On May 9, 2009, the Don Bosco Sihanoukville Audiovisual Studios were completely destroyed by a fire. The flames started after an exploitation inside the studios caused by an electrical storm at 5:00. Fortunately, there were not victims, though it was a sad event just few weeks the studios were inaugurated for the use of the social communication section.
There was, however, an object that was curiously preserved from the flames: a portrait of the classic image of Don Bosco with his almost smiling and kind face. From the ashes the students of the technical school took out the familiar character and exhibit it with proud. Papa Bosco was preserved, they said then.
Today, almost two years after the incident, the students and teachers of the social communication had a brief ceremony. It was after the lunch time. Fr Albeiro Rodas explained to the students the meaning of the painting around the portrait that keeps the remains of ashes. The portrait seems to stand on a brick wall that is hold by three young men sitting down in meditation, with the serenity on their faces to mean the Cambodian control over emotions. Down every young man is a Khmer writing: Reason, Religion and Love. Over the wall and at every side of the portrait there are two young ladies dressed in the ancient traditional Apsara way: A Khmer title gives them their meaning: the one at the left is Faith and she is offering to Don Bosco incense sticks, a Cambodian way to honor what is considered sacred; the lady of the right is Science and offers a lotus flower as a symbol of nature – the Asian sacred flower. Over the portrait we find the flames in the form of the dragon or the cobra, spirit of purity and power. Down the fire it’s the title in Khmer: Don Bosco Fire or the Light of Don Bosco.
The moments were students, teachers and after the local firefighters tried to control the flames inside the Studios. The reason was a strong lighting at 5AM of May 9, 2009. There was, of course, an investigation of another possible reason. In few minutes, the efforts of many people were destroyed, but it gave us the opportunity to know the love of many people for Don Bosco and his youth, the great solidarity and the spirit to continue our Mission with courage.