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Mourning Mr Chan Nam's passing

I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn from the newspaper that my good friend and veteran media worker Mr Chan Nam has passed away due to illness. It was only last year that I saw him briefly at the National Day reception hosted by the press sector. Knowing that he had suffered from a serious illness, I was glad to see that he looked healthy at that time. It never occurred to me that it would be the last time that I saw him.

Time flies. I remember that I came to know Mr Chan more than three decades ago. At that time, the Mainland of China was in the early stage of reform and opening up. The country intended to draw on Hong Kong's professional systems and skills, and Chinese-funded organisations in Hong Kong planned to expand their services to the whole local community. For example, some Chinese banks here began to develop their property mortgage lending business. Such developments were often covered by Wen Wei Po, a newspaper showing strong support for the country and Hong Kong. I gave interviews and submitted articles to this newspaper from time to time to express my views on related issues.

In 1980, the Association of Experts for Modernization was set up, as initiated by lawyer Ms Liu Yiu-chu. As a member of the Association, I went to the Mainland at weekends and on holidays to hold training courses on a voluntary basis. At that time, Wen Wei Po provided much-needed support and assistance for our work on the Mainland, so I had frequent contact with its editorial team, and made the acquaintance of Mr Chan and other young reporters there. As we were of roughly the same age then and had similar interests and aspirations, we got along with each other very well. Many a Friday, I would go to Wen Wei Po's office on Wan Chai Road near midnight to visit them. After they finished their work for the day, we would go out together to eat and have a nice chat about everything, including current affairs.

Mr Chan joined Wen Wei Po in 1978 after graduating from the University of Hong Kong. As a graduate of such a prestigious institution, he could have easily got a good job with a handsome salary. It was because of his zeal and aspiration to contribute to the country that he took up a less well-paid job with a traditional, patriotic newspaper. I always respect him for his pursuit of ideals and the sacrifice that he made.

For many years, Mr Chan dedicated himself to the press, first in Wen Wei Po and then in Hong Kong Commercial Daily. He went through the ups and downs and many crises of the newspaper industry but remained devoted to his job as a media worker out of his love for the country and Hong Kong, making remarkable achievements and valuable contributions along the way. All his friends and peers feel sorry about his passing in his prime, which is also a great loss to the press sector.

Mr Chan was a modest and optimistic person. He was kind and amiable, and treated others in a forthright and sincere manner. Although he has left us, he still lives on in our hearts. He will always be remembered for his passion and high hopes for the country and its people.

May 18, 2015