In memory of

Linda Angela Ayow

December 25, 1927 -  September 21, 2023

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Linda Angela Ayow. Born on 25 Dec 1927, the matriarch of the Ayow family passed away peacefully in her sleep on 21 Sept 2023. She was predeceased by her husband, our family patriarch Phillip Ayow and also by her brother, Wilfred Lue.. Linda devoted her entire life to the happiness, advancement and well-being of Ayow family members. She will always be remembered for her infectious smile, generosity, attentive concern for others, delicious Hakka & Trini dishes, her love for the Maple Leafs & Raptors and her unwavering deep affection for family & friends.She was:
• The beloved mother of George (May Ling), Arthur (Jenny), Martin (Marceline), Winston (Lisa), Monica (Leon) and Sylvia
• The adored grandmother of 11
• The doting great grandmother of 10.
In lieu of flowers, the Ayow family would appreciate donations to the Canadian Cancer Society (


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Kevin Ayow (Grandson)

Entered September 23, 2023 from Shanghai

I love you Apo. Thank you for being kind, gentle and loving. You were the rock of our family and brought us all together. We love you and you will forever be in our hearts.



David Kok (Friend)

Entered September 23, 2023 from Brampton

Linda was a most loving mother to her family and always had a wonderful smile.May she rest in peace.

Rupert and Annie Aqui (Family friends)

Entered September 23, 2023

Our deepest sympathies and Condolences to the Ayow family. May the Soul of Auntie Linda Rest in Perpetual Peace. May she continue her journey in Heaven, flying with the Angels.

Lesley Johnstone (Great grand niece)

Entered September 23, 2023 from Trinidad

Thoughts, prayers and love for the Ayow family. Sok Po was the sweetest, kindest, loving soul you can ever ask for. Have the best childhood memories of her. You will be immensely missed. Rest peacefully. Lots of love from the Johnstone’s (Scott, Lesley and Amelia)

Peter Chinn (Family friend)

Entered September 23, 2023 from Welland Ontario

Sincere condolences to the Ayow family and friends. "Ma" was always a joy to be around and she will be deeply missed. May she rest in peace and bask in the glory of eternal life.

Life Stories 

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Martin Ayow (Son)

Entered September 27, 2023 from GTA

A person’s character is said to be influenced by his or her home-life and environment. Mine was no exception, as I had spent many hours every day in my early life learning how to appreciate poetry, history and reading from Dad and how to grow vegetables and bean sprouts, animal rearing and how to cook pelau from mom. It all ended to my surprise, several weeks after my seventeenth birthday, they flew me off to Canada. At first I was disappointed by what had transpired but as parents know best it turned out quite well for me. The hours spent were not wasted as it surely made me into the adult I am today.
During my pre-teenage years in college, Brother Leonard gave a lesson on writing essays and memoirs which inspired me to try my hand at it. It was to be of the family which of course was not finished but it made me realise what a brilliant wonderful woman our mother was.
My first weeks in Canada made me realise how much I missed my parents and annoying siblings. As the weeks turned into months and months into a year, I thought of my mom and realise what she had to endure in those first few years, surely, my then emotional despair was nothing compared to hers. In a country half a world away from the one she knew, a new society and culture, a language with not a word understood, marrying a man she may have met once or only seen in a photograph and hardly knew. But, by the grace of God and Cupid’s arrow, they were very compatible and fell in love. In all my years, both in Trinidad and in Canada I have never ever seen them argue or fight, not always agreeing but always compromising and forgiving without holding any grudges.
A remarkable person, why? Well, she quickly adapted to not only as a housewife learning how to cook and clean but also what she had to do when she became a shopkeeper’s wife. She quickly learned what the values of the different monetary notes and coins were. She also learned the meanings of English words although not very fluent in speech, to which the younger people would teasingly repeat what she said, Mom, instead of anger, would repeat with many Hakka words then together they would all have a good laugh in unison. She quickly learned how to deal with the customers, some of which could be a handful. It was amazing to see her in action when we went to the open market, bartering with the villagers over fruits and vegetables, then with the fishermen and butchers. Come to think of it, would have made a fantastic SNL funny, Mom speaking in Chinese with hand gestures, seller in broken Trini lingo while calypso is playing on his transistor radio.
A shopkeeper’s life is no walk in the park and even more difficult and time constraining for the wife. Ma did it all without ever complaining. The shop would be open for business at 9:00am and closed at 9:00pm. The exceptions being the weeks of Carnival and Christmas which made closing times as late as 11:30. Then there was clean up and restocking which can push the end of the day to midnight.
This is how one of Mom’s day would be like. Up by 7:00am, coming down the stairs two loud sneezes to which our parrot would start screaming “MA!!!…MA!!!” Get breakfast ready, get kids up, have them eat breakfast, make sure we are properly dressed in our uniforms and off to school. Feed and water parrot, chicken, ducks, pigs and dogs. Then water her prized vegetable garden before helping to open up the shop. At noon rush to the kitchen to cook lunch for Pa, uncle, granny and herself which they would then take turns to eat. In the evening the same procedure is repeated but with six more mouths to feed. Would then go back to the shop to help close for the night. This exercise is repeated every day except for Thursday, shop closed at noon and Sunday which is a rest day. Even so there were many times, just at sun up neighbours would clang on the garage doors screaming for her to sell them something they had forgotten to get the night before so they can cook lunch for their picnic at the beach and she would obligingly get it for them.
I wasn’t the pet, actually none of us were, we all got treated the same. But as a rumbunctious boy back then I would be more inclined to get on my parent’s nerves or took the blame for one of the siblings. I remember when I had broken my sister’s bando (that thing that girls use for keeping their hair in place), when Sis cries, mom comes over, sends me to get a tree branch for a beating. I came back with a long very slim shoot, when she saw it, she made a face, we both laughed and I was told to go feed the chickens and pigs. On another occasion, I caused her to grab her feather duster, I ran upstairs and hid in her armoire, she came up tapping the bedpost, mirror, table and chair which made me almost laugh out. As she was walking out the room she quietly said in Hakka, “Dinner is ready, come and eat before it gets cold.” That was how I remembered her, her tolerance, forgiveness and love for us. As far as I can remember both our parents never used capital punishment but instead used humour and understanding to teach us good behaviour.
In the late 70’s, we moved in with my Mom and younger siblings. Although I was very tentative about the move, I was also very happy. It meant Ma would be able to spend time with my children, her grand kids. This move and the time spent with her granddaughter and grandson turned out to be a blessing in disguise. With dad’s passing, the grandchildren’s presence helped and distracted mom’s grief.
In retrospect, my respect, non violent attitude towards women and encouragement for higher learning were unconsciously instilled into me by the examples set by Mom’s actions in being a loving wife, a caring nurturing mother who tirelessly worked to help provide for her family without ever asking for anything in return. Hopefully I have done the same for my children and that they will continue the trait onto theirs.

I love you Mom

PS: This piece that I have written is not to create bias but for everyone to believe in peace and not war.

My Mom was never in direct war confrontations but as a very young person in a village where news would come in, reports of how cruel the Japanese soldiers were, the offensive things they were doing to girls and the scramble to hide from the Japanese army, somehow affected her psychologically and for years she would have nightmares at any given time which caused her to scream and cry out in her sleep. The chilling wails was worse than those out of a horror movie. For those who think that wars only kill, think again, I have witnessed first hand what damage it can do to an innocent mind close to, yet away from the actual killing and destruction.

Monica Williams (Daughter)

Entered September 28, 2023

Some of my memories of my beloved Ma is of her unwavering love for her family.
She wasn’t formally educated but had more common sense that anyone I know.
She was a creator of all things and a constant multitasker from running a grocery and haberdashery store and a rum shop, raising a backyard full of chickens, ducks, pigs, pigeons, cats, and dogs, and at the same time consciously caring for her family. She created the most delicious recipes, like the Hops bread and the spicy paper thin sliced pig snout …it was never intended for sale in the shop but customers found out and insisted on buying it…it became a hit…. Not to mention the Thursday afternoons she spent baking the most flavourful coconut breads…the freshly baked scent from the breads lingering through the windows to all the neighbors and that too, became a hit and was also sold. One of my favourite was her day old fried blood pudding with her hot sauce. Ma was also best known for her green thumb. She grew vegetables in abundance which we ate at home like green beans, tomatoes and “cheeka” ( Chinese Zucchini ) and not to mention the sweetest corn that we have had. After so many years I am yet to find better green onions than what was also grown by her.
Ma was known to us all as the “fixer-upper” with her odd shaped Chinese scissors, oversized needle, twine and tape….she can mend anything possible that was broken, torn or needed fixing…Ma was that resourceful. Her hard work was a Labor of love for her family. With all this being said, she never complained but always seem happy with what she was doing. She was the glue to our family and we are who we are today because of her constant nurturing, strong devotion, positive guidance and unconditional love for her family throughout our lives. God gifted us with the greatest mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and she will be loved always and forever, never to be forgotten.
Ma, I love you so much and in my heart I will carry you, always.


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