Ms Winnie Yau’s Journey of Faith and Gratitude

Shek Yuk Yu (1972) & Chow Siu Fung (1982)

On behalf of the editorial board, we had the privilege of interviewing Ms Winnie Yau (邱秉維老師) (1959), our beloved teacher who has shown unwavering faith and gratitude despite facing various life difficulties. 

Facing life challenges

Since August 2023, Ms Yau has been facing some health challenges, resulting in her being hospitalized twice.  Since then, her family decided it would be better and safer for her to be taken care of by professional healthcare workers.  Ms Yau’s husband, Mr Wilson Cheung, decided to keep her company and planned to move to a retirement home together.

Unfortunately, this wish has not been materialized as Mr Cheung passed away unexpectedly on 6 January 2024.  His departure came as a shock.  Despite that, Ms Yau found solace in the peaceful rest he had found.  She was even calm and bold enough to make a eulogy in the funeral with much wisdom and humour.  Very grateful for her life-long partner, she described both of them are like complementary and interlocking pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. 

Ms Yau’s health condition is stable, and she is taking regular medication and supplements at present.  She is candid in sharing with readers of our newsletter that she has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia.  As it is a slow growing one, she does not require immediate treatment.  Her specialist doctor will monitor her condition by seeing her once every three months with bloodwork done monthly.

No complaints or regrets; only a deep sense of gratitude

Despite health challenges and the loss of her life-long partner, Ms Yau expressed several times, “no complaints or regrets; only a deep sense of gratitude” (無怨、無悔、只有感恩).  With the support of alumnae, friends as well as pastors and members from her church community, she has managed to adjust well to life in the retirement home.  She always has a lot of visitors who bring her good food, physically and spiritually, as well as much comfort, encouragement and joy.  She is indeed very grateful for their meticulous care and fervent support.

A change of retirement home

Ms Yau will soon be moving to a new retirement home.  For the choice of care homes, Ms Yau told us some consideration she and her family had.  She also shared that many Chinese would like to look for an environment which suits their culture.   So care homes run by organizations like Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care (頤康中心) are really popular among the Chinese community.  Yet, the queues are long. 

About Yee Hong, Ms Yau shared with us further her appreciation to Mrs Florence Wong Chan Man Lai (1967), an esteemed alumna who was the former CEO of the Yee Hong Centre.  Florence was regarded as a pioneer in the delivery of dignified, culturally appropriate care in nursing home.  Through her dedication, she developed the Palliative Care Service, making a significant contribution to serving the Chinese community.  She had also given good advice to our late Miss Chan Wan Fong (陳蘊芳老師), who passed away at the age of 105.  In deep sadness, we were informed about the recent passing away of Florence.  May she rest in peace, and may her legacy continue to inspire us all.*

Love and support from the Ying Wa community

During our interview with Ms Winnie Yau, she shared a heartwarming story of how deeply moved she was by the visitation from Mrs Irene Lee Ma Pui Yiu (Mrs Katherine Chau Ma Pui Kin’s elder sister who joined Ying Wa in 1947 and left after Form 1) and her husband.  Despite their advanced age, they offered to help in Ms Yau's move to the new retirement home.  Their kind gestures touched Ms Yau's heart as well as ours.  The Ying Wa community is indeed full of love, affection and support. 

Ms Yau (second from the left) having dinner with Mr & Mrs Irene Lee and their daughter

Ms Yau's audacious approach to her life assignments serves as a beacon of hope to us all.  Her faith and gratitude to God, and the unwavering support of our alumnae community and friends give us sources of strength and resilience.  Together, let’s continue to support one another through the joys and challenges of life.

*More information about Mrs Florence Wong's remarkable contributions is available at