ADELAIDE – Celebrating his milestone at the Estia nursing home in Adelaide was not only the reason to bring a smile to centenarian Joseph Fung, but to receive a congratulatory message from the Queen herself is definitely not a norm of life!
Clare Fung, a niece, shared about her uncle Joseph, who happens to be the third elder brother of the late Bishop Simon Fung. They are the sons of the late Thomas Fung Tai, one of the first Chinese catechists in North Borneo.
For 47 years Thomas Fung Tai had served 25 missionaries – not only as catechist but also as cook, messenger and interpreter. He was conferred the Cross Pro Ecelesia et Pontifice by the Holy Father.
Joseph is the third in a brood of eleven, born in Sabah, and married to Mary Lim in February 1936.
He and his wife, along with their youngest son, arrived in Australia in August 1974, joining the three sons they had sent to study in Adelaide.
Wendy Fung said her father-in-law is “a living treasure,” whom they are truly blessed to have.
“He is a devout Catholic, a man of great humility, a true gentleman,” she said.
Joseph has 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, with a great-great grandchild on the way, and stays active with daily walks around the nursing home.
On hand to celebrate with him were the nursing home staff who organised a tea party for him on the morning of 21 May 2016, while a sit-down dinner in the evening saw a gathering of family members and friends from Malaysia, Canada, Perth and Sydney. – Clare Fung