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

Just Posted

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Langford homeowner helps West Shore RCMP catch car thief

The homeowner grabbed the suspect until the police arrived moments later

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read