Respects paid to Sunderland takeaway boss George by the Chinese community he championed
Tributes have continued to flood in for a popular Chinese takeaway boss after his sudden death.
The dad-of-two left his home in Hong Kong with his father Jimmy and brother Danny in 1973 and they set up the Lotus Garden in High Street West.
George went on to launch the Fountain Garden in Queen’s Crescent in Barnes in 1993 when his dad retired.
His wife Peng, 50, and children Julie, 32, and Nigel, 25, have pledged to continue the business in honour of the popular business man.
His funeral cortege will pass the takeaway at around noon on Thursday, October 11, as it makes its way to a Buddhist ceremony at Pennywell Community Centre.
A burial will then take place at 2.30pm at Mere Knolls Cemetery, in Seaburn, a short distance from his family home in Fulwell.
Nigel said: “We’re really appreciative of everyone who has paid their respects to my father.
“My Dad knew a lot of people and had so many friends, there are so many people.
“We’re grateful to everyone.”
Ian Wong, who owns Asiana Fusion based in the Echo 24 building, was known to George as he was his grandmother’s godson.
Ian’s father David moved the family from Warrington to Sunderland when he took on the Lotus Garden in High Street West in 1993.
It had been set up when George’s father Jimmy, along with other son Danny, had moved to Wearside in 1973 from the outskirts of Hong Kong to start a new life.
He said: “I’m over the moon with the respects that have been paid to George and his family.
“He was part of my upbringing and he is the reason my family is in the North East.
“George was very well respected and he did a lot of traditional Chinese dancing and he was also a medical healer, so he did a lot of physiotherapy to help people.”
“He did unicorn dancing, which is in a haka style, and that is also a dialect spoken in the South East of China, and when we say unicorn, we mean it as a mythical creature.
“Dragon, lion and unicorn dancing play a big part in the Chinese events.”
Jimmy Tsang, who runs a food wholesaler which supplies restaurants across the region, is chairman of the North East Chinese Association, which has around 300 members.
He was at the autumn festival event held at the Gateshead Hilton when George collapsed.
“As chairman, I have known George for 30 years and known him since he worked for his dad at the Lotus Garden and then when he set up the Fountain Garden,” he said.
“He was a really kind man, a real friendly man, and his only habit apart from working hard was his family.
“He had been involved with the association for a long time and was always supportive of what we do.
“There are two big celebrations in our year, the Chinese New Year and the autumn festival, which he always supported by doing the unicorn dance. “It was a shock and really upsetting when he became so ill and he had seemed so well when he had come into the room.
“A doctor was a guest and was standing close to him, so he got medical attention straight away, which was a comfort to his family.”
His good friend Akwan Chan added: “He was like a big brother to us.
“He was a very kind man and would often bring in his past and talk about it, so he would bring together the generations.
“He was very generous, a disciplined man and would also cook us lovely delicious meals.”