4-Scenario Before tracing out the distinctive traits of his character, a hundred percent manly and at the same time passionate for apostolate and teaching, let us study the scenario in which his most beautiful days were spent.
The northern part of Chefoo inherited that name “Chefoo” because of the foreigners’ ignorance of the existence of a small island remained connected to the continent, thus forming a narrow stretch of land. The town was called , and is still called by the Chinese, Yen Tai. Its deep bay is sheltered from storms by the little island, today a peninsula, as well as by a bigger island more remote form the port. The mountainous configuration that encircles the bay forms a natural protection much appreciated by sailors, particularly of the Pacific Fleet of the United States, and gives the scenario the orographic magnificence that attracted to its beaches a large number of westerns.
In 1933 the population reached 150,000 inhabitants. This would reach 200,000, some years later thanks to the expansion of the harbour. Already in 1933 there were 1100 Europeans. There were also seven consulates and five Christian denominations, including a Catholic mission with its apostolic works. Among these, there stood out already the teaching of the Marist Brothers who had a Primary School and a High School with some 502 students. But this number kept growing with the years in spite of the Japanese occupation, eventually having 1200 students in the College. Let it be said that no other institution could challenge it.
The Brothers used two buildings for their teaching duties: the school situated in the built-up area and in the outskirts near the sea, the college, where the Brothers resided. The site of the latter offered all the advantages conducive to the serious work of the students, as it was free from the inconveniences of the site in town. At the same time it facilitated the rest and prayer of the Brothers. Gorgeous sea and mountain vistas opened up to the dwellers. And when the tempest roars, it dashes the foamy billows against the college walls. From the college the Brothers can start off along the wild coast and inland. We know the scene of Brother Albert Ly’s activities, let us proceed to study these.