Tea time at Victoria church will give back to Burmese orphans, lepers

OrphanAsia Society holding fundraiser at St. John the Divine

Victoria resident Ralph Newton-White is inviting people to come together at an upcoming social tea to help him in his work with OrphanAsian

Ralph Newton-White’s thoughts are always miles away, but not because he’s a daydreamer.

The Victoria resident has dedicated his retirement years to helping the most vulnerable of people – lepers and young orphans – in a country ruled by a dictatorship.

“I decided I wanted to help where there was the most need, because they were as poor as any country in the world,” said Newton-White, who has been to the southeast Asian country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) more than a dozen times since the mid-1990s. “They needed help and they weren’t getting it.”

He has since mobilized a passionate group of people who help by raising funds and travelling to the beleaguered nation to provide people with the essentials needed for their very survival: pipes for water, food and walking canes for the blind, among other humanitarian supplies.

The next step for Newton-White’s Victoria-based OrphanAsia Society will be hosting a fundraiser tea that will mark the 67th birthday of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The leader, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, was released after almost two decades of house arrest in late 2010. Her pro-democracy work is also helping to chip away at the suffering in Myanmar, Newton-White said.

He is also passionate about reaching out to those, like the lepers, who are shunned by the rest of society, and the children who are growing up without parents.

Newton-White says it’s been heartbreaking over the years to see so much suffering.

“Sometimes, not always though, (the orphans) will have disappeared and other children have taken their place. It’s very said. That’s true of all those places.”

That only fuels his need to do what he can to help.

“I just love the children, and the people that we help are so nice.”

OrphanAsia’s birthday tea happens Saturday (June 19), from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at St. John the Divine church hall, 925 Balmoral Rd. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance by calling 250-595-2335.

For details, visit orphanasia.com, call 250-595-2335 or email orphanasia@gmail.com.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Central Saanich Police prepared for afternoon shut-down of Highway 17

Sgt. Paul Brailey questions efficacy of protest

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Musical starts Friday in Dave Dunnet Theatre

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read