I struggled with whether or not to say anything at the mass. I was afraid I would lose it, become too overwraught with emotion to get out the important words. How do you capture in but a few paragraphs, the special man he was and the impact that he made on so many people?
But I felt I really had to, and I'm so glad I did. And I'd like to think I did him proud...
I have the extreme honour of being the daughter of WMG. Not only was he a wonderful father and remarkable grandfather, he was an exceptional man.
From humble beginnings in China, as a very young boy he came over with his mother to join his father and brother in Canada, for a better life. They settled in Montreal. As far as he remembered, he was the youngest Chinese boy in Chinatown so most adults in the small Chinese community knew him. He was also the oldest boy in kindergarten, but he didn't mind the attention that the teacher paid to him.
He caught up quickly; he finished high school at the appropriate age, and then completed his degree in engineering at McGill university. He worked all through school in the family restaurant business, to help support the family. In the meantime, he also managed to court and marry a pretty young nurse. Dad was good at multi-tasking. All the while he took care of his mother and young sister; and became a much respected uncle to the growing number of nieces and nephews. And then with Mom, he started his own family.
He had a long and distinguished career at MB where he made many friends. And then he along with Mom worked very hard in a second career in real estate. He continued to make so many new friends throughout his life, as we have seen from the outpouring over the last couple of days. For although he was a quiet man, he had a wicked sense of humour and loved a good party.
To quote a message from our cousin who recently visited Dad:
“Your Dad is loved by all of us and we were brought up by our parents to respect him and to consider him as our role model and mentor growing up. My Dad was very proud of him and his achievements. He is a bright, intelligent, successful, righteous and honorable man with strong family values and is at the same time very humble. “
My father was a wise man of impeccable morals. I learned so much from him, about being responsible, honorable, tenacious, ambitious and generous. He was an inspiration and led by example, encouraging us to be the very best that we could be. Because indeed, that’s who he was.
The very, very best.
I love you Dad. I miss you.