> Home Awards Scholarships by Department Bios Mr. & Mrs. Leon Wong

Mr. & Mrs. Leon Wong

Leon Wong was born in the Year of the Ram on June 4, 1919. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wong Ah Young lived in a little town named Lucea in the parish of Hanover on the tropical island of Jamaica, West Indies. They also operated a family business in the wholesale of bread. At the tender age of three, Leon's parents sent him to his grandmother in China to learn about Chinese culture and heritage. As a result, Leon became a linguist in several Chinese dialects and was a model husband, father, brother and friend. Because he was raised in China, he missed growing up with his siblings, six brothers and nine sisters whom he later met when he journeyed to the western world in 1972. He had four surviving brothers: Sydney, Ronald, Astley, Emerson and eight surviving sisters: Berthebell, Daisy, Amy, Marjorie, Rita, Leonie, Norma, Barbara, The names of his late brothers and sister are Gladstone, Clive and Daphnie.

Leon graduated with honours from the Hong Kong Wah Yan College in 1935. Although he was a quiet gentleman, he was very energetic and aggressive and achieved the pinnacle of his success in the banking and investment business. He joined the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation in 1940 and received his 30 years long service award in 1970. He subsequently retired in 1972 as a Regional Officer managing more than 60 retail banking branches in Hong Kong. He later established himself as a stockbroker and was known for his astute business acumen.

While working at the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, he met and fell in love with a very attractive and vivacious young lady named Susan Foon Chim. She grew up from a traditional Chinese family raised by Mr. and Mrs. Sak Chi Lai in Hong Kong. Susan Foon Chim has three sisters: Yee Ying, Yee Chun, Yee Mui and two brothers: Ho Yin, Kwok Lam. After her high school graduation and some studying in Japanese, Susan Foon Chim joined a Japanese bank as her first career job in Hong Kong. While working in the bank, she met Leon and started their love story. They were married in May of 1949 and celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1999 with pomp and ceremony. Susan Foon Chim became a full time housewife after her marriage. In addition to winning numerous prizes in flower arrangement competition, she is also a self-taught cook with many years of cooking experience. Leon, on the other hand, was always a very kind, patient and loyal husband. He was a generous and supportive father to his daughter Yukmun and his granddaughter Stephanie. He loved his family very much and provided for them royally. His infectious laugh, enthusiasm and love for his fellowmen drew him closer to family, friends and numerous associates.

In addition to his favourite hobbies of investing stocks, horse racing and golf, Leon also studied Chinese medical courses during his leisure time and was a graduate of the Hong Kong Chinese Medical Institute in 1954. He became a lifetime member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club since 1952. He was also a prominent member of the Hong Kong Chinese Recreation Club from 1965 to 1998.

After traveling around the world for five times and visiting almost every country, Leon and Susan decided to migrate to Canada in 1993 so that they could be closer to their immediate family and friends. Their decision was hastened by the expiration of the British lease on Hong Kong in 1997. They moved into a spacious and comfortable condominium located in Scarborough. While Leon looked forward to an active retirement and started to learn golf in the winter of 1997, Susan continued to enjoy her swimming every morning in the recreational centre of their condominium. While enjoying their active retirement lifestyle in Canada, Leon and Susan were always great supporters to the Chinese communities in Toronto with generous donations to several major charitable organizations such as Yee Hong Centre, Mon Sheong Foundation, St. Paul's and also the University of Toronto.

In April of 1998, Leon suffered from a near-fatal cerebral aneurysm. With the special caring support of his wife, he recovered from this serious surgery and returned to normal living. In early October 1999, Leon unfortunately required to undergo another surgery and died suddenly, but peacefully in his sleep on October 13, 1999 at the Scarborough Grace Hospital.

Mrs. Wong generously established the Leon Lee On Wong and Susan Foon Chim Wong / Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Science and in Public Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto, in memory of her late husband.