Soon after Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital was opened in 1961, a Shanghai business man visited the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong. He was interested and concerned about the hospital’s on-going operation. He offered the following suggestions:
That the Maryknoll Sisters gather a group of women, who would help form an Association to raise funds. Since medical and welfare needs are usually linked together, this Association should be broader than just medical; it should also include welfare.
From the beginning it should be officially registered as an Association.
His interest and wise advice sparked the beginning of the Maryknoll Medical & Welfare Association Limited.
There were at the time an enormous number of refugees in Hong Kong from China, in need of all kinds of help. Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital was intended to safeguard the health of these refugees.
Preparations, planning and the general organization of the Association were not in place until 1964. Lady Ivy Fung, a long time friend of the Maryknoll Sisters, was invited to be the Patron of the Association and she graciously accepted. The women, who were first approached, all accepted to help and to serve as members of the Association.
Just as the Association’s plans were consolidating, Sister Barbara Mersinger had to leave Hong Kong for New York. Sister Rosalia Kettl replaced Sister Barbara and with the dedicated women, now forming the Association, enthusiastically took over and carried forward the work of the Maryknoll Medical and Welfare Association Limited so ably begun by Sister Barbara.
A group of dedicated women then carried on this mission as defined by Sisters Barbara and Roselia in the past decades running the fund-raising events with an aim in supporting Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital.