Siew Kwong Yong - Tribute/Eulogy
Siew Kwong Yong Siew Kwong Yong
Born in Malaysia on 2 April 1950
Passed away on 19 April 2019
Late of DACEYVILLE
Aged 69 years
Passed away on 19 April 2019
Late of DACEYVILLE
Aged 69 years
- A lifetime friend of over 40 years - eulogy written by Ben YongPeter was born in the city of Sibu, Sarawak in East Malaysia on the 2nd of April 1950, the eldest son of 6 siblings. He made his journey to Sydney after completing high school in Sibu in 1968.
I first met Peter in the early 70s at a Chinese restaurant in Surry Hills. We were among many of the overseas students working there part time trying to earn enough money to pay for rent and life’s necessities. The restaurant owner, Mr Lui, was an eccentric but generous man who would never say no to a poor student in need of a job.
Many of us students had to pay our own way through university and were most grateful for Mr. Lui’s generosity, back in those days an evening’s wages plus tips would earn you a princely amount of about $12.
Peter would go to work straight after finishing his afternoon lectures, he would be very hungry after class but egg tarts were all staff were allowed to eat until after closing hours which is when supper would be served. He had eaten so many egg tarts during his time there that he vowed to never touch an egg tart again, as soon as he graduated from UNSW with his electrical engineering degree and could finally leave that place.
I remember one day, Peter felt adventurous, and against restaurant rules he decided he would sample the lobster in the kitchen. Unfortunately, he was caught red handed by Mr Lui who sarcastically asked “Does that taste nice?”. The very next day, Peter went back to his egg tarts.
After graduating from UNSW, Peter landed his first full time job as a senior officer in Caltex, Credit Union but after a few years decided that this wasn’t his cup of tea. Soon after he joined David Jones in the administration department where he remained until his retirement in 2012.
Peter and I were flatmates in Clovelly for a number of years, before upgrading to a double storey house up on the hill of Maroubra Road overlooking the ocean. We were joined by Jason who is with us today.
We later moved closer to Maroubra beach when our good friend who owned the house had to return to Malaysia to run the family business – what good fortune for us. At this time I knew that one day I would want to buy a house in the area.
I’ll tell you a story about Peter and I, and our near opportunity to buy a house.
We used to buy lotto tickets once a week using a certain set of numbers, we played the same numbers every time. One Saturday, Peter came home and told me he hadn’t bought lotto yet as the line was far too long, but said he would go back later in the afternoon. When I got home, Peter told me he had fallen asleep and when he woke up the newsagency was already closed. I didn’t think anything of it and carried on with what I was doing. That evening, out of habit we still turned on the TV to watch the lotto numbers get drawn. As the numbers dropped from the barrel, we watched on in disbelief. Our regular numbers matched 5 standard numbers and 1 supplementary number. No one had selected 6 correct numbers, for those of you who don’t know the lotto system, this means we would have won the second division prize of $100,000 – enough to buy a free standing house at the time. For 10 whole minutes we both sat in silence completely dumbfounded. After recovering from the initial shock, Peter broke the silence and turned to me timidly saying.. “Ah Kui.. I am really sorry..”. As disappointed as I was, I took one look at his gentle face and I just couldn’t be angry, so I said to him with a smile “Don’t worry Peter, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be ours.”
During our bachelor days, we would spend our weekends on the beach or horse racing. On Saturdays we’d get together with our friends and go to the “Crazy Horse” on King St which was the place to be in the 70s. We would dance the night away to the likes of Abba and the Bee Gees.
We used to have a great time, although the boys would sometimes feel jealous of Peter as he always got first invitation to dance with the girls. I guess .. with his good looks, what do you expect?
When Jackie and I married in 1982, Peter was my best man even travelling to Singapore for our official ceremony. After our wedding, we continued living with Peter. Jackie’s good friend Jenny used to visit all the time and would often end up staying for dinner at our place. It didn’t take long for Peter and Jenny to fall in love, before tying the knot in 1984 when I was able to return the honour in being Peter’s best man.
In the following few years, Jackie and I bought our first property in Maroubra while Peter and Jenny bought in Daceyville so we were always just around the corner and we’ve stayed that way ever since.
I will always remember Peter as being a quiet but fun loving guy, always wearing a smile even in his final days as he was undergoing treatment.
He loved listening to music, a good game of chess, and spent many a day reading at the library. He loved to travel and enjoy the outdoors, was a wonderful dancer, and could spend an entire day shopping. If you ask anyone who knew Peter, they would probably say his taste in fashion would always make him stand out of the crowd.
but more than anything, Peter loved his dear wife Jenny. They were lucky enough to have travelled to many places including China and Europe during their time together before she sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2014.
On Friday the 19th of April 2019, after seemingly successful chemotherapy treatments, Peter also unexpectedly lost his battle with cancer.
I know that Peter would have asked us not to cry, and would have wanted us to celebrate that he was blessed with loving friends, family, community and a wonderful and fulfilling life. He would have wanted us to be glad that he has finally been reunited with Jenny, and he is safely in the arms of God where he will be filled with joy and he will never have to suffer again.
Farewell my dearest friend, you will remain in my heart forever.Uploaded by Melissa Yong