Kevin  Wong Hoy's Memorial

Kevin Wong Hoy
(1948 - 2013)

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General Details

Name: Mr Kevin Wong Hoy
Gender: Male
Age: 65 years old
Lived: Saturday, 20 March 1948 - Friday, 5 April 2013

My Story

Eulogy for Kevin Wong Hoy 15.04.1913 Thank you Simon for asking me to give this talk about my friend Kevin. At the end of his life Kevin had a similarity to Dame Nellie Melba. We had so many hugs and goodbyes, that at the last visit, I merely said, “see you later”, as I expected him to always be there. Thank you Lorraine and his friends who did so much for him during these last few years. I first met Kevin just over 47 years ago when he came to St John’s College in the University of Qld as a first year student .From the beginning, he was different, something I think he thrived on all his life. I had grown up in a very white Australian society, where the only different people were the Catholic school kids, who we would throw stones at and shout at, whenever possible. He was Chinese, when I had only been exposed different culture at the Greek fish and chip shop in Redcliffe. He didn’t speak Chinese, a surprise. He was very arty ,and very interested in art,so he was involved in the backdrops for the College Gilbert and Sullivan productions, as well as singing in them. He produced the Silhouettes for the College Ball, honouring a few senior College man each year. I still have my Silhouette hanging at home, a legacy from Kevin. He was no sportsman . He was also very strong willed,some might say,pig headed ,no doubt as a result of racism which he had encountered. Despite these differences, an unlikely friendship began ,which has lasted over 47 years. Why was that ? I don’t know. Perhaps we were young, and idealistic, as we would spend long hours in D and M’s,solving our’s, and the world’s problems. There were large gaps in our friendship, as when one leaves Uni, and begins a career, one often loses track of College and School friends. We caught up again in late 1975, at the Mater Childrens Hospital, when Judy and Kevin were there with Simon as a very young child, with a fractured arm, and concerns that this had been a non accidental injury, a notion which was quickly dispelled, I hasten to assure you. They visited me in Edinburgh in 1976,the following year ,and we lost contact until the Lygon St festival, in the mid 80’s ,when I saw this person walk past me, and thought he could only be Kevin. So I followed him , and asked him was he Kevin ? We have had regular contact since, my often staying at his place when in Melbourne for conferences, and he staying at my place when in Brisbane , initially when he was going to the Commonwealth Archives researching Chinese History,as they were close to where I lived. Subsequently, as he also use my place as a transit to visiting Simon in the Gold Coast. I would lend him my old car to drive there. My friends would often comment that they had seen the car going down the road,looking as no one was driving it, then as they looked closer ,see a small head peering over the steering wheel. Why did I treasure my friendship? Ralph Waldo Emerson has said “ A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud” So our friendship consisted of many quiet dinners, with a few drinks, and nothing special being discussed. I would often give him advice, either about tidying or renovating his house, or particularly of a Medical nature, which he completely ignored. I would point out to him, with little effect, that some people paid good money for my advice, which would have no affect. He would often talk proudly of his son Simon, and how he was progressing in his career, and of Simons’ wife Shannon, and his Granddaughter Chloe, and it was clear he was very fond of them. As a third, I had thought, but actually fourth Generation Chinese person in Australia , Kevin began to learn Mandarin. There are Mandarin words stuck on the walls and everywhere in his house. Sadly, his attempts to speak it with my Mandarin speaking partner Gary, would elicit rolling of Gary’s eyes, and my plan never to try to learn it. We would eat at home when in Brisbane, with my or Gary’s cooking, but in Melbourne, we would invariably go out to some restaurant, so I confess ,I have never sampled Kevin’s cooking. That’s probably a good thing ,as I remember his 60th Birthday dinner at a vegetarian Chinese restaurant , with mock Duck, and mock Chicken. Not a dinner to recall for the culinary delights. Kevin was a talented artist, and at on stage ,won the Victoria League Art award,for a painting which hung for viewing in Melbourne, and then at his home. His research on Chinese History in Australia , was extensive ,such that he became an expert in this area, and was fascinating to listen to. He has published several papers, presented at many conferences and functions, and published three books ,the last being “Cheong of the Never Never” the history of Mrs Aneas Gunn’s chinese Cook.We should all remember her book, “We of the Never Never”. He gained several Degree,. BA., BSWk., BA (Fine Arts), and a M.Arts ,on the topic, Becoming British Subjects, 1879 -1903 ,Chinese in Nth QLD. I would like to quote from Kevin’s book, “Cheon of the Never Never”. “ One night they were all sitting round the fire, and the was teasing him, and this Paddy said to him, ’Cheon, how is it that you don’t get cross and nasty with us the way I tease you?’. And this Chinese chap said to him, ‘No’, he says , ,Cheon don’t get cross. Cheon’s a very placid man. It takes a lot to upset Cheon,but let me tell you,when you stop teasing Cheon, Cheon stop peeing in the soup”. Perhaps it was wise that we went out to dinner when I was in Melbourne. Kevin never talked a lot about his developing expertise in Chinese History in Australia ,just as he never complained about his physical state over the last few years ,despite the obvious pain and difficulty he was experiencing. Fortunately, he is now at rest , and he will always rest in my heart.. Written by Dr. David Wood

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Candle Memorial Tribute
From: juliavolkmar
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Your inspiration continues to light the way to the rediscovered past, illuminating the present.
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From: SimonWongHoy
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Kevin was passionate in recognising Chinese-Australians in our country's short history and as president of CAFHOV (Ch...
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From: SimonWH
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WONG HOY. - Kevin Fredrick. Peacefully passed away at the age of 65. Beloved son of Beatrice and Wayland (dec). Loved...

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Passing

Place of Passing: Melbourne
Date of Passing: 5 April 2013
Place of Burial: Whiterock Memorial Garden, Cairns
Funeral Location: St.Mary's Church North Melbourne
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