年 4 月 14 日在法國 (France) 比亞里茨 (Biarritz) 出生
Father Robert Vetch, S.D.B.
On Sunday 29 April 1979, Father Robert Vetch,
SDB., passed away peacefully in St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, at 85 years of age
after 59 years of religious profession and 55 of priesthood. He will be remembered with
affection by his confreres, his relatives in France and by numerous past pupils for whom
he worked in Kuk Kong, in Yuet Wah College in Macao, and in St. Louis School and Salesian
School in Hong Kong, over a span of fifty-three years. Father Vetch was born in Biarritz
in France on 14 April 1894 and came to China with his parents while still a child. He used
to recall with pleasure the period he spent as a student of French under Paul Claudel, who
at that time was attached to the French Consulate in Canton. Father Vetch was the elder
brother of the late Mr. Henry Vetch, former proprietor of the well-known cultural
bookstore Vetch & Co. in Peking and later editor for the Hong Kong University
Father Vetch returned to France for his higher studies, and it was there he felt the call to the priestly life. He entered the Salesian Novitiate at Chateau d’Aix in 1919 and made his religious profession as a Salesain in 1920. In 1924 he was ordained to the priesthood at Lyons. He volunteered for the missions and in 1926 he was sent as a missionary to China. From 1926 to 1932 he taught at Don Bosco College, Kuk Kong, and then from 1932 to 1935 he was secretary to Msgr. Ignatius Canazei who has succeeded to the Vicariate of Kuk Kong after the martyrdom of the Servant of God Msgr. Aloysius Versiglia in 1930. During the years of the Second World War he was in charge of the mission of Yingtak in Kwangtung Province, and it was there he met and became a lifetime friend of the late Bishop R. O. Hall.
In 1949, together with his fellow-missionaries, Father Vetch was obliged to leave the mainland, and he was posted to Yuet Wah College in Macao. There his gentle personality, his widely cultivated mind and his deep and genuine interest in his pupils made a deep and lasting impression on them. When later posted to St. Louis School in Hong Kong and to Salesian School, his kindness, patience and untiring devotion to duty likewise won the lasting respect and admiration of his pupils. Even in his old age he kept in close touch with them, always showing a deep interest in their spiritual and material welfare. His passing will be mourned by thousands who still remember him with affection, and by numerous penitents of past pupils who found in him a wise and understanding confessor.
Requiem Mass was celebrated at Hong Kong Funeral Home, North Point at 3pm on 1 May for the repose of his soul and was followed by interment at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery.
4 May 1979
慈 幼 會 會 士 榮 富 哲 司 鐸於 一 九 七 九 年 四 月 廿 九 日 中 午 病 逝 香 港 聖 保 祿 醫 院 ， 享 年 八 十 五 歲 。
榮 神 父 祖 籍 法 國 ， 幼 時 隨 父 母 定 居 中 國 ， 一 九 一 九 年 在 法 國 進 慈 幼 會 ， 一 九 二 四 年 後 晉 鐸 ， 旋 於 一 九 二 六 年 再 奉 派 在 華 從 事 教 育 工 作 。 初 來 粵 北 曲 江 、 繼 在 澳 門 粵 華 ， 香 港 慈 幼 及 聖 類 思 等 中 學 任 教 ， 凡 五 十 年 。 榮 神 父 為 人 和 靄 可 親 ， 一 生 致 力 教 育 ， 今 已 桃 李 滿 門 。
榮 神 父 之 追 思 大 禮 彌 撒 已 於 本 月 一 日 下 午 三 時 假 香 港 殯 儀 館 大 禮 堂 舉 行 ， 後 安 葬 於 跑 馬 地 天 主 教 墳 場 。
懇 請 各 教 友 及 舊 同 學 為 榮 神 父 祈 禱 ， 俾 能 早 登 天 國
1979 年 5 月 4 日