IN LOVING MEMORY OF  

   

 WONG HAU YUEN

1919 - 2004

 Tribute from Second Generation

 

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D

earest friends and relatives, thank you all very much for joining us to celebrate the life of our beloved father.

Father came to Hong Kong from Guangzhou 70 years ago.  He left school at the age of 13 to help in the family business.  After his own father passed away, father took over as head of the family whilst in his early twenties. 

For four decades, father worked 18 hours every day and yet still made great efforts to continue his education.  Mother fondly recalls father going to his lessons on a sedan chair in the days when the motor car was a rarity.  This thirst for knowledge was sustained even when we were growing up.  Many of us remember the English tutor who came to our home, who also doubled up as the family herbalist, prescribing us children foul tasting concoctions.  We also have vivid memories of the laboratory that fatherís chemistry tutor set up at our family home, as well as the well stocked library of Chinese books with subjects ranging from astronomy to history.

Father was a self-made entrepreneur.  He had learned hard lessons in his exposure at an early age to the tough world of business and was determined to improve himself continuously.  His extraordinary intellect despite inadequate formal education, sharp acumen, resourcefulness and perseverance were the foundation for his success.  He set up many successful businesses amidst the difficult economic conditions of the time.  The more memorable ones include the pungent preserved fruit factory with its large stock of fancy porcelain ginger jars; the confectionary distributorships for several international brands;  the traditional cake shop that sold moon cakes; the trading house which was a leading importer of frozen chicken and ham; the aluminium pots and pans factory that was the first to produce non-stick pans in Hong Kong; and the construction business that built our family home, as well as several large buildings in Yau Ma Tei and other places that are still standing today.

Father retired from active business soon after the age of 50.  Following his retirement, he devoted more time to his ongoing community service with institutions including Ching Chung Koon in Tuen Mun, The Tung Koon District General Association, Tung Koon Wong Clansmenís Association and The Scout Association of Hong Kong.  Whilst he was  President of the Rotary Club of Kowloon East, he persuaded all members to contribute significantly to the Rotary Foundation charity, making his Club the first 100% Paul Harris Fellow Rotary Club in the world.

But it was his family and their academic endeavours and achievements which gave father the greatest pleasure in life.  From the start he did his utmost to encourage our academic pursuits which he considered to be the basis for success in life.  Father did not just urge us to work hard, his own example was our inspiration. 

Father was always interested to hear how we got on with our studies and our work.  In order to become more informed about education for his children, father participated heavily in the activities of some of the schools and served for many years as PTA Chairman of  Yau Ma Tei Government Primary School and later on Queen Elizabeth School, contributing significantly to the development of the schools.  Mother frequently recalls the times when father gave speeches as PTA Chairman.  She was quite worried that his inadequate formal education would be a handicap when speaking before learned scholars and teachers.  Although his English could hardly be described as fluent, father was fearless and made many overseas journeys alone, in the interests of his family, to meet headmasters, university heads, and business associates all over the world.

Father continued to maintain a vigorous interest in his grandchildrenís education without interfering directly.  Now, in addition to his six sons who are medical doctors, there are to date five grandchildren who are also doctors, not forgetting his two daughters and other grandchildren who have excelled in their respective fields.

Fatherís favourite enjoyment was to spend time with mother and his large family, which gave him immense pleasure.  His legacy is his large and close-knit family.  We admire and love him and will forever remember him as our guiding light.

Lastly, we must all thank our dearest mother for the selfless devotion that she has lavished on our father over the 66 years of their journey together through life.  Father was indeed blessed with the good fortune of a loving and dedicated companion such as our mother.

May father rest in peace and take comfort in the knowledge that all of us will be devoted to motherís well being and happiness.

Thank you

Jack   Kwong   Sun   Buddy   Charles   Angelina   Ellen   David
and all members of the Wong family