Fr Peter Shyu's 70th birthday was celebrated on a grand scale on Feb 18, 1999 with a Mass and followed by a dinner. The readings for the Mass were in English, Tamil and Chinese. Fr Shyu took over as Parish Priest of St Michael's Alor Star on March 1, 1992. He has seven churches/chapels to look after, namely:
Renovated the whole church, built a solid fence with proper lightings and gates, bought an adjacent land and built a three-storey parochial house with meeting rooms, a hall, etc. The pre-war parochial house in now being demolished and a new annex is built to link up with the Catholic Centre. The first storey of the Centre is being renovated with a concrete flooring as well.
This chapel was built by the government when it resettled the Chinese who were living in remote areas of kedah and Perlis during the Emergency Period of the 1950s. The chapel was damaged and there were no services for more than five years. Fr Shyu, with great difficulty, built a brick building with proper fencing.
Rani Estate in Arau, including the Holy Cross Chapel (built before WWII), were taken over by the Perlis government and the workers were resettled near Arau town. For more than 10 years, the Church services were held in a house. Fr Shyu built a proper church where Church services are held regularly for Catholics in the area, including the Sarawakian Rangers, whose battalion is stationed nearby.
There is a new chapel with proper facilities and Church services are held regularly, especially for the many foreign workers working on the island. Many tourists from various parts of the world can be seen present at the Services as well.
During his 70th birthday celebrations, in his address, Fr Shyu stated he was born in a Catholic family in the province of Shanxi in China, where he joined the seminary there. When the communists took over China, he came to the then Malaya to continue his priestly formation at the Penang Seminary. However, he was often sick, sometimes very seriously and he prayed to God to give him life for 10 years as a priest. Now he thanks the Almightly for allowing him to serve as a priest for more than 41 years.
The Catholics of North Kedah, Perlis and Langkawi will always be grateful to God for giving us Fr Shyu as our shepard for more than seven years. He has been responsible for our spiritual and material improvement. He will be transferred to another parish shortly.
*note: Fr Shyu has been transfered to Holy Name of Jesus, Balik Pulau, Penang while Fr Nelson Chitty, from Risen Christ to St Michael's Church, Alor Star as Parish Priest. Both transfers effective July 1, 1999.