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Elsie Tu

Elsie Tu offered ‘respect of all residents’ as three Hong Kong leaders including CY Leung carry her coffin

In a first for a Hong Kong funeral, three past and present chief executives step in as pallbearers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 December, 2015, 1:14pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 December, 2015, 1:22pm

Hong Kong’s chief executive and his two predecessors were among the pallbearers at the funeral of legendary politician Elsie Tu this morning.

Tu, who was a champion of the underprivileged, died at 102 earlier this month.

Giving a four-minute speech, Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying praised Tu for her enthusiasm for the society.

“She had been helping the poor since the 1950s ... and devoted her life for democracy. Even in the latter days of her life, as long as her health permitted, she wrote to newspapers to give her analysis [on current issues]. Her arguments were clear and sound,” he said.

“Today we say goodbye to her. The society feels sad about departure, and I represent all residents in expressing respect. We will miss her.”

READ MORE: ‘She was a giant’: Last tributes to legendary politician Elsie Tu

After the speech, the chief executive bowed to pay tribute to Tu. He then joined former chief executives Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in carrying Tu’s casket.

It was the first time that the city’s current chief executive and the two former leaders of the city were among the pallbearers in a funeral.

Two students from Mu Kuang English School, co-founded by Tu, told the press how thankful they are for their school’s former superviser.

Form 5 student Lee Tzu-shan, 16, said: “I admire her for devoting her life [to] the Hong Kong community ... I’ll work hard and fulfil my responsibilities, that’s the best way to remember her.”

Another girl, surnamed Shi, recalled meeting Tu at the school’s sports days.

“She told us to study hard and have fun ... I thank her for contributing to Hong Kong and founding my good school, I’ll do my best at the DSE exam next year.”

A cremation ceremony at the Cape Collinson Crematorium in Chai Wan was held after the funeral and Tu’s ashes were buried with the remains of her husband, Andrew Tu Hsueh-kwei.