Mr. Shau Wing Yan

1 July, 192529 March, 2021

Shau Wing Yan was born on July 1st, 1925 in the Kaiping region of Guangzhou Province, China. At this time, the region, known in Cantonese as Hoiping, was composed of several poor villages and due to its poverty and social instabilities was a source of major emigration abroad.

Shau Wing faced the hardships of this time as his family had to deal with several tragedies. His younger brother died in infancy and his mother died when he was still a young child. His father remarried but then became a victim to the supply of Opium from the West, a common addiction at the time. As a young boy, he had to rely on the charity of relatives in order to survive in this harsh reality of China.

In 1948, Shau Wing met and married Pui Ching Chan, a hard working second daughter from a rural farming village in Toishan County. With the carpentry skills he had learned from his own father, Shau Wing was able to obtain a temporary position in Hong Kong in order to support them both. Shortly after their marriage, the communist government began promoting job opportunities in China so they returned to live in an apartment in Guangzhou city. In 1952, their son Shau Wen was born, but tragically this child passed away in 1967 in an unfortunate accident. After the birth of Shau Wen, there were 3 other children in China: Shau Fong (Patricia), Shau Wah ( David), and Shau Sheun ( Susana). During this period, Shau Wing was a skilled worker for the Chinese government railroad and life was fairly comfortable for the family; however, he sensed that the communist government could not be trusted to insure a successful future so they planned their move to Hong Kong.

As his mother-in-law had a residence at North Point in Hong Kong, Shau Wing travelled first with their oldest son and daughter to the city. Once that was accomplished, Pui Ching took the toddlers, David and Susana, sailing via Macau under the cover of night in a Chinese "Junk", or fishing boat to re-unite the family. Once they were all in Hong Kong, Shau Wing used his talented carpentry skills to set up a custom furniture business in North Point and in 1963; their youngest child Shau Han (Mary) was born. In spite of the thriving business in Hong Kong, the couple decided their children’s future would be brighter if they could emigrate to North America and with Pui Ching’s younger sister already settled in Canada; they were able to secure the necessary papers to move.

Wanting an adventure, Shau Wing arranged for the family to sail to Canada by Ocean Liner. In December, 1968 they left Hong Kong on a President Line ship. The family experienced their first Christmas while on this journey and even visited Japan and Hawaii along the way before finally docking in San Francisco. A short flight brought them to Vancouver, the place that would become home. As a new immigrant, life was initially difficult; however, over the years, Shau Wing used his extensive skills in carpentry to build a successful life and provide well for his family in Canada. They also accomplished their long standing dream of building their own home. By subdividing a lot in central Burnaby, Shau Wing custom built two homes, one for himself and one as a investment; an incredible achievement for someone who grew up in dire poverty in China. In 1995, the couple proudly moved into their brand new house at 5801 Pioneer Avenue.

He always had a love of travel which was shared with his wife. After the couple’s retirement, they enjoyed many years of travelling within Canada and the world, including many trips by cruise to Europe, China, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Central and South America, South East Asia, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. This love of travel was likely due to his passion for history and his fascination with other cultures; in particular, he had a great fondness for England’s countryside and its rural village life.

Shau Wing Yan was a proud, strong and hard working man who lived a full and vital life. He, along with his beloved wife accomplished much of their dreams for themselves in Canada. He leaves behind his children, grandchildren and most recently, great grandchild; along with many wonderful memories of a father who imbued the values of work, self-reliance and family.


甄绍荣出生于一九二五年七月一日,中国广东省开平地区。粤语念”开平” 为 ”Hoiping”。那个年代,该地区只是几个贫穷小村庄。因为穷困和社会动荡,许多人移民海外。


一九四八年,甄绍荣结识了家住台山县乡下,陈家非常勤劳的二女儿陈佩贞,并同她结婚。从他父亲那里学得的木工技术,甄绍荣在香港觅得一份临时差事来养家。婚后不久,中国政府鼓励外面的人回大陆工作。于是甄绍荣返回到了广州,居住在一个公寓里。一九五二年,他的大儿子,甄少雲, 出生了。但不幸的是他在一九六七年因为一场事故去世了。 随后有三个子女生在中国。他们是甄少芳(Patricia), 甄少華(David),甄少璇(Susana)。这段时间,甄绍荣是一名技术娴熟的国家铁路工人,一家生活非常舒适。但他不太相信共产党的政府可以给他一个美好的将来,于是他计划将全家搬到香港。

甄绍荣带着他的大儿子和大女儿,先去香港北角,投靠了已经在那里定居的岳母。等到丈夫稳定后,太太佩贞带着小儿子少華和小女儿少璇,趁着夜色,途径澳门,坐着渔船来到香港同家人团聚。一家人团聚后,甄绍荣仍然他的木工技术做起了定制家具生意。一九六三年,最小的女儿少孄(Mary)出生了。 尽管生意兴隆,甄家为了孩子的未来,决定移民北美。因为太太的妹妹已经定居在加拿大,所以甄家能够拿到加拿大的移民纸。

甄绍荣喜欢探索新鲜事物。为此他安排了全家坐轮船去加拿大。一九六八年十二月,全家人坐总统号离开了香港。全家在轮船上渡过了他们的第一个圣诞节,中途游历了日本,夏威夷,最终到达三蕃市。然后从那里做短途飞机飞到了温哥华 – 他们就要扎根的地方。

做为新移民,开始的生活是艰辛的。但随着时间的流逝,甄绍荣利用他精湛的木工技艺,给家庭带来了美好生活。并且实现了由来己久的梦想-建造自己的家。在本拿比中部,他把一块地分成两块,造了两个房子。一个留着做自住房,另外一个用于投资。对于一个从极度贫穷中长大的人,这是一个极其了不起的成绩。一九九五年,甄家夫妻非常自豪的搬入了崭新的家:5801 pioneer Avenue.





Mr. Shau Wing Yan

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June Quiroga

17 April 2021

Mary our condolences to you and your family. Losing a parent is never easy. Please know Nelson and I are thinking about you at this sad time in your life. June and Nelson

From the Family
From the Family