I didn’t know the fire
victim was him. He was the shop assistant of a local pharmacy I frequent. He
was bald with face wrinkled putting him in his sixties. That was, however,
compensated by his upright and well-built set. His voice was husky but loud and
clear. He was always humourous and very nostalgic.
He was one of the
three assistants serving at the counter of a popular pharmacy in Lok Fu Plaza. He
lived up to his nickname “gweilo” (鬼佬). Each time when he
handed me the receipt, he said in perfect English “Thank you. See you again”.
When he was idling, he would be humming one of the golden oldies.
All these would not
have impressed me had I not witnessed his kind side. It was his kindness that
made me notice him.
One afternoon, I
walked in the shop wanting to buy a particular brand of shampoo only available
there. There was already a middle-aged Filipino domestic helper at the counter.
He was talking to the other assistant who was at the cashier register. From
their conversation, I knew that this Filipina had returned to the shop to
reclaim the receipt of a purchase she made earlier that morning. He was
murmuring to his colleague that the fault was hers for not getting the receipt
right after the purchase but still they should help her because otherwise she
could not claim the $230. His colleague found him annoying and burst out “shut
up”. What followed was a row. He maintained his poise and continued to reason
with the angry man. The shop owner had to come out to stop them pulling him
outside the shop gently asking him to stop.
He was Yeung Wai-ming,
the 61-year-old man who ran into a blazing flat to rescue his 91-year-old
mother leading to both of their deaths on March 25.
"He was found on top of his mother in the kitchen. It is possible
he found her there and tried to carry her in his arms but he inhaled smoke,
passed out and fell onto her," a police source said