Wednesday, December 01, 2004

[The Sun 02/12/04]

An Unconventional Funeral for an Unconventional Man

James Wong was known as "Spiritually Talented" and during his lifetime, he often said to his friends: "Without creativity, there is no life." So it was only fitting that such an extraordinary man would have requested for an unusual funeral arrangement with five rather unconventional requests that fitted in with his 'Life of Creativity'.

With James's position in the music world and his life's work for society, his funeral should have been as grand and splendid as those of Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung last year, but James was always a little different and with his final departure, he left us with five 'creations' of his own.

Creation One: Secret Funeral
Since the news broke of James's passing, friends and family have been waiting for the news of when his funeral will be, so that they can pay their final respects. However, the funeral was a private affair that was held in total secrecy. There was no funeral ceremony as the coffin was taken directly from the hospital to the crematorium and many friends were shocked when they heard the news on the television.

Creation Two: No Obituary
When showbiz characters pass away, then there is rarely no announcement in the papers because they are public figures and have many acquaintances. However, the secrecy surrounding the funeral of this father figure of the music world meant that there was no obituary placed for him.

Creation Three: No Leading Photograph
James's funeral was so simple that there was not even a photograph of him leading the funeral cortege and no flowers surrounding the coffin. No wonder that when friends asked about where to send flowers to, they were told that there was 'no hurry', in fact there was actually no need. Even Uncle James's final photograph was in colour and of him wearing a red outfit, certainly unconventional compared with the usual black, white and grey photograph.

Creation Four: No Tributes
With the recent passing of some stars, their family had requested that tributes be made in the form of charity donations, but Uncle James's funeral arrangements were paid for by the family, who stated directly that no tributes were necessary.

Creation Five: Memorial Service at Hong Kong Stadium
Although the funeral of Uncle James was a private and low key affair, there will be a large scale memorial service held at the Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday and it has been announced that visitors do not need to bring flowers as over 10,000 fresh flowers have already been ordered from Holland and will be provided to mourners.

Goodbye Uncle James - You will be remembered for your laughter, your creativity and your unconventionality.


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