Tam Chen's 80th.

Hugh Ferguson
3rd August 2009, 19:05
I'm sure that all Blue Funnel people will be more than happy to wish (Tam Chen, as we knew her in the fifties and sixties. Now she is known as Wai Jane Tam, and lives in San Jose, U.S.A.)
On, (or about) the 27th August she will be celebrating her 80th birthday. She will be surrounded by her large family-in fact I have lost count of the many grand children she has. Sadly, two will be missing, her husband Jacky Cheng and her youngest son who died recently at the age of just 41.

There must be many hundreds of Blue Funnel people who will remember her and will want to wish this lovely lady a Very Happy 80th birthday.

Sister Eleff
3rd August 2009, 23:06
I never knew the lady but please pass on sincere best wishes for her birthday. From your previous posts, it sounds as if she was a wonderful character and made life a little easier for many a seafarer.

4th August 2009, 06:47
Happy Birthday Tam Chen, and best wishes to all your family.
I was lucky enough to buy a suit made by your husband Jacky in 1968 and still have it to this day.
Best wishes from a very satisfied customer.

4th August 2009, 09:40
Greetings and a very happy birthday Tam Chen.

Barber Hector
29th August 2009, 21:29
I echo the birthday greetings above and have enjoyed your company and that of Jacky in the past.
Hope you have many more.

29th August 2009, 22:04
I also purchased a suit from Jacky, measure at morning smoko, fitting at lunch time, suit at 1600 hours. Then of to bright lights of Nathan Road.
I remember your happy smiling face in the shop further up from the President
Hotel .
Happy Birthday.


Hugh Ferguson
30th August 2009, 22:19
I've had an E.mail from Tam Chen's daughter, Rita, thanking everyone-on behalf of her mother-for all of the birthday wishes. She has been very touched,especially for the cards containing many signatures from old Blue Funnel people. (One of them happened to be in Hong Kong on the day her youngest son-who recently died aged 41-was being christened and had been invited to the ceremony).
Rita mentioned that she was taking her mother to Hawaii for a holiday and to meet an old Chinese friend there.

Hugh Ferguson
31st October 2010, 17:04
I've just unearthed a letter from the dear sweet lady, dated July 5th 2003, in which she writes:-
"I'd received your letter and was so thrilled that there are so any people who remember my sisters, my (late) husband and me. My days working in the ships left me a lot of memories. It was there my sisters, my husband and I made a living. It was there I met my husband, it was there I knew you and all the members of the Blue Funnel Association...............I'm so happy that I can stay in touch with you and other friends. Can you please send my regards to all the members of the association. I think it will be nice to let them know that I have them in mind even though we are so far apart."

Tam Chen, as she was when I first met her and her two sisters in Feb.1946,
did not have an easy time during her younger years. She had had to endure the hardship of the Japanese occupation which, in early 1946, had only ended just a matter of months before.
Despite those extremely difficult beginnings she and her husband, Jacky, with a mixture of enterprise , long hours and shear hard work, made good.
Eventually raising 4 children three of whom were to gain qualifications in American colleges. That enabled them to become American citizens before the ending of the lease of Hong Kong to the British.
What extraordinary enterprise to achieve that from such humble and difficult beginnings that I first knew her to be suffering in 1946.
She now lives with her family in San Jose.