Tireless champion of people with disabilities

KEN CHONG
July 1949 – October 2007

Ken was born in July 1949 and grew up in the tranquil little town of Taiping in Malaysia. After graduating from high school, he decided to venture into the big wide world. He hitchhiked his way across two continents over 12 months and arrived in London in 1970 where he began his career as a student nurse in the field of developmental disability.

It was during his training days that he met the girl of his dreams, Poh-Lim, who was a student nurse too. They completed their training and got married before deciding to set out for Vancouver, Canada, where they lived for about 18 months. The cold weather got the better of them and they moved to Sydney in 1977 where they settled happily and started work at Marsden Centre (Metro Residences).

Ken was very committed to his work. He was tireless in promoting and facilitating the best possible care and lifestyle for people with disabilities at Marsden Centre. He was well respected by his peers and work colleagues, who were grateful for his drive to ensure a fair go for all nurses through his active involvement in the union.

In 2000 Ken went into retirement after 23 years at Marsden Centre.

Ken was very loving and dedicated to his wife and worked very hard to ensure the best for her. In 1980, a beautiful baby girl was born and the proud parents named her Carolyn. Ken adored his gorgeous daughter and pampered her in every possible way.

Over the years, there was nothing more precious to Ken than Poh-Lim and Carolyn. He was very focused in securing the best possible lifestyle for them. Ken’s happiness culminated with the marriage of his daughter to Ian on 6 October 2007. He was the proudest father of all on that day.

Ken was a very kind, helpful and generous man. There was nothing he would not do to assist anyone in need. When he had visitors, be they relatives, friends or acquaintances, he would extend his utmost hospitality to ensure everyone was well fed and comfortable. He was always cheerful and friendly and was very well liked by everyone who had the privilege of meeting and knowing him.

Tragically, Ken passed away peacefully on 18 October 2007, after a short period of illness. Poh-Lim, Carolyn and Ian, all of whom he loved very much, will miss him for the rest of their lives.

It is most difficult to comprehend that a wholesome and dedicated man like Ken, with so much charisma, can be taken away from us so swiftly.

Ken was a great mate to us all and he will be deeply missed. We certainly have fond memories of our dear friend who touched our lives.
By Michael Chin, Nurses Systems Support Coordinator, Metro Residences