Hua Yong and her husband started their own business after World War II, selling household goods like tablecloths, bedspreads and table runners from China to department store CK Tang and also to foreigners. Seeing the influx of foreigners coming to Singapore, she and her husband couldn’t ignore the opportunity to earn a living. Besides their shop at Sembawang, the 86-year-old mother of four recounted that she would take on the saleswoman role of the business. She would put the items in the car and drive to foreigners’ colonial homes in Sembawang and sell to them. And the business thrived for over 50 years. When her children went overseas, and the foreigners left the Republic to head to their homeland, she and her husband called it quits.
She is a dotting mother and grandmother to her five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Hua Yong said that when her third daughter’s husband passed away in a flying accident, she and her husband moved in to support that daughter and her two children. She took on the duty of ferrying her grandchildren to school until they grew up and left to go to England, and one later going off to Sweden.
The closeness she shared with her grandchildren is not something they have forgotten either after so many years. Both of them take turns coming back to Singapore if there is opportunity to visit her, as they miss and love her. They also call her. “I thank God my grandchildren are very loving towards me, from young till now. I am happy about this. It is difficult to find such grandchildren like this,” said Hua Yong.