Hung Po Chu
July 7, 1920 – July 17, 2020
Today, we deeply mourn for our great loss of an extraordinary and great mother.
Mother, H. P. Chu was born on July 7, 1920 in Shanghai in an ordinary working family. Mother raised two boys and three girls. Mother lived in Shanghai in the early 1950s and worked in a factory and the life was very difficult for the whole family. Then she moved to Hong Kong in the 1960s and to Vancouver, BC, Canada in the 1970s. The life is getting gradually better.
Mother passed away peacefully on July 17, 2020 at 4:40pm at the age of 100, in the nursing home.
Dear mother walked well and rests in peaceful heaven!
Dear mother, we love you forever.
Your son C C and daughter-in-law May
Hung Po Chu
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
August 4, 2020
I'm the second youngest grand-child of Hung Po Chu.
One hundred years on this earth is a milestone and I am glad I had the chance to know her for some of those years. For without her, I would not be here.
My memories of her really only started from when she lived in her apartment in Vancouver. I remember the times we used to visit her, play on the patio, have a homemade dinner that included tofu and edamame beans, and help her use an electric massager on her sore back or arms.
I remember grandma loving to eat, lunches at a Shanghainese restaurant, and the large family gatherings. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face.
She was from a different era, a different country, but she had found a way to make Vancouver her home. Maybe it was just the way Canada is, or maybe it was because her family was here.
Goodbye for now.
July 26, 2020
We are her two oldest grandchildren. Although we didn't grow up with her much during our childhood, our fondest memories of Grandma are of when she came to Shanghai and those were always the best days of our lives. Every time she came by, she brought all kinds of fancy chocolates, gu zi(瓜子), and wu mei (话梅), and 化核应子 from Hong Kong. We would go out shopping with her, and back then taking the bus to go shopping was already fancy, but Grandma would call a cab to come pick us up to go shopping in downtown Shanghai, which was such a luxury thing! We can still vividly remember these days as if they happened yesterday.
In the early 1980s, we finally all lived in the same city, Vancouver. Grandma took all of us in and welcomed us into her home to help us get settled. She taught us all kinds of life lessons and passed on her knowledge. I (小胖) also remember our grandma coming to visit me at work on a regular basis. When the Canada line for the SkyTrain was being built, her normal bus routes that she would take downtown were disrupted, and I was worried that she would get lost, so I would go to Broadway to get her and take her out for lunch, and then I would send her back home. These lunch dates of ours would go on for 3 hours, and even everyone at work would know that when Grandma was visiting, we would be gone for a 3 hour lunch break!
Grandma was also an amazing cook. In our opinion, she made the best Shanghai meatballs (上海红烧肉圆) - they were tender and flavourful and melt in your mouth! Later on, when she was in the nursing home, we asked her for the step-by-step instructions so that we could make some to bring to her. We could never duplicate the same level of tenderness in our cooking, but we were happy to see that she really enjoyed eating the dishes we brought her.
She has been a huge presence in all of the major milestones in our lives and we miss her! Grandma, we will see each other again one day.
July 24, 2020
Dear CC & May,
I am truly sorry to hear your loss. Please accept my condolences.
I am very lucky to celebrate your mother’s 100th birthday on the Seventh of July with your family.
I am so thankful that I met your mother who was such a lovely lady with a lot of energy. I will never forget her for being such an inspiring and encouraging person. Praying for peaceful afterlife for your mother.
July 23, 2020
I wish everyone, especially those of Grandma’s grandchildren, to have such opportunities to bask in the presence of these wonderful grandmothers! And grandfathers!
When I stayed with Grandma the second time, I had just left home living with my parents in Victoria, B.C. and was attending UBC. There was a young student from Iran who was taking Physics 120, an Honor class, with me. I was interested in her and wanted to spend a night at her house to study together . . . to get to know her (I found out later she already had a boyfriend). Just as I was leaving the backside of 365 East 51st Street, Grandma stopped me. I had taken an extra underwear with me, for reasons more about personal hygiene than trying to get lucky! Grandma noticed this and in her loving manner, she warned me not doing anything bad. And I didn’t!
So, Grandma: THANK YOU for all your LOVE and KINDNESS and WISDOM and SUPPORT! Not to mention all those chocolates that you brought to Shanghai from Hong Kong!
July 23, 2020
I am happy that Grandma has shuffled off this mortal coil. She had an amazing life. She and Grandpa started something wonderful and that wonder continues in their grandchildren and soon the children of their grandchildren.
If I have any sadness in her passing, it would be two things.
One, I wish I had spent even more time with her. But something I have learned recently (actually, I have been practicing this for some time now with Grandpa and my Great-Grandma) give me great comfort and awareness that our loved ones never really leave us: life goes on. All that we need to do is to summon their love and presence into our lives any time we desire: Ask or call them to come into our life now! https://youtu.be/iU46Lv4jVAw?t=267 This is a form of ancestral worship, updated for our modern times. Try it, it really does work!
Two, I wish she didn’t have to spend these last years alone in a nursing home, away from her 5 adult children and grandchildren. This "nursing home” concept is a recent phenomenal in the West. For 5,000 years, we Chinese have always taken care of our elderly and dying parents at home. Now, I know that relations between parents and their adult children can be rough and karmic. Trust me, I know! But maybe a better solution in the future could be found between grandparents and their grandchildren. Less karma, less tensions. More joy, more wisdom. More sharing and learning from each other . . .
In my 55 years of living (it’s my birthday today), I have had the blessings to enjoy not only the presence and love and wisdom of Grandma but also of my Great-Grandma (a great Buddhist in Shanghai) and of a dear neighbour here where I live now (a 77 years old woman who still walks 10 km!).
July 23, 2020
Of all the grandchildren of Grandma, I am probably the luckiest.
By the way, Grandma had 9 grandchildren, not 8. Eaton is the adopted son of Uncle Jack.
I say that I am the luckiest of her 9 grandchildren, because I was fortunate enough to live with Grandma on four separate occasions. Plus, being the elder son of her elder son (my Father) in Chinese culture meant that I was the apple of Grandma’s eye. Lucky me!
First, it was when Mom, Dad, my sister and I immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1974 from Hong Kong. We lived at 365 East 51st Street. This was Grandma’s favourite home. And mine too because right across the street is a public ice rink which I frequented often. I have the fondest memories of my childhood growing up in this idiclic neighbourhood, full of Germans, East Indians, and Canadians. The divorce between her and Grandpa, and then the sale of this home was very hard for Grandmother. She had to move to an apartment far from her adult children.
Second, when I attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) for the first year in 1984, I stayed with Grandma at that same 365 East 51st Street home. Something happened there which remained with me the rest of my life that I will tell you about at the end of this eulogy.
Third, when I graduated from UBC in 1989, I stayed with her at her apartment for a little while, while I figured out what I was going to do with my life and my new degree in engineering. I left Canada and spent the next 20 years in the United States, working as a professional mechanical engineer, project manager, inventor, and writer.
Four, when I came back to Vancouver in 2007 and was looking for a job, I stayed with her again at her apartment. This was the last time. Grandma wanted me to stay with me, but I needed to pursue my path in life which led me to a job in Houston, Texas, and then finally to northern Patagonia in Argentina where I live now.
[To be continued!]
July 22, 2020
I’m one of Hung Po’s eight grandchildren.
Grandma was the matriarch and played a big role in our lives, particularly during my family’s early years in Vancouver.
We lived with her and grandpa during those years while my parents worked to establish their careers in Canada. And for a short period, she was the primary caregiver to my brother and me.
Some mornings, I’d watch her expertly crack an egg with one hand without breaking the yolk and marvel as she consumed it raw from a glass in the kitchen. She believed it kept her healthy. But she enjoyed eating and had a penchant for toast with lots of butter. Other times for breakfast, it’d be congee or fried youtiao soaked in warm milk.
I have a lot of fond memories of BBQs in her backyard with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Quite often after those meals, the adults would enjoy mah-jong games in the living room, and whenever there was a break, I’d sometimes sneak to the table and watch the smoke rise from her lit cigarette that sat in the ashtray.
After a late night of mah-jong, she’d stay in bed a little longer with a sore back, legs and wrists. She’d get me to ko-ko wherever it hurt to relieve the pain, and I’d keep her company and listen to her stories.
Those are just some of the indelible memories I have of my grandma. She played an important role in my life, and I miss her. Love you, grandma.