Obituary: Francis TONG Man Kan 唐敏勤 BSc(Eng) MSc FHKIE

The Sad News - 25th April 2008

I received a phone call from Peter Lam Kin Seng on 25th April 2008 bearing the sad news that Mauntgan had passed away in Queen Mary Hospital that morning.  I had earlier heard that Mauntgan was suffering from a rare immue system disease that had kept him from seeing us.  Gregory Lam Kwai Bun who lives next door to Mountgan told me that our dear friend had been sick for a good nine months or so.

Vigil Mass - 1st May 2008

Peter Lam, Patrick Lam, Mario Lee, Gregory Lam, Stephen Siu, Edmund Cheung, Peter Lau Chiu Yin, James Chan Pak Ling and myself attended the vigil ceremony in the HK Funeral Palour on 1st May. I ordered three wreaths. One on behalf of the Class of 67; a second one for our classmates in Toronto as requested by Eric Chan; and a third one for Chan Ka Bun and his wife Genevieve. A Catholic priest named Fr. Lawrence (spelling to be confirmed) celebrated Mass with beautiful vocal and guitar backing courtesy of Mauntgan's niece and her father. 

 

 

The Service - 2nd May 2008

Representatives of the Buildings Department and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers spoke highly of Mauntgan's professional achievements and his contribution to society. It was only then when we learned about Mauntgan's attainment as a deputy director of the Buildings Department. He was a well respected scholar in steel structural engineering in Hong Kong. He was responsible for the construction of the Cultural Centre and the Museum of Coastal Defence and other well known buildings. Little did we know that the two structures we encountered and admired most during our 40th Reunion last year had an intimate link with our beloved classmate.  I am sure these places will remind us of Mauntgan next time we visit them.  (Photos: Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui (left) and Museum of Coastal Defence in Shaukeiwan)

 

We also learned that Mauntgan's love for sports did not stop after graduation from Wah Yan. Indeed, he played an important role representing BD in a variety of sports, including cycling.  He was also an active member of the HK Institution of Engineers who commended high respect among his peers as well as young students studying structural engineering.

It was drizzling when we got to the Chai Wan Catholic Cementer. The sky was getting darker as we made our way to burial ground lot. G4. There were puddles of muddy water in the narrow path leading to it.  The priest led us to say the burial prayers for Mountgan as the rain got rather heavy.  We huddled up under umbrellas that blanketed a good part of the hill side. When we were on our way out, the sky stopped weeping and cleared up a bit. I turned to take a last look and was pleased to realize that Mauntgan's resting place enjoyed a commanding view of Hong Kong Island East and beyond.  As an engineer expertise in maximizing useable space all his life, he wouldn't have it any other way, I thought. 

Our prayers for Francis Tong Man Kan and condolences to his wife Sarah, daugher Vicky and son Robin.

- Nicholas Tsui

 

Ball Chai (in white) bidding a long farewell to Mauntgan in the rain.

 

It cleared up a bit as we were leaving.  The view from Lot G4 was fine.