Reader donates $20,000 for funeral

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 12:00am

The widow of a taxi driver who died when his cab was hit by a police van has received donations from a Post reader for the funeral.

Cheung Lai-wan, 44, who has four children and receives welfare payments, said yesterday she was relieved to hear that a reader had mailed her a cheque for $20,000.

Other readers have also said they would send donations. The funeral will cost about $30,000.

Ms Cheung said the Social Welfare Department had not yet given her compensation for the accident, which was caused when the police van allegedly ran a red light while rushing to a suicide rescue. Police were still investigating the accident, a spokesman said.

Other organisations, including a hospital and a newspaper, had agreed to assist Ms Cheung but had not come up with the cash as of yesterday, she said.

She said she was very grateful for readers who had offered help. 'Please thank them for me,' Ms Cheung said. 'Thank you. Thank you.'

The donor who sent the $20,000 cheque asked that he not be named but explained why he had been so generous.

'When I first read the article, I felt sad for a relatively young woman with four children,' said the donor, who owns a financial services company. 'Certainly, without the husband it's even more difficult. I always feel sad when someone has a funeral. For the Chinese, it's very important and it has a different meaning. It must be done properly.

'I always feel sad for children with no father. I come from a family of many children, but we had a father for a long time.'

Ms Cheung's husband, Chan Hoi-chak, 55, died last Tuesday while on duty in Kwai Chung. The couple had been separated for six months. They had three daughters and a son, aged seven to 17.

Ms Cheung has been getting by on social welfare payments and her job as a kitchen worker at a fast-food restaurant. She said her husband was a drug addict and did not give her money.