On Good Friday Apr 2, 2021, Chui Tai Lau (m. Chan) 陳楼翠娣女士, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 98 after several months of declining health.
She was born at Ningbo 寧波, Yin County 鄞縣, Zhejiang Province, China (near Shanghai) in 1922, the Year of the Dog. She tells of her early life working in the rice paddies, during the Sino-Japanese War. Throughout her life, she continued to sing songs learned while working in the fields, when the Chinese Communist Party of China came to reclaim China.
As was typical of the times, she was “matched” and married Pang Nin Chan when she was 22. Her 2 eldest sons were born in China. Soon after, her husband left for Hong Kong to earn a better life for the family. In 1952, she took the long journey to Hong Kong to join her husband by carrying her then 5- and 3-year old sons Wah & Kwan in 2 bamboo baskets on a bamboo carrying pole.
In Hong Kong, she was a dedicated mother but also worked to support the family bespoke tailor business. This meant raising 8 children but also daily shopping and cooking meals for the factory workers (which was standard at the time) as well as help hand-sew shoulder pads for the custom business suits during whatever free time she had.
In May 1981, she and her husband and her last two sons immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba to join the 4 older sons who were already there. This was a time of supporting the sons during their high school and university years as well as being den mother to other international Hong Kong students. Her Winnipeg years included stories of clearing the driveway of snow to a pristine status and growing zucchini until they became giant size. This was also a time of pride as she helped raise grandchildren for several months at a time in Hong Kong, Canada and USA. She accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized in 1994 at the Winnipeg Chinese Alliance Church.
In 2002, she moved to Richmond Hill to live with her youngest son Alex and daughter-in-law for the remainder of her life. In her last decade, she became a regular member at Richmond Hill Carefirst Adult Day program, where she would frequently return home with prizes won from games being played there! She looked forward to her Sunday outings to the Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church and after-church lunch date with son Tak and his family.
She was a typical Year of the Dog personality: “loyal, honest, amiable and kind, cautious and prudent.” She was quietly proud of her family. She kept a simple and frugal life, always mindful of her humble beginnings. Living in Canada, despite the lack of common language such as English, she always seemed to be able to communicate with non-Chinese speaking family & friends with her smile, facial expressions, hand motions and her touch of your hand. For new acquaintances, she would always grab your hand, turn your palm and read your “lifeline”, which invariably would be predicted as having a “long life!”
She was predeceased by her husband Pang Nin Chan in 1994. She will be dearly missed by her 8 children and their spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as relatives in China: Wah (Teresa), Kwan (Tammy), Edna, Kong (Jenny), Tak (Vienna), Ming (Susan), Max (Irene), and Alex (Elaine).
She deeply touched the lives of her fifteen grandchildren & their spouses/partners: Francis (Allison), Jennifer, Simon (Allison), Justine (David), Sarah (Eddy), Leo Kwan (Lizzie), Roy Kwan (Brielle), Robert (Joyce), Jonathan, Carmen, Alisah, Matthew, Ryan, Cyrus and Curtis.
She was blessed with eleven great grandchildren: Olive, Edie, Sylvie, Abigail, Harrison, Thomas, Alexander, Charles, Rosalie, Louise and 1 month old Bo.
There will be a Celebration of her life via live stream on Saturday Apr 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM EST until 12:00 PM EST. (due to COVID-19 restrictions, only invited guests will be allowed in person). Details of the link will be updated on this website. Then she will be buried beside her husband at Elgin Mills Cemetery in Richmond Hill. We welcome online messages and photos and videos.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mackenzie Health Foundation: please specify In Memory of Mrs. Chui Tai Lau: Funds dedicated to Ophthalmology: MackenzieHealthFoundation.ca.
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY APR 7/21 @ 5:30 pm:
We recommend you go to a new window and search "Mackenzie Health Foundation"
OR go to the above Donation link --> Make a Donation -->and click on the Mackenzie Health logo (DO NOT click on the Donate button) to connect to the Mackenzie Health website.
1. Choose: "DONATE IN MEMORY"
2 Choose: "Donate to Area of Greatest Need"
3. Dedicated to: Enter name: First name: Chui Tai . Last name: LAU
4. Recipient Details can be sent to: Alex Chan, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. In the message box: OPTIONAL: you can indicate "Dedicated towards Ophthalmology"
If you make an error, as long as Chui Tai Lau's name is indicated, it will be dedicated to Ophthalmology. Thank you for your patience and kind donation.
Info: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89550484340?pwd=NDVqWGtzOGM2ODQwUVNaQklrQXNOUT09 Here is the Zoom link for the celebration of life Meeting ID: 895 5048 4340 Passcode: 036535 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k6z5Qv3qp The link will be available on April 10, at 9:15am (EDT) From 9:15 to 9:30, watching the slide show of Lau, Chui Tai From 9:30 to 9:45, the viewing time for the invited in person guests From 9:45 to 11:00, the celebration of life service