一個璀璨的機關,被迫裁撤打散,留下無盡的懷念與婉惜...

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開門喔!GIO!

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雪泥鴻爪

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時間過得真快,算算我的好友世棠兄過世已經18年了,我還是念念不忘他的幽默、他的善心、以及他的過人之處。

他與陳建勝及翁正義是行政院新聞局的傳奇人物,我在回憶錄《老頭擺的事情》中有一篇文章紀念他們三位,有關世棠兄部分謹摘錄如下:

 

『幽默的世棠兄

我與世棠兄結識在1974年間,他那時剛從紐約新聞處調局服務;約一年後,奉當時陸主任以正之催駕,又回紐約工作。在紐新處之前,他在聯合國任職,陸主任以其英文造詣甚佳,加以網羅,而為使其對局的文化與局的業務有所瞭解,請其短暫回台。世棠兄到國際處一科(當時管全美洲業務)後,國際處的歡樂始終不斷。當時科長是黃肇松兄,科員包括李紹華兄、王壽來兄及筆者在內,熱鬧非凡。世棠兄妙語如珠,中英文夾雜,經常使寂靜的辦公室爆發如雷的笑聲,使得當時的陳高唐處長不時從其小辦公室衝出來,面色慌張,問發生何事。

世棠兄除了善於搞笑之外,也彈得一手好鋼琴。有一段時間,他中午到位於中山北路二段的雅敘園,充當鋼琴手,賺一點外快,我偶而前往捧場,看他自得其樂的樣兒,至今記憶猶新。

世棠兄對長輩執禮甚恭。記得是在他到台北約六個月後,我邀他到關西鄉下一遊,他先問清楚鄉下有何長輩。除了帶禮物分送外,更噓寒問暖,予人良好印象。我岳母雖不完全聽懂他的京片子,但對他一直翹大拇指,認為我交到一個良師益友。

世棠兄回紐約後,經常給我寫信,報導紐新處趣聞;我至今還保存他的每一封信,字體雖有一點潦草,但文筆犀利流暢。1976年我奉派到美國西海岸新聞處後,與他聯繫的次數更為頻繁。幾年後,他離開新聞局到外貿協會,在台北待了一段較長時間後,被派到倫敦當主任。此段期間,我內外進出三次,聯繫減少,過年換換卡片而已。他過世時,我人在台北,未能前往弔祭,殊覺遺憾。

世棠兄早年與曾是大學同窗的太太離異後,一直未再娶,惟聽說前往倫敦弔祭者不少,其中還包括一位紅粉知己,他在天之靈,應可獲些許告慰。』

筆名為隱地的柯青華先生,是徐世棠在台北育英中學念書時的同學,在回憶他們的英文老師沈宛真時,特別提到徐世棠:「在我們同學中,有一位徐世棠同學,由於家學淵源,一代文學大師梁實秋教授,剛來台灣就住在他們家,徐同學除音樂造詣傑出之外,英文之佳也是無人能比,經過沈老師的一番指點,徐世棠同學的英文能力果然更加如虎添翼,後來成為外貿協會駐英代表。經過四十多年,我仍清晰記得,沈老師和徐同學上課時都是直接用英語交談,所以徐同學也特别懷念沈老師,每次從國外回來,總會約同學到沈老師家,和沈老師閒話家常,老師看到我們這些當年頑皮的孩子如今都已長大成人,歡喜之情溢於言表;只是,當年健壯的沈老師,已於二○○○年五月十九日離開人世,享年八十六歲,而她鍾愛的學生徐世棠(一九三九—一九九七)比沈老師走得更早,他是於倫敦過聖誕節因寒冷引發心臟病,得年僅五十八歲。去世前,他正趕著翻譯梁實秋教授的一些作品,他也有興趣製作有聲書,他留下了一張《快樂王子》,每次聽他的声音,總覺得他仍在我們身旁。」

世堂兄1939年生於重慶,尊翁徐宗涑先生與梁實秋先生是清華大學八年的同班同學,在美國也在一塊兒,尊堂是醫生。他們一家先幾年到台灣,梁實秋先生一家1949年來台時曾借住台北的徐家一段時間。世棠兄那時10歲,喜歡聽梁叔叔講《西遊記》、《三國演義》及《水滸傳》等故事,梁家的人叫小時候的世棠為「毛毛」,世棠兄的幽默與他的英文當受到梁教授極大的啟發。

世棠兄高中畢業後,先後取得國立藝專鋼琴科學位、輔仁大學英國語文學系學士學位及美國伊利諾大學英語教學碩士學位。在國內時,曾在新竹少年監獄義務教授英文,幫助入獄的年輕人自新;曾當選國內十大傑出青年;於1967年3月底,代表中華民國參加在檀香山舉行的「遠東學生領袖集會活動」;在輔仁大學設立「徐世棠先生創造啟發獎勵金」,鼓勵同學們於英語文學的領域中培養新知,並發展自己、造福人群。

世棠兄早年接受訪問時常說,他的英文是靠著閱讀及看電影學會的,每天至少花兩個小時看書,從裡面找出寶貴的句型,反覆練習,假裝他與作者在說話,他必須要回答作者,也就是一種喃喃自語的英文自學方式。

世棠兄的幾封來信

世棠兄鼓勵我用英文與他通信,他有空時幫我修改,然後寄回給我;我的英文有點長進,他扮演很重要的角色。

我手邊保留世棠兄寫給我的中英文信共計48封,第一封寄自紐約,時間是1974年8月19日,談的是他在新聞局駐紐約新聞處的工作。信中所提的陳宗堯先生,英文造詣高,當過新聞局資料編譯處的處長,退休後曾到台北外交部當英文顧問。照顧年邁的父母親一直是世棠兄的重責大任,也影響他的工作發展;他不好離開紐約,棄父母而不顧。黃肇松是新聞局國際處第一科科長;徐山衣與蔣曉明曾在國際處服務;張影若是新聞局派在華府新聞處的新聞專員,任滿後辭職,留在美國。聾子配瞎子是誇張之詞,「笑」果甚佳,是世棠兄的標誌之一。

元孝:

開始工作已一週;陳宗堯先生是我的頂頭上司,相當的兇。深恨肇松當初未加鞭責,以致如今不成材。我的頭銜是「Editor」,真是活見鬼。

陳君近視數千度,又有糖尿病,用一隻眼貼著紙看字,我寫的東西他自然更看不見,他說的話我聽不見---我的耳朵不好;聾子配瞎子,相當緊張。

沒想到我現在整天守在收報機旁邊,天天收我當初發的那些消息。

仍在找房子,要住父母附近。父親的情況無起色,更嚴重的是家母,很顯然的是senility, which started 35 years ago.

開的那張支票請作廢(撕成碎片即可),因為我要在N.Y.另開戶頭,下月初將另開一張US$85的支票,充作國際處「買路錢」。

正寫到此地(1:40 PM)徐山衣來電話,她正路過到Oklahoma讀書去,聊得很開心,她要我問候大家好。她說現在已胖腫如氣球(蔣曉明的評語),我看不會。

張影若也來電話問候本人,聽來進步不少。想念大家。

世棠 8/19/1974


下面一封信係分兩天寫成,談錢復局長在1975年3月到美國公幹並視察駐紐約新聞處(CIS/Chinese Information Service)情形,令人捧腹,另提到錢復調差及可能接替的人選傳聞等。Ah Ki是黃宏基,Amigo是李紹華,Huang Kung Kung是黃科長肇松,Madame Liang是蔣黛,Miss Hou是侯蒂娜,Mr. Kuan是官慶成;除了侯外,其他都是國際處一科同仁。L. P.是指老板。世棠兄要求不要將來信出示外人,尤其沒有幽默感的人,免得造成誤會。

12 March 1975

Dearest David, Ah Ki, Amigo, Huang Kung Kung, Madame Liang, Miss Hou and Mr. Kuan:

I would like to be reassured, again and again, that my letters are to be kept to you only. My writings are meant to indicate a form of humor, to be understood only by you. If and when in the hands of anyone who does not share the fun, they can be interpreted as malicious, which is far from the truth.

Well, D-G’s coming has caused the CIS to fall into a state of terror: floors are swept; suits are put on; heads are trimmed; and women rush to the restroom every hour, powdering their aging faces with pounds of make-up.

At precisely 2:40 p.m., through the loudspeakers, the solemn announcement was made: “The Big Boss is here!” Hearing that, everybody laughed, however with a lump in the throat.

A staff meeting is scheduled at 3:00 p.m. I will let you know what happens.

-------------------------------------

13 March 1975

The D-G held us in suspense for a good 25 minutes, for he came in late. Apologizing and seating himself swiftly, he urged the Section Chiefs to commence their reports.

This was my first business encounter with the D-G, and I must admit that I was favorably impressed. Beyond his youngish looks, I found a worn-out man; the impossible schedule, arranged by the minute, is too much for anyone.

D-G was brief with his comments, politely and bilingually cutting short superfluities. Each remark of his reflected good memory, judgment and, surprisingly, humor. Everyone was subdued, L.P. especially. His viola-like and resonant voice served to dominate and enchant the conferees. All of us, except for one, was articulate, to the point, and succinct.

I was particularly amused to find his boyish mischief still there. At one sudden moment, he lifted his coffee saucer into the air, squinted his eyes and scrutinized with full concentration to find out the make of the translucent china. And when Old Maid Amy Chien started her usual clamors, the D-G gave her such a look that she froze. Thank Heavens.

Since everyone pledged never to divulge the contents of the meeting, I have the pleasure to hold you in suspense.

The United Daily News report on D-G and Lin Chin-shiou’s transfer* started rumors flying in New York. Apparently, the same old story being repeated; that L.P. is the only hopeful candidate to the promotion; and naturally, the counter-rumor being he will never get the job; and justifiably, old timers insist that anything can happen at the last minute.

(* I understand that the ancient GIO tradition being, invariably, having the D-G’s secretary sent abroad before he himself leaves the position.)

An additional evidence is that the D-G, at the meeting yesterday, went through everything at machine-gun speed, deliberately ignoring details. A sign, I gather, of rounding up the debris for vacancy before moving to a new location.

The latest speculation is that Wen Ha-hsiung will take over D-G’s office.

Will write again soon.

Robert

PS

A cocktail reception for hand-shakes will take place this afternoon in D-G’s honor. I have already changed into my second and the only other suit, and, with great care, wash my right hand. Nothing spectacular is expected to happen.



1975年4月5日老總統過世,世棠兄極為難過。他的來信對紐約新聞處的靈堂擺設頗有微詞,對老板的冷漠態度更不以為然。信中所提邊公,是紐約新聞處姓邊的資深同仁。

元孝:

總統病逝的消息是我在駕車途中(自康州返紐約)收音機上聽到,即刻在路邊打長途電話問辦公室是否要人。次日多半同仁都來幫忙,等發完了消息,忙完之後才有時間想起是怎麼回事。及至讀到遺囑,回想我國近數十年來之遭遇,悲從中來,至今不能恢復。

學生、同胞已有若干到本處所設靈堂*致敬,見到有小孩隨家長鞠躬如儀,深受感動,亦有人來電話泣不成聲。

*所謂靈堂,一几兩燭,人造花兩束,花籃二,如是而已。

最氣人的,最能看穿的乃是L.P.,至今未見他有何表示,flippant如故,我真盼他早日回去做D-G,可以在國內學些規矩。

沈先生也氣死人。五日下午找不到他人,次日反來電話問L.P.何在?當年聯合國投票時( 1971/10/25),他呼呼大睡,此間僑報打電話到D.C.官邸問他感想如何,他說:「我不知道,我在睡覺。」次日報首大登。

我建議L.P.靈堂要有人招待,他說:「我們哪裡有人?」言下以為多餘。但我仍懇請邊公充招待,否則太不像樣。

有謠言稱L.P.將於本月底回去接做D-G。汝等倒楣矣!

國殤期間,不多寫。眾人信,待後回。

Robert 4/7/1975



講老板的笑話,沒人比得上世棠兄,下一封信的「褲聞」,應確有其事。綜藝團是由教育部籌組,到美國從事文化藝術交流並宣慰僑胞,由本局駐美人員負責傳播宣導事宜,還要傳譯,世棠兄為此團奔波了幾個月,非常辛苦。

元孝:

似有數月未通信,連收三封好英文信,無奈心思不順,無法專心,以下信筆亂說,姑妄讀之。

視聽室駱主任來訪,連日往各國領事館辦護照,無邦交國(all of them)自然百般挑剔,尤以以色列為最。據駱兄稱,進館時須脫衣搜身,打開褲帶,安全人員持以儀器正前方插入,左右掃蕩,証明無藏兇器後始能入館。

最近又另有「褲聞」一件:

某日,老板豪雨中來上班,雖有豪華座車,但褲管已齊膝濕透。上樓來即脫褲,矚工友老游,持褲到對街中國洗衣店燙之。未久,洋客來訪,老板驚呼:「拿褲來!」並反鎖雙門,洋客不知究竟,老板復尖叫:「Emily(秘書名)!快叫老游拿褲來!」待老游取褲回來,已費半時,洋客見Emily倒屐掩面送褲進去,口張目凝,呆若木雞。其實老板大可光股迎客,只要不站起來便可。

老板自返美後,更增暴虐,吾等奴僕,無不暗罵。但老板的長處亦多,不得不由人佩服,罵過完事。(阿Q?!)

綜藝團已到紐約,團員均和藹可親,休養高。兩週前曾帶其中四位赴費城做先鋒隊,上電視等。唯其中教育部官員的嘴臉實在不宜越洋旅行,官僚事小,思想封閉,越談越覺無「共同語言」。

費城賣座不及五分之一,其他各地亦有好有壞。(華府的)影若兄亦曾做過「先鋒隊」,赴美東北區。據稱該人有點架子,其實他需久處後才能成為朋友。

世棠 10/25/1975


台美斷交,駐紐約新聞處換了老板,世棠兄似難與之相處,有可能是此長官不懂幽默,誤解世棠兄,在惱羞成怒下要求新聞局把他調離紐約,世堂兄因而被派到華府新聞處工作。搬家不是一件容易事;愛犬要處理,鋼琴必須賣掉,母親乏人照顧等等,都要忙上一段時間。世棠兄信上說他喜歡目前的工作,但就他問我是否該辭職或請調回台北一節,我猜他心情不佳。1980年6月,我由駐美國西海岸(洛杉磯)新聞處調回新聞局當國際處一科科長,忙得暈頭轉向,對他的調差事也實在說不上話,只好勸他稍安勿躁,先在華府新聞處幹一段時間再說。信上所提Ivan Wang,是華府新聞處主任王曉祥。

25 September 1980

Dear David:

There has been nothing but total silence on your part ever since your glorious return to the home office. What happened? How have you been? What can you tell me?

Believe it or not, my first公文was written today. In spite of my tedious handwriting, for which I have profuse apologies, I had to do it. It was a report about a U.S.- Peiping Strategic Relations seminar. You will please graciously laugh it off.

My sudden exile here has cost me much finance and mental agonies, including saying good-bye to my eight-year-old dog and my great piano which will be sold dirt cheap.

Fortunately and unexpectedly, I am enjoying my work. Mr. Ivan Wang is most considerate and rather protective. Do you think I should, eventually, resign or ask to return to Taipei? May I await your advice?

My very best.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hsu

PS I am staying with a friend’s family, having tremendous trouble to find a suitable lodging. My mother threatens (in New York) to end her life.



世棠兄調到華府工作一年多後,終於決定還是離開新聞局,他的來信,也是他寫給我的最後一封信,夾帶了他給新聞局局長的信之影本,我一併披露,用以彰顯世棠兄不卑不亢的氣勢、永遠為中華民國效力的情操、以及他與人為善的高度。新聞局請他考慮是否願意到洛杉磯或是南非,他沒接受。我知道他要回台北到外貿協會服務,是他在外貿協會的好友潘健行安排的。潘先生曾派在洛杉磯工作過,與世棠兄一樣,英年早逝。

19 November 1981

Dear David:

The gracious words of the 7 November cable looked like yours and the last line concerning L.A. and South Africa appeared to be the dictates of the D-G.

I appreciate your kindness, David, but I must go.

Again, I implore you to help bring down my case to a quiet end. Two weeks ago, I was offered a post in Taipei. Allow me to see you there, soon, please.

Yours,

Robert Hsu



19 November 1981

Dear Director-General

The gracious message in the cable of 7 November heavily taxed my emotions. The kind words were way above what I deserved or expected. I had never harbored any expectation that my resignation would be deferred, nor had I ever contemplated maneuvering myself into favorable attention.

My resignation was tendered with the humblest hope for honor and decency. I stress that I feel no bitterness or whatsoever. In fact, I am and shall remain grateful for what GIO has offered me over the years.

My departure by no means indicates that my relationship with GIO is terminated. I shall be forever at her beck and call, even though the present circumstances permit no other option but my resignation.

Please, sir, I implore you to let me leave and help satisfy my basic sense of honor, without which I would find life meaningless and abject. I reiterate that my dedication to GIO has not changed an iota. Kindly allow me to take my leave, that of an honorable soldier, who will always respond the call of his headquarters.

On my part I am convinced that I have behaved as quietly and decently as possible, forever with my devotion for GIO in mind. The fact that I am expected in Taipei for a new post is irrefutable proof that I remain a royal servant to my country. I have no other motherland.

With my profound regards and thanks,

Yours most respectfully,

Robert Hsu

PS

I shall be studying phonetics at Oxford and University College of London till 7 December.


 

徐世棠的牧者之心

世棠兄從年少就想當牧師,他母親因為他生性愛說笑取鬧,認為不宜而不鼓勵他,但世堂兄卻一直有個牧者的心。他在紐約的那幾年,還經常到辦公室對面的教堂彈琴,撫慰眾多不幸者的心靈。

在1975年6月13日來信裡,他如此說道:

「敝處正對街有一九流教堂,每周若干日定時施粥(咖啡),開放時間巧逢lunch break,招待鰥、寡、孤、獨,亦招待老、醜、惡、毒、淫、亂、邪、臭 ···。每隔周必有警車蜂湧趕來排解糾紛,蓋眾「嗟來食」者經常打鬥;或怨施粥不公,或怨遭人欺辱,警伯來後總要舉槍搜身,做捕人狀,多半不了了之。初來時頗覺厭惡,久之則憐之。近經與該教堂主牧接洽,由本人每周一次前往奏琴,以娛眾「妖」。教堂原已搖搖欲墜,但施粥處地下室竟設有名琴(Baldwin) ,其音不惡。本大師琴技原屬一流,但聞者老朽,無啥知音,偶有瘋婦聞琴起舞,甚是可怕。遇到妖婦妖公前來搭訕,本人則嚴詞斥之:『奏琴時不言不語,退!』老傢伙們才泱泱然離去。」

那幾年,世棠兄不時從紐約寄來美金,慰勞新聞局國際處一科的同仁。我少年得「痔」,開刀後恢復較慢,世棠兄得知後頻頻在來信中垂詢病情,還問我需不需錢應急,此種疼惜同事之美意,讓我感動不已。世棠兄在天之靈,請接受我三拜。(2015/03/22完稿)


1974年行政院新聞局國際處部分同仁合影 前排: 蔣黛 陳處長高唐 陳妙行 曠湘霞 後排: 作者 黃宏基 賴茂男 賈殿章 朱幫辦光亞 黃科長哲元 徐世棠


徐世棠以中、英雙語所錄製的Oscar Wilde原著

《快樂王子》光碟有聲書封套