Friday, 7 January 2011

Paying Respects

Tonight after work I headed to Statue Square in Central and paid my respects to Szeto Wah.

Set up in front of the Legislative building is a make-shift tent with two people manning the table with condolence books. I thought it would be busy, but at 7:30pm only a few people were there. Beside the tent was a giant black and white banner that said, "In Loving Memory of Szeto Wah" in English, and in Chinese, "Uncle Wah, we will remember you forever!"

People signing condolence books for Uncle Wah
Lots of flowers were laid under the banner and wreaths too.

At first I didn't know what to say, but in the end I wrote: "Uncle Wah, thank you for your passion to fight for what you believe in. You are an inspiration for us all."

The woman behind the desk gave me a yellow ribbon and I promptly tied it on the temporary barricade like everyone else had. She also handed me a slip of paper inviting people to donate funds to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China as Szeto has requested in his will. The paper included the account numbers for Hang Seng Bank and HSBC.

A memorial service will be held January 28 and funeral service January 29 at St Andrews church. As he requested, he will be cremated with some of his ashes dumped into the waters north of Hong Kong in the hopes they will reach the mainland, a place he was blacklisted from entering since 1989.

A woman ties her ribbon on the barricade
Meanwhile the Hong Kong government is mulling over whether it should allow former Tiananmen Square student leaders Wang Dan and Wuer Kaixi to enter the city to pay their last respects to Szeto, as he was involved in helping them escape China.

In the meantime it's good to see many people coming out to say goodbye to Szeto. As the yellow ribbons testify, we shall not forget his fighting spirit.

1 comment:

  1. i don't think the spineless hong kong government is brave enough to let wang dan and wuer kaixi in to pay their final respect to this unfaltering fighter for freedom and human rights in china.