Devotion rewarded for 10 mothers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 May, 2006, 12:00am

For Yau Chun, the best gift of Mother's Day is seeing her mentally retarded son being able to take care himself, a result of her persistence in inspiring him even when the family was in financial straits.

Ms Yau, 57, a former director of a textile company, was faced with a $300,000 debt after a business failure 10 years ago. To make matters worse, her husband abandoned the family, leaving the burden of three daughters, a son and a mother all to Ms Yau.

She became a cleaner and took as many as three jobs a day at one point. 'Sometimes I worked overtime to as late as 4am,' she said, adding that it took three years for her to repay the debt with a monthly salary of about $8,000.

But no matter how tired she was after work, she insisted on taking her son out to help him get acquainted with the community.

'My biggest wish is to see my son being able to take care of himself,' she said, adding that her son was now a casual worker.

Ms Yau was among 10 mothers recognised by RTHK yesterday for devotion to their families.

Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen gave his mother a surprise by presenting her with a big bunch of flower at the RTHK ceremony without informing her in advance. 'I had lunch with her today, but I deliberately did not tell her that I would be coming,' he said.

The Women and Sport Commission gathered more than 100 active mothers and their children yesterday at Tsing Yi Square to encourage parents to spend time with children by doing sports. The commission also introduced four selected role models of 'outstanding active mothers'. One of them, Li Fai, a mother of a 10-year-old girl and owner of Wushu School, is a world champion in tai chi and has been given the 'Hong Kong Sports Star' award five times.

Restaurants across the city were packed with families celebrating Mother's Day, while other families opted to have dinner at home to avoid the crowds, some getting Yung Kee Restaurant's famous roast goose for takeaway.

Queues formed outside the restaurant in Wellington Street, Central, as early as 5pm.

Restaurant manager Simon Wong Yeung-wai said tables had been booked out a few days ago.

Mr Wong believed each customer would spend nearly $400, compared with about $250 during the economic slump in 2003. The manager said the restaurant supplied 360 roasted geese yesterday, about 75 per cent more than usual.