Family comes first in parting fit for a kingLocal | Erin Chan 9 Jul 2020
Family members paid tribute to casino king Stanley Ho Hung-sun amid a sea of flowers on the first day of a three-day funeral for the late "casino king."
Ho passed away at the age of 98 at the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital on May 26 due to organ failure.
A vigil for the family was held at Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point yesterday, with a public ceremony to be held today from 2pm to 10pm.
Ho's portrait at the center of the hall was surrounded by green turf, red and white roses, orchids and hydrangea.
The choice of the flower decoration at the vigil follows the Cantonese ritual for the deceased called "Happy Farewell," which is for people who have passed away at the age of 80 or above.
A plaque was placed near the ceiling of the hall, written by SJM Holdings vice-chairman and chief executive Ambrose So Shu-fai.
Three funeral wreaths from Ho's three surviving wives were placed in front of the photo, with words expressing their reluctance to part with their deceased husband.
The wreath by Ho's second wife, Lucina Laam Jean-ying, reads "grow old together."
"The pain [of losing Ho] is as painful as a music instrument breaking its string."
The wreath by Ho's fourth wife, Angela Leong On-kei, reads "unforgettable affection."
Clementina Leitao, Ho's first wife, passed away in 2004. Before that, she had suffered from chronic intestinal issues and became wheelchair-bound due to a car crash.
Wreaths from Ho's 16 children were placed behind those of Ho's wives.
Flowers and elegiac couplets that pay tribute to Ho, such as those from Queen's College, Ho's alma mater, were also there.
It is understood that Ho's family booked four floors of the funeral home, which can accommodate thousands. The cost on the flowers alone exceeded HK$2 million.
All family members did not speak to the press.
Starting from noon, the children of Ho and his second wife Laam, including Daisy Ho Chiu-fung, Pansy Ho Chiu-king, Maisy Ho Chiu-ha, actress Josie Ho Chiu-yee, Lawrence Ho Yau-lung were seen entering the funeral home.
His third wife, Ina Chan Un-chan, and children, including Laurinda Ho Chiu-lin, Florinda Ho Chiu-wan, Orlando Ho Yau-kai were also seen arriving.
His fourth wife Leong and children, including Arnaldo Ho Yau-heng, Alice Ho Chiu-yan and Mario Ho Yau-kwan, Sabrina Ho Chiu-yeng were also present.
However, the family vigil made an exception for Emperor Group chairman Albert Yeung Sau-shing and his son Alex Yeung Ching-lung, who also attended the vigil.