Moo Joe Ng 吳 慕 周 - Sheung Liang上 玲, Nga Yiew village 雅瑤村
2 October 1927 — 13 February 2018
Joe was born in the small town of SunTong 新塘, 10 miles from his home village in the early hours of 2nd October, 1927. He grew up in the village of Nga Yeil in Guangdong province in China. His father was Ng Chuen Jack 吳存值 and his mother was Loo Oy Sheng 慮愛常.
From the time he was born, Joe had a very good life. His father had gone overseas to seek his fortune and sent money home to build his family a very comfortable house with 2 bedrooms, bathroom, living room with a courtyard and to provide schooling for Joe which was not available unless paid for. Joe also had a sister Helen who was 4 years younger.
In 1937, at the age of 10 and the start of the Japanese war, Joe‘s father sent for him and arrived in New Zealand meeting his father in Wairoa, whom he hardly knew and living in more primitive conditions than he experienced in China and was taken into the local school to learn a language he didn‘t understand.
Later he moved to Gisborne to stay with the King family and from the age of 16 was on his own again, without his parents. During his lifetime Joe as a single man, frequently moved up and down the country looking for work without complaint. He was 25 years old when he met Mary Young whom he liked instantly and they married in 1953. Mary and Joe went back to Gisborne to build up a fruit shop business and when they sold this they went to Wellington to live and start their family life.
Lygia was born in Gisborne but the family left 6 months later - their first stop in Wellington was NaeNae where Teresa was born and where they also fostered 2 other girls (Margaret and Eileen). A dairy in Newtown came next …. Andrea, Martin and Justin had entered their lives when Joe and Mary took on a fruit shop in Kilbirnie enjoying the stability this brought to family life.
Wellington was where Joe finally settled for over 40 years. He now had a family life of his own, something he yearned for, having not had it in his childhood and there he made friends who would become a significant part of his life forever. His children mention that they too are friends with children of their Dad‘s friends. George Ng was the brother he never had, Tong Cho, Charlie Young, Harry Moon, Jim Tso, Tom Kohing, Gordon Wu - to name a few that have provided support, listened and encouraged him through good and bad times.
Joe was a frustrated architect in hiding so his children have often thought. He built and designed a house in Maupuia, and in Broadmeadows. Joe‘s Eisenhoffer home was stylish, modern and before its time. Over the following years, Joe and Mary owned a few more businesses - bookshops - and then moved back to busy NaeNae. Their children were all at University or independently working by now.
When Joe was in his 60‘s the cold Wellington weather didn't appeal anymore so they shifted to Auckland where for a while they owned a café, but retirement was luring so Joe and Mary settled into a comfortable retirement in Auckland where three of their children live.
In 2007, Mary passed away and Joe missing his life long partner, moved in with his son Martin.
Joe worked hard throughout his life, gaining respect during his 91 years. He was a dedicated husband to Mary, kind loving father and grandfather, friend to many and a successful businessman.
Joe is survived by his sons, Martin, Justin, daughters, Lygia, Theresa and Andrea and their respective families.
- ↑ Adapted from eulogy by Irene Armstrong J.P. in Tung Jung Association of NZ. (2018). Newsletter - Autumn 2018.
Scroll and zoom on the map to explore locations in Wellington of significance to the Wellington Chinese community.
Note: Number in black (eg: 8) indicate more than one place of interest. Please zoom in to view.