Yuen Kam-Lan was born on November 13, 1926 in Sun-Wei, Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, China, and was the second oldest of 13 children. She was a good student and excelled in Chinese calligraphy, literature, and composition. Although her studies were disrupted by the war, she continued to learn throughout her life by reading newspapers, books, and magazines. She was passionate about health, nutritious food, traditional Chinese medicine, and personal grooming. She was known for her “best of the best” nutritious soups, braised duck with preserved plum sauce, tomato beef, and Chinese turnip cake (loh-bak-goh), among many other dishes. After the prayers and movie show of the Rosary Confraternity of Our Lady of the Rosary Church at home, the dish most sought after by the guests was her signature dish of fruit salad with starfruit slices and slender moons of melons or morsels of mango mingled with colorful cherries and berries in her home-made magical dressing.
She married her late husband, So Pak-Hung, during the war. As she was being carried to her wedding ceremony in a traditional Chinese wedding carriage, bombs started raining down. The servants put down her carriage in the middle of a field and fled, leaving her alone inside the carriage for most of the day. Although they eventually came back to get her, no guests dared to come for the scrumptious Chinese wedding banquet.
After they were married, they moved to Hong Kong where they started their family, having two sons (Patrick and Adrian) and one daughter (Betty). She was an exceptional mother, instilling love, hope, and confidence in her family through her unconditional love. She had six amazing grandchildren and three wonderful great-grandchildren. She’s the best grandmother anyone could ask for, and all her grandchildren love her dearly. She was the pillar of her family and extended families.
In 1996, they immigrated to Canada, but moved back to Hong Kong for some time. After her husband passed away in 2007, she returned to Canada to live with her daughter in Toronto. In 2019, she moved into the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care where she enjoyed new friendships, recreational programs, and consistent medical care. The nurses and staff said she was the “best resident”, and loved and respected her very much. She was always well-groomed, thoughtful, courteous, spirited, and independent. During her last months, she battled an advanced nasopharyngeal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with tremendous courage, dignity, and grace. In her final week, she was baptized into the Catholic faith and was given the name Teresa. She passed away peacefully on May 13, 2021.
She was a model human being who positively impacted the lives of all those who crossed her path, helping so many unconditionally in ways far beyond belief. She was well loved and respected for her tremendous acts of kindness, love, forgiveness, courage, hard work, persistence, resilience, and genuine passion for helping others.
She was a remarkable, loving, caring, generous, loyal and supportive wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, and friend. She was dearly loved and highly regarded by all. We are all so honoured to have had her in our lives and will always cherish the amazing memories we shared with her. She will be deeply missed!