Eighty-five years ago, a boy was born in a village in Yuen Long. His father named him Lam Kam-yiu, which means 'colourful and shining', and he hoped that the boy would lead a life filled with these qualities. His wish came true. Mr Lam went on to live an extraordinary life. He was in Nanjing during the Nanking Massacre, where he worked as a spy during the second world war. Later, he signed up to work for the Kuomintang and retreated with the party's air force to Taiwan where he stayed for years. Mr Lam said his father gave him much more than the blessing of a name. 'My father was a police officer, in charge of a police station near the village where we lived,' he said. 'In those days, we didn't expect fathers to have a close relationship with their children. Fathers were responsible for earning money and respect for the family, and mine did that well. We knew that he cared for us, although he only talked to us when we asked him things.' Mr Lam said his father never lectured him, but taught by example. He worked hard for his family and treated others with respect. And it was this sense of righteousness, Mr Lam said, that led him to fight for his country in the second world war. Mr Lam returned to Hong Kong with his wife in the 1950s, when the city was still recovering from the war. After a few years, he decided that England would be a better place for his five children. So he packed off for Britain in 1957 in the hope of eventually getting his family over there. It took him 10 years. Despite having experienced war, Mr Lam said the first few years in England were the hardest time in his life. Being in a foreign country facing discrimination and hardship was bearable, he said, but being away from his family, especially his youngest son, then aged only two, was not. That baby boy was Thomas Lam Wai-fat, who today has a university degree from the United States and is happily married with two children - Luke (41/2 ) and Lena (91/2). Thomas said he never blamed his father for not being there when he was young, and understood why he had to be away. 'Though I didn't see him often before I was 12, I always knew that he loved us. My grandma and my sister always spoke very highly of him. I've been proud of my father since I was young,' he said. When he turned 12, he was sent to a boarding school in London. That made it possible for him to see his father more often. Thomas recalls happy memories of going to cinemas and restaurants during his father's lunch breaks. The whole family eventually emigrated to Britain. Although Mr Lam grew up with a distant father, he was a completely different father to his own son. 'My father is an expressive and affectionate guy,' Thomas said. 'He gave us assurance that no matter what happened, he would always be there for us. He was always willing to listen and tried his best to understand my feelings.' Thomas said he treated his own children the same way his father treated him, because he believed that expressing his love and care instilled a sense of confidence in them. 'I always spare time for them. They are always my top priority.' As the head of his family, he said he provided not only material comforts but also mental and spiritual support. 'I want to be their role model, just like my father was mine. Society is becoming more complicated. I have to guide them to build a moral foundation so that they won't go astray when they grow up.' Being a good father was no easy task though, he said. Setting consistent rules was one challenge, and so was finding the balance. He did not want to be too strict but he did not want his children to become spoiled, either. So how is Thomas doing as a father to his son Luke? When asked why he loved his father, Luke said: 'I love him because he buys me toys!' When asked again, what if he didn't buy toys, Luke said: 'I'd still love him because he is my father. He loves me.' For this Father's Day, Mr Lam and his wife, and Thomas, his wife and the children will have dinner together. And as in every father's heart, it seems that there is only one optimal gift for the occasion. 'I hope that they will treat me the same way [as I treat my father] after they grow up. That is my wish,' Thomas said.