When Juliette Bergman takes part in the memorial service at Ground Zero this morning, she will shed a tear for friends and workmates who died in the World Trade Centre. Uppermost in her mind will be Hong Kong native Shum See-Wong. Mrs Bergman said Shum, who had built a life for his wife and young family in the US, used to enchant her with tales of his 'beautiful' home town. 'I am still heartbroken that Shum is not with us,' said Mrs Bergman, who fled her 82nd floor office in the Trade Centre's north tower as Shum frantically tried to back up computer data. 'When he wanted to leave with his colleague, it was too late. The smoke in the hallways was too thick.' In the immediate, confused aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the Hong Kong government listed more than 60 Hong Kong residents as missing. Shum was among them, but gradually the list was whittled away as people were accounted for. Shum was ultimately allocated to the list of victims from the US, his country of citizenship. Now there are no Hong Kong victims listed among the official tallies of the dead. Mrs Bergman's pain has eased a little with the passage of time, but her memories of Shum, who was 44 when he died, are as clear as the last time she saw him, four days before the attacks to discuss a meeting they should have had that fateful morning. 'He was in a splendid mood. He laughed and gave me a beautiful smile, which I'll never forget,' she said. 'After he left my office, I remember thinking to myself that I'd never seen him smiling so broadly.' Shum, who was head of the information technology department at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, left Hong Kong in the late 1980s after graduating from the University of Hong Kong with a degree in engineering. But he found a niche in computing, and after moving to New York obtained a degree in information systems and rose quickly through the ranks in his company. Once a committed globetrotter with stamps in his passport from India, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Peru, among other places, Shum settled down in New York, where he married his wife, Rebecca. The couple had a son, Leon, who was six when his father died, and a daughter, Chanel, who was three. 'He was always so energetic and helpful,' said Mrs Bergman, who was Shum's first boss. 'His English was poor, but it improved, and he was promoted. Work was important to him as he tried to make a new life for his family. 'That's why it's so hard that he's not alive. He would tell me about Hong Kong, and that it was a beautiful place but very expensive. I miss him being so upbeat.' As his English improved, Shum became a prolific reader, enjoying science fiction novels and educational articles about science and finance. He was also a keen swimmer. Before he left Hong Kong, Shum, a gifted academic, spent five years as a biology teacher. He also was a prison guard for a short time and worked as a suicide hotline counsellor. Yet travel was his greatest passion, and he ventured out into the world with a guitar and a goatee beard, friends recall. His wife used to joke that she wished he had saved some of his travelling days for after they met. Rebecca still lives with their children in New Jersey, according to Mrs Bergman, who last saw her a year ago at a ceremony in a company conference room named after Shum. 'There is a fund in memory of those who died that gives scholarships to study transportation issues, and the families have a role to play in that,' she said. 'Rebecca looked better.' Mrs Shum left her job, also in IT, and now lives a quiet life dedicated to raising their children, supported by a payout from the 9/11 victims' fund. She could not be contacted for this story, nor could other members of Shum's family, who are believed to be still living in Hong Kong. Mrs Bergman, who is Polish, said she quickly became friends with Shum because they had a common thread of trying to build new lives in a strange new country. 'Our families were not here with us and we felt alone,' she said. 'We used to talk about similar kinds of problems. At first, he wasn't sure if he had made a good move coming to the US.' The two had one other thing in common - they were both survivors of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, a car bombing that filled their tower with choking smoke in 1993. Mrs Bergman says she suffers two kinds of pain - from her own experiences of that awful day and from the knowledge of how the victims were crushed to death as the towers fell. 'To us, the survivors of 9/11, we want to move on, but it hasn't been easy,' she said. 'I'm on anti-depressants, I have post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease because I inhaled too much dust, ash and debris, which damaged my lungs. 'For the victims, I feel survivors' guilt. Shum was young and had his family to look after. I'm still devastated that he didn't make it out.'