Daily dash from behind the Bamboo Curtain
EVERY twenty-four hours between 100 and 500m refugees—most of the illegal— escape the miseries of Red China to find a new life only a few hundred yards away in Hong Kong. Although the last of the foreign missionaries—with the exception of Bishop Walsh who is still in prison—were expelled from China several years ago, the bamboo curtain is still riddled with escape holes whereby many women, and even whole families, escape to Hong Kong. Many lose their lives in their attempts to sail or swim to freedom.
A few people do cross the border at Lo Wu Station with
exit permits. These lay people, as the thousands of missionaries before them, cross legally, walking—often running—the last few ya.ds across the railway bridge which links Red China with free Hong Kong.
Butwhatever route a new arrival has taken, one of the first
meet him m will be the 60-yearold parish priest of St. Joseph's in Fanling, the nearest parish to the Chinese border. Fr. Ambrose Poletti, expelled by the Communists nine years ago, often makes the Sign of the Cross in blessing towards China. In the article which follows, " C.H." correspondent Wilmon Menard, recalls his meeting with Fr. Poletti: