It was with great sadness I learnt of the death of King Woo Yong, known as John, on Friday evening, Hermeena relayed the tragic news that her beloved husband and my very good dear friend had passed away. The day before, with my wife, Dr Jennifer Basdeo-Green, and last daughter, Jubilante Deo, we had visited him at the Georgetown hospital. We spent some time there. My wife had intense discussion with the attending physician, Dr Ivan Williams. They relayed what could be done for John and immediately certain initiatives were taken. However, just a few hours later the sad reality put all efforts to nothing.
John by any measure was a patriot par-excellence; a man of impeccable honesty, decency and humility. We all know of his ability to remain calm even in the face of challenge or provocation, such as when he visited City Hall earlier in the week to settle business on behalf of New Thriving. I know of few men who strived so hard to please everyone he came into contact with – his boss, the staff and the customers. The fact that John stayed cool and correct under all conditions was due to his good character, inner moral strength and great faith in life itself.
The world and we, in particular, have lost a truly good, honest, decent man.
At a personal level, as was the case with my wife and children, I held a special affection for this simple hardworking man, so much so, that my last daughter always referred to him lovingly as ‘Uncle John,‘ and so it was that when she got the news of his passing, she chokingly said, “You mean, my Uncle John?” I suspect what she did not express was, who will at short notice put together her favourite wanton soup and other delightful Chinese dishes.
On behalf of the Mayor and City Council, my family and my own behalf, I extend sincere sympathy to his wife, Hermeena, the children, Romeo, Eric, Mellisa, Feona, Brandon and Jonathan and the other relatives. As we say a fond farewell, even as we grieve be consoled that he has left a rich legacy of service and love.