Tribute to Sir David Tang from the Columban Sisters.
The Missionary Sisters of St. Columban wish to express their sincerest condolences to the family of Sir David Tang on his untimely death on 30th August 2017, may he rest in the peace of the Lord.
David was familiar to the Columban Sisters from childhood both in Hong Kong and later in London. His aunt, Sr. Mary Thomas Chan was a Columban Sister and was his mother Rose’s eldest sister, and his favourite aunt. She was very proud of him, especially when he opened his new business: Shanghai Tang, as his father and mother were great business people. He was the one to come and visit his Auntie in the Columban Sisters’ Motherhouse in Magheramore, Wicklow, Ireland and brought all his family to meet her there. She was indeed a celeb in his life! He also arranged a trip to Hong Kong for her in her later years, to spend time with his mother Rose on her birthday and have a special family reunion stating: ‘my Auntie is still very much part of our family’. He knew time and timing was precious!
Comments from our Columban Sisters who knew him was that he was proud to be Chinese and was a citizen of the universe who stepped lightly and with confidence on our blessed earth. We can carry on the legacy of wisdom that he shared through personal interactions and through the multimedia during his short life. From various sources, he left us with gems and advised us to take each day as it comes and when he was interviewed on ‘the secret of success’ he told us that he never set huge long-term goals for himself but when you see an opportunity, seize it. He talked about taking risks because he claimed that no human progress has ever happened because of what everybody does and thinks.
He received many awards and on winning the Outstanding Asian Achievement Award in Art and Design, he said how lucky he was to have received the gene, to be able see things and design them in such a way that would make a difference to the world. He encouraged that we find within ourselves, the views and angles that others do not see, and how important it is to think outside the box!
David wore the handkerchief pocket of his jacket on the right side, rather than on the left as is customary because he did not want to be the same as the other three and a half billion people! David challenges us to make a difference. He loved life and kept in touch with Sr. Thomas to the end. He attended her funeral in our Motherhouse in Magheramore in May 2014 and David and Lucy loved the bluebells on the grounds and promised to return! In Magheramore he left us with this message:
‘We make a living from what we get; We make a life from what we give’.
All that we can say is that as David has been taken from our midst, and as his loved ones uttered ‘he is gone’, we know that his favourite Aunt, Sr. Mary Thomas was there watching out for his coming at the other side, on the shore of eternity and safely helped him across the threshold saying:
‘Here you come, David, welcome!’
David, you who lived life to the full, may you find rest, fullness of life and joy in the Lord, in Whom you believed.
Farewell from the Columban Sisters.
Sr. Susanna Choi,
(on behalf of all the Columban Sisters).