“I guess I liked the design of the lion head figure on the coin and the coins reminded me of him… He was a very good person and took care of us.”
We moved to Whampoa from St. George’s road in 2012. My supervisor gave me this set of coins. I’m not sure why. Each of us received a set each. They were brand new but I don’t think we cherished the coins much in the past. We wondered why gave us these coins and I’ve kept them since 1984. I guess I liked the design of the lion head figure on the coin and the coins reminded me of him… He was a very good person and took care of us. He liked to buy us food when we had to work overtime. He treated us like his children, all twenty over of us. I had originally wanted to work in the office but my mother discouraged me. She found this printing company job for me. My task involved hot stamping of calendar, invitation cards, Christmas cards. The busiest times were the Christmas and New Year seasons. And Valentine’s Day too. We bought a small cake for him to celebrate his birthday. He was very happy and his happiness moved us very much too. I guess he was touched since he was not married and had no children. We were like a family working together…took our afternoon break chatting over tea. He loved to drink coffee and asked if anyone wanted coffee. He would give us money to buy coffee, cakes and biscuits. It was not easy to find such a person in the workplace now. One of my favorite times was the day before the Chinese New Year. We had to clean our machines and I was very happy doing it. It was a half-day workday and we left the factory once the task was completed. When work resumed on the 4th day of the Chinese New Year, we had a buffet lunch and received a red packet. Inside the red packet was this set of coins. I was told I could sell the $1 coin for $10 but I won’t sell even if it increased to $50. I will forget him if I sold the coins. I might give them to my children but what if they sold them? I kept the coins in this special purse, and the purse is locked up in the cupboard. I have not told my children this story or showed them the coins. Next time I’ll share the story with them. I can still vividly remember his face now. He was quite plump… like the Mi-Lo-Fwo. He was very jovial…he loved to laugh. Every time we came to work, we would see him at is desk. If we had any questions we would ask him. He was a Cantonese and his name was Wong. We called him Wong-san. I learned the Cantonese language from him. He even pronounced my name in the Cantonese style…he called me Ah Tum. I have not used this name for a long time. Now I used Joyce but the elders find it difficult to say ‘Joyce’. So I use Ah Tum again when I’m with them. My supervisor was also quite good in scolding us, like whenever we made a mistake. He would often doze off at his desk while wearing his spectacles. We had to be extra careful when we needed to wake him to avoid scaring him. If he were alive, he would be in his 90s. He was already in his 60s when he gave us the coins. I have not kept in touch with him since I left the printing company after working there for 9 years.