in Malaysia including those in Sarawak and Sabah. Brother completed his tour in the Penang District in 1971 ** when he arrived in Hong Kong. He came to La Salle College and taught English and Bible. On year later, he was transferred to St. Joseph College, Hong Kong. He continued to teach there till 1976. After his retirement, Brother Fridolin stayed on in St Joseph until 1986. Although he could not teach classroom lessons officially, Brother conducted religious instructions and was a beloved Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary. He was transferred to Castletown due to ill health. He passed away on 6th August 1988. (Copied from “The Brothers” published by LSCOBA in 2003 [** but slightly modified with some old boys input])
Felix Goebel-Komala, son of the late Joseph Padang Sastrono Komala and the late Kathleen Klin Pualam, passed away peacefully in his home from cancer and a stroke on November 2, 2016 at 8:58 pm in Findlay, Ohio. Felix was born May 11, 1961 in Hong Kong and attended La Salle Primary School and La Salle College in Hong Kong. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Iowa in 1983, and served in music ministry at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, St. Francis Catholic Church in Moorhead, Minnesota, and St. Philip the Apostle Church in Bakersfield, CA before coming to St. Michael the Archangel Parish in 1995 as Director of Liturgy and Music.
Felix was united in holy Matrimony to Mary Goebel-Komala, whom he met in 1986 in Moorhead, MN, and they were married on June 14, 1987. In December 2005, they adopted Felicity, their daughter from the Jianxin Orphanage in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China.
Felix was passionate about music – listening, playing, composing, performing and mentoring young musicians. Among the many compositions he created, including several hymns and Psalm settings, he is most known for his signature piece entitled “Psalm of Hope,” which is published by GIA Publications, and is sung during Masses in many Catholic parishes throughout the United States. Additionally, Felix was an active member of the Toledo Diocesan Liturgical Commission for many years, as well as the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and the American Guild of Organists. His knowledge of both music and Catholic worship was appreciated by many, and his expertise was highly valued.
Felix also enjoyed regular visits with family members and friends in his native Hong Kong, and he displayed his affection for his native land and its culture by the clothing he wore and the food he enjoyed. Additionally, Felix was actively involved in the Women’s Resource Center of Hancock County, and was an avid tennis player.
Felix’s Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in St. Michael the Archangel Church, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Felix is survived by his wife of 29 years, Mary, and their daughter Felicity, and sisters Sussy Komala, Wilma Komala and Merly Khouw.
Eulogy for Felix Goebel-Komala
Delivered by Sussy Komala, Sister of Felix on November 8, 2016
Let me begin with a story. The year was either 1984 or ’85, possibly even ’86. It was early morning on Good Friday, sometime between 2 and 4 am. I started awake, crying, from a dream that my brother Felix had died. Disturbed, I called him. He was also awake. How strange, he said, I’ve been feeling depressed recently, and then we spoke for an hour or so, during which time he talked about all that was on his mind, his music, dreams, religion, work. Life.
I share this intimate memory of Felix when he was a young man, long before he became a member of this community, at a time when he was still trying to shape the path of his life, before he met our sister-in-law Mary and became Felix Goebel-Komala.
My brother has always lived the examined life. He was never afraid to share his feelings and struggles and uncertainties, in conversations over long distance phone lines, or in person, while in transit, later on email, in the myriad ways our family connects and meets. My brother Felix instinctively knew the need to seek the truth, the way all artists must, which is not to be satisfied with the surface of things, but to dredge the heart in the darkest and most painful moments of our existence. Felix always had the courage to confront his fears, to give voice to his doubts. In time, he would give voice to that truth in his beautiful composition “Psalm of Hope” — my God, my God, why have you abandoned me. And in its existential crisis the song returns to the amazing grace that saved and set me free.
But I also tell you the story of this brief, private moment to speak to the importance of family for Felix. We who have always been a part of his life know the consolation of family for our darker times. When my father died unexpectedly and abruptly, it was Felix’s voice that comforted us. He sang “O Holy Night,” recalling the way Dad sang every Christmas. The power and purity of our brother’s voice was uplifting, inspiring, and allowed us to grieve into the sanctum of eternity.
Felix is the youngest of four siblings, the only boy among three sisters who teased, bullied, harassed him — “Wait first, wait a minute!” — he would exclaim in exasperation when we rushed him, pushing the limits as children will. He was our Felix the Cat, of course, the boy who made us laugh, who became the joyous, creative man, a loving and generous human being, the brother who was there at our side when family celebrates, laughs, explodes and cries.
When my mother’s behavior choked into a sputtering, inexplicable mode, it was our brother who had the courage to obtain that devastating diagnosis, Alzheimer’s. And it forced us to face the truth of what that meant, of how all our lives would have to change. It was easier to confront with Felix, because he knew Mum in a special way that allowed him to help her, which eased the path for the rest of us to do the right thing.
And here we are today, to honor his memory, and we see who our brother became, the legacy he leaves us as composer, singer, musician, tennis player, liturgist. A member of this community. In the days before today, we sifted through messages from relatives, friends and strangers who care about him. Right now, I am staring at a sea of mostly strangers, and I know Felix must be greatly loved and cherished for so many of you to be here today.
For us, his sisters, we are most grateful for the loving people Felix brought into our lives. When we met Mary Goebel, the woman he wanted to marry, we all instantly liked her, and in time, she became much more than a sister-in-law, because we named her our “fifth sib.” Together, Mary and Felix gave us the even greater gift of their daughter Felicity.
So let me leave you with this image of Felix and Felicity when she was just a little girl, in Hong Kong on board the MTR, the city’s subway that the three of us were riding together. Felix was carrying Felicity. Suddenly, she stuck her hands up in the air and grabbed the handlebars across the top of the carriage and swung herself forward across the car, legs dangling. My brother followed her as the passengers gazed, amazed, at this agile little monkey girl up in the air. Fearless, Felix said. Just fearless.
I’ve told my niece that her dad will always be with her. Felix Goebel-Komala is indeed The Man in our lives, and more importantly, he will forever be that man in all our hearts.
Sister of Felix
Mary Goebel-Komala 2019-04-04 03:15:57
Thank you for the beautiful tribute to my husband, Felix Goebel-Komala, on your website.
Message from Mark Huang (85) announcing Arthur’s death.
(Please click on the blank file with on the left to see the Obitary from South China Morning Post.)
It is with greatest sadness that I announce the passing away of Arthur Gomes (aka Gomez), on 24th April, 2007, at the age of 90. Arthur was a graduate of La Salle in 1933 when he finished Class 1.
Arthur was a Portuguese, born and raised in Hong Kong, and he studied in St Joseph’s Branch School in Tsim Sha Tsui (the fore-runner school of LSC, 1917-1931), in St Joseph’s College, and La Salle College. In 1938 he joined the HK Volunteer Defense Corps. On 8 December 1941, at the commencement of the Japanese attacks on Hong Kong, Arthur, being lance-corporal, was ordered to protect British families living in May Road, Central. He was therefore not involved in the fighting.
The title of the Arthur’s obituary in the SCMP of 25th April stated: “A Life Marked by Courage and Determination to Survive” The obituary remarked on his being taken as a prisoner on Christmas Day 1941 after HK surrendered.
“He reflected later that as a Portuguese, he could have taken off his uniform and melted into the general population, perhaps getting to Macau. He stayed for the honour of our regiment,’ he said. ‘We had to face what was coming to us. We thought we were going to be marched to Guangzhou but the road stopped at the ransacked and looted barracks at Sham Shui Po.’ ” Arthur was imprisoned there 3 years and 8 months.
I met Arthur on several occasions interviewing him for information on the old school, and also on getting information on the war dead of La Salle. He recalled with amazing clarity his days in St Joseph’s Branch School in TST, as well as his memories of the war, including of Roy Maxwell (3-), his cousin and fellow Lasallian, who perished in the battle against the Japanese on 23 December 1941.
Arthur was helping Elden Lai (82) and I review some material of war dead Lasallians, just weeks before his unexpected passing away.
When the opening of the new wings and the Thanksgiving Mass for the school’s 75th Anniversary was held in December 2006, Arthur was also present, standing straight and attentive, only requiring a walking stick.
Arthur was thrown a party for his 90th birthday recently, and I was told it was a lovely and very happy occasion for him and all who attended it.
Arthur, our Lasallian brother, has lived a remarkable life through HK’s peaceful times before the war, when Bro Aimar began offering schooling to boys like him in Kowloon; then Arthur endured war, and imprisonment in very hard conditions. After the Japanese surrendered, he continued to do what he believed in. He founded the HK Prisoners of War Association in 1954. He was also active in servicemen’s associations and he worked hard in the interests of the sevicemen’s families. Arthur worked till he was well into his 80s. Among many recognitions, he was awarded an MBE. He is a role model for each one of us.
Arthur is survived by his daughter Cynthy.
Please remember Senior Gomes in your prayers, and may God grant him eternal rest in heaven.
I will miss Arthur very sorely.
-end of quote-
Arthur Gomes is seen on page 8 of the June 2004 OBA Newsletter
Here are some remarks of the second photo by Mark Huang (85) on 14 May 2007:
The street scene is Tsim Sha Tsui in 1902 as seen from Signal Hill, looking north. Chatham Road is the main road on the right. In 1917, the Christian Brothers established St Joseph’s Branch School on Chatham Road, mainly for the Portuguese boys whose families migrated to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island early in the century. Arthur studied in that school for a few years (Classes 8-5), before moving to higher classes in St Joseph’s College (Classes 4 and 3), and then to La Salle College in 1932 when it opened (Class 2 and 1).
Elden Lai (82) 2007-05-02 19:32:09
I was saddened to learn of the unexpected passing away of senior Arthur. I have not had the pleasure and honour of knowing senior Arthur in person, although I have known of this legendary old boy for a long time, and indeed I had seen him around on numerous occasions during church services at Rosary Church, TST. He impressed me as a very devoted Catholic. I was recently put in contact with senior Arthur through Mark Huang(85) in the course of conducting my research on the fallen Lasallians during the defence of Hong Kong, 1941. I last wrote to him a few weeks ago asking him to comment on some research materials I had compiled. Sadly, I will never get a reply from him. Senior Arthur’s passing is indeed a great loss not only to the Lasallian community, but to Hong Kong society at large. I offer my deepest condolenses to Arthur’s family. May his soul rest in peace.
Bernard Kong (76) 2007-05-02 00:13:43
Mr. Arthur Gomez remained closely connected to the school in the past few years. LSCOBA invited him as a guest of honor in the “Days under the Dome” in May 2004. He talked about his school life and it was a very successful event. His pictures appeared in some of the war history book e.g. Not the Slightest Chance – Albert Manson from Vancouver may have more to say about this. I found this in the internet for sharing: http://www.rhkr.org/history/memory/Battle_for_Hong_Kong.html ************************************************ A Volunteer in the Battle for Hong Kong December 1941 One of the vivid memories I have is that of leading a fighting patrol of 7 men from our pillbox in Pokfulam at the foot of Mount Davis. I had to report to the Adjutant – Capt Neville Thursby of the KSLI. The HQ at the time was on the Murray Parade Ground in Garden Road – what was to become the Hilton Hotel. On arrival at the HQ, I met the Adjutant. He was a man who commanded respect – he was short tempered and had a habit of rolling his eyes heavenwards as though seeking patience or inspiration – or both. He had a slight stutter and on this meeting, I stuttered as well in my nervousness. As we both stuttered, he laughed and broke the tension. He then told me that I was to lead a patrol up May Road to where the Volunteers’ and other families were billeted for safety in Tregunter Mansions. The ration party had reported that there were suspicious movements in the area and that lights had been seen – possibly 5th columnists signalling the Japanese in Kowloon. The Japanese had a small but powerful gun hidden in the Kowloon Godowns where Ocean Terminal is now. My task was to investigate and flush out any intruder from where the families were and make contact with the QM who was in charge of supplies to the families. To men who had not had a regular meal for some time, the thought of meeting a supplies officer was indeed heart warming! We headed up hill towards our destination – and our next meal. We proceeded towards Tregunter Mansions with utmost caution and minimal noise up the hillside in single file; some looking left some right and others straight ahead. In fact our heavy leather boots on the gravel and rocks made the patrol sound like a herd of wild elephants. No wonder we encountered no-one on our way. At any rate the disturbances – 5th Columnists or whatever – were cleared and our task complete. It was there that I met my wife and other families for the first time since 5th December and I was able to bring back news of them to the men in my pillbox. We stayed with the families overnight and the next day we were ordered back to report to Capt Chris D’Almada at our Company in Pokfulam. Epilogue. I subsequently read that there was a meeting on the night of the l2th December between the Triads and Insp Shaftain, Admiral Chan Chak and his Chief of Nationalist Police. As a result of the negotiations and in return for payment of a certain amount of money, the “Celebration of the l3th” was called off. This was to be a massacre of all foreigners by the 60,000 Triads in Hong Kong. This explained our sudden dispatch on the fighting patrol to the families but we too could have been wiped out that night if the negotiations had failed. Arthur E Gomez ************************************************ Thank you Arthur for defending Hong Kong and for your courage. We are all proud of you as a Lasallian. God bless your soul and rest in peace. Bernard
Clarence Ng (1969) 2007-05-01 04:49:31
Here, I would like to commemorate our senior Lasallian, a WWII veteran, Lance Corporal Arthur Gomes of the Alliance Forces, for his righteous choice to serve the British military, and to his endurance of the atrocity as a prisoner of war, and also to his contribution to the post-war veterans association in Hong Kong.