Susan HOU

 
 
 
 

 

Susan HOU

I always felt like I was intruding on others when I knocked on the door of a participant for the first time. It is an odd moment that repeatedly puzzles me. Thankfully, as when visiting many other families, I was met with a ‘sunshine’ smiling face when I visited Susan HOU [侯關慧言]. Susan is a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong. Born as a war baby in China in 1937, she moved to Hong Kong in 1950 and then to New Zealand in 1965 with her husband Lawrence HOU [侯欽賢].

We spent the whole morning talking about her life in the different places that she had once lived. Speaking in Cantonese brings us close together, like good old friends. When I asked her about the Queen's Service Medal that she was awarded in 2009, she modestly replied she has given it to one of her grandchildren and her service to the Chinese community isn’t worth mentioning. She would rather talk about her four sons and their families.

On the wall, she hangs a series of four panels of Chinese seasonal flowers, spring orchid, summer bamboo, autumn chrysanthemum and winter plum blossom. For Susan, what she cherishes most are the symbolic meanings of these flowers that represent the different qualities of a gentleman. High up on the top of the shelf at the corner wall, she displays the photographs of her sons Sam [志明], Tim [志斌], David [志輝] and Andrew [𠎀] — the four gentlemen.

 

King Tong HO

2018


 

侯关慧言

每当初次拜访参与家庭、叩门时我都有打扰人家的感觉,这异样感觉重复困扰着我。拜访侯关慧言那天,幸运地就像很多拜访过的家庭一样,迎来的是她阳光般的笑靥。她从香港移居于此,是第一代移民。一九三七年出生于中国的她,是战时婴儿。一九五零年迁居香港,又在一九六五年与丈夫侯钦贤移居纽西兰。

整个上午,我们谈及她居住过的不同地方的日常生活。说着粤语,就像老朋友一样,拉近了我们之间的距离。谈到她在二零零九年获颁授英女皇服务勲章,她谦逊地说已送给了孙子,亦表示为华人社群的服务工作、不值挂齿;宁愿多谈谈她的四个儿子及他们的家庭。

墙上挂着四张一套的中国四时花卉屏风画:春兰、夏竹、秋菊和冬梅。她珍视这些花卉所代表君子四种品德的内涵。而墙角高架上,放着她四个儿子:志明、志斌、志辉和志杰的肖像 — 四 君子。

 

何经棠

2018


 

侯關慧言

每當初次拜訪參與家庭、叩門時我都有打擾人家的感覺,這異樣感覺重覆困擾着我。拜訪侯關慧言那天,幸運地就像很多拜訪過的家庭一樣,迎來的是她陽光般的笑靨。她從香港移居於此,是第一代移民。一九三七年出生于中國的她,是戰時嬰兒。一九五零年遷居香港,又在一九六五年與丈夫侯欽賢移居紐西蘭。

整個上午,我們談及她居住過的不同地方的日常生活。說着粵語,就像老朋友一樣,拉近了我們之間的距離。談到她在二零零九年獲頒授英皇服務勲章,她謙遜地說已送給了孫子,亦表示為華人社群的服務工作、不值掛齒;寧願多談談她的四個兒子及他們的家庭。

牆上掛着四張一套的中國四時花卉屏風畫:春蘭、夏竹、秋菊和冬梅。她珍視這些花卉所代表君子四種品德的內涵。而牆角高架上,放着她四個兒子:志明、志斌、志輝和志傑的肖像 君子。

 

 

何經棠

2018