CHEUNG Kwok Cheung was born 1st May, 1917 in Hong Kong, son and lone child to a sailor-and-wife family. The most part of his schooling was done in Wah Yan College in Kowloon. He was baptized a Christian in his late-teens.
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In 1939, when a large part of Chinese territories was engulfed in blood and fire, Kwok Cheung left his parents by stealth, along with several high school friends, he went to Kweilin in Guangxi province of China, got recruited into the 6th branch of the Central Army Military Academy (generally known as 'Whampoa Military Academy').
In September 1941, he participated in the second stage of the Northern Hunan Battles as a first lieutenant-platoon leader, and in July-November 1944, in the Hunan-Guangxi battles (July-November 1944) as a captain-staff officer. While in action as a platoon leader he was once 'decorated' (meaning 'wounded in battlefields' in army jargon) _ took a laceration in the head by a piece of cannon-ball shrapnel.
When the Japanese surrendered in 1945 and a civil war was immanent, by then a major-staff officer, Kwok Cheung was not convinced that in-killing among compatriots was in order. He chose to quit, roamed from northern China to south, trying to find a way out for himself
With the referral of one of the high school friends aforementioned, who already got a job with the Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock, Kwok Cheung got his job therein in 1948 as accounting clerk. Only then he could marry our mother Yuk Chan who was also a high school friend, raised and maintained a family that included his aging parents. He served the company for more than 30 years till he retired.
Kwok Cheung loved the great outdoors. Throughout his life, his staple activities during holidays were hiking and sea bathing, bringing along a camera. At home, he loved to read classics in Chinese literature, reciting prose and poems, to himself and to his children. While reading newspapers, he loved to give comments, to whoever sitting around, listening or not.
Kwok Cheung and Yuk Chan immigrated to Canada in 1987, first to Winnipeg, then moved to Vancouver, always lived close to son Ming, the eldest of their four children who totally brought them five grandchildren, Joanne, Christine, Arthur, Agnes and Tin Pui.
Other than failing memories, losing some weight, and poor hearing, Kwok Cheung was incredibly healthy as a nonagenarian. According to his family doctor, his heart, liver and kidneys all functioned well, neither did he have any major chronic illnesses. With no obvious reasons, he was suddenly bed-bound since the beginning of April, and after "complaining about a little ache in the side", he was sent to the Richmond Hospital in an ambulance on 5th April.
He spent more than two months in the hospital, "waiting for a vacancy with the Minoru Residence" as they said. Being bed-bound, and had to do all in bed. Most of the time he was in agony, and in "pain all over the body" for which no obvious reasons either. Boosted by the frequent joyous trips on wheelchair in the later days, to the adjacent Minoru Park, where he could ponder on the sky with clouds, conifers, flowering trees, pond with water fowl, squirrels, rabbits and kids running around, he soldiered it on, dignified by a healthy dose of moral courage, to the last moments on June 14, 2012, 9:23pm, that came so abruptly and caught me off guard, while I had begun talking about bringing him home to his own bed, and come what might, as he insisted all the time.
I feel that I had let him down, and my remorse is endless. The only consolation is the thought that God will keep his soul, and he will be treated the way he always deserves. As God's justice is for all and will always be with us all.
By daughter Kwai Lin
Memorial service was held on 7th July, 2012, Richmond Funeral Home
We thank for all condolences tendered