The Longest Farewell

April 8, 2003, at 11.00am, your funeral officially began once again under the rain. The funeral service wasn't open to the public, but only allowed the closest friends and family in. There were some 200 attending guests.

"Wind continues to blow, reluctant to leave far, heart has tears unwilling to shed tears to look at you..." Beautiful music has accompanied friends and family's tears and bid farewell to you of everyone's hearts.

Your altar was decorated primarily in white. Your family all wore black with Tong Hok Tak: he was sitting next to you. Your photo was a still from 'He's a woman, she's a man', personally chosen by Tong Tong. White roses and lilies surrounded it, since they are your favourite flowers.

Tong Tong's heart shaped floral arrangement said: "Ah Jai, Heaven and Earth may end one day, but this love is everlasting", while the wreath from Florence Chan had the following words: "My beloved Leslie: The wind blows on".

D.J. Suzie Wong gave a simple introduction of your life and even edited your interview footage so everyone could hear your voice again. Suzie Wong also mentioned, on December 9 1982, you met Mr. Tong Hok Tak at the Regent Hotel. On January 2 1983, you began your romance of 20 years. This sentence was quoted on the memorial booklet that every guest received at the ceremony.

"Cheung Kwok Wing was born on Sept 12, 1956 in Hong Kong; Virgo; O-blood type; was the youngest among the 10 brothers and sisters. Elementary school was St. Louis, secondary school was Rosary Hill. Went to the UK when 13 years old, and went into Leeds University studying textiles. 1977 when 21, Gor Gor joined the Lai-Tik TV Asian singing contest, won 2nd place with 'American Pie', and signed a 5-year-contract; from the position of a host, to singer, and into the show-biz. First album was 'Day Dreaming'; first film was 'Erotic dream of the red chamber'.

1982, December 9th, Gor Gor met Mr. Tong at the Regent Hotel, the two of them began on January 2nd a relationship that was to last longer than 20 years.

Gor Gor in 1982 became singer for Capital Artists; 1983 with the song 'Wind continues to blow' became the first golden album ever achieved in the 7 years since joining the show-biz. 1984 with 'Monica' first time acheiving the white-gold album selling record and other awards; his career officially started rising. 1985 the first 10 shows of personal concert held at the HK stadium, 1986 the second time. 1987 joined Cinepoly, and became the contract actor with the Cinepoly film company. 'No mood to sleep', 'Stand Up', 'Who echoes with me'.. non-stopping golden songs; 'A better tomorrow', 'A Chinese ghost story', continuous great movies.

Gor Gor in 1988 held concert for the 3rd time; released his first personal photo album 'Stark Impression'. 1989 September, Gor Gor was 33, announced his retirement from the stage. In December held 33 shows of 'Final Encounter' farewell concert and officially put away his mic. 1990 migrated to Vancouver, Canada; came back to Hong Kong after 1 year. 1991 with 'Days of being wild' the first time winning Best Actor at the HK film award. 1992 with 'Farewell my concubine', with the character Cheng Dieyi, won award from the Cannes film festival. 1994 the American Golden Globe Best Foreign Film Award, and the Japanese Film Critics' Association's Best Actor Award. 1995 joined Rock Records, officially returned to stage. 1996 December held the 'Leaping over 1997 concert' and did a world tour. 1999 joined Universal Records. 2000 world tour, until 2001 ending it with 'Passion Tour - The Grand Finale', drawing a perfect full-stop. In the same year first time directing with the anti-smoking film 'Ashes to ashes'.

2002, the last film 'Inner Senses'. 2003, Gor gor's 88th personal album being recorded, April in the same year he passed away."

After Suzie Wong's speech Jacky Cheung sombrely said, "Gor Gor's passing is like one day the sky no longer has stars. What do we do in total darkness? With Gor Gor's passing, the sky suddenly seems to have one 'bright star' less and only loneliness and emptiness remain. Gor Gor has said to me, 'Hok Yau, when will we work on a musical together?' Now we no longer have the chance, will we meet again in our next lifetime or perhaps in another place? I hope we will meet again." Jacky described you to be nearly the 'perfect artist' on stage - you could sing, could act, and had the good looks. And that he couldn't see how there can be anyone in the future who'd be have such natural talents and such splendid achievements.

Tsui Hark's praised you for your intimate sincerity and honest smile, as well as your passion for your work and professionalism.

James Wong said you was considerate, not only to your friends and family, but also to those who work with you and for you. He still remembered in 2001 when you completed your world tour, you held a celebrating at the Jockey Club. You carefully prepared a big gift for each and every one of your crew as well as your autographed record. You knew each of their name by heart. Wong also said that your passing may be revelation to everyone that nothing is certain in life; perhaps you wanted to tell everyone to learn to cherish and protect beautiful things that we already have. He said "Leslie Cheung had been a treasure given to us by Heaven; but at the same time he was taken away at his most splendid moment," He started to weep, "Maybe this is a sign telling us to value everyone and everything that we have now..."

One of your twin-nieces gave the final speech. She called you the '10th uncle'. During her speech she recalled the old days when she was still a kid, when you came to tutor her and her sister, and how you brought them to the department store and how they nagged you to buy them a nice pencil case. You at that time told them that if they improve in school, you'd buy them the pencil case; at the end their marks didn't really improve, but '10th uncle' still bought them the two pencil cases.

When the niece recalled you, she said that last year's April when '10th uncle' met with her to go to the grave of grandmother (your mom), that was the time when you told her that you had the depression syndrome, and that the illness was quite severe. You told her that you found it really tough, and even told her to value life and value time. She also clarified that she believed strongly that you died from the depression illness, that that she hopes the public will stop their guessing. At the end, although you left, she thanked Uncle Daffy (Mr.Tong) very much, for being with '10th uncle' all the time, and for helping you out with all his salaries during your most difficult times. She did not forget to comfort their uncle's most beloved Tong Hok Tak. She expressed that last year she already knew you had depression and tried to take time to spend with you, listen to you and personally witnessed the pain that depression has brought you. You have once said that when your career was at a low, Tong Tong was your biggest supporter who lent you several months of his salary to get you past the hard times; she has also seen how much Tong Tong loved you. She believed that you besides missing everyone should miss Tong Tong the most. She hoped that everyone will continue to live properly and everyone will miss you forever. From you two she was able to learn the greatness of love, and that you should have no regrets, having found a partner like this. At the end she said: "10th uncle, you rest in peace, me and sister will always miss you. Thank you for your kindess, thank you for your smile, thank you for your everything."

After your friends gave their speeches, the funeral played a long clip showing shots from MTVs and films, accompanied by your songs; the ending was taken from 'Days of being wild' - the shot where you walked away alone in the thick fog. After the short film ended, they began to show a whole series of picture-slides; beginning from your childhood. A lot of photos with you and Mr. Tong also proved the tough times the two of you fought through together.

Then Mr. Tong and the ten or so closest people with you stepped into the curtained room to take the last look at you and to officially close the casket. The group guarded the casket outside, and the whole group of attending guests stood up and gave the casket their last bows. The precious casket was covered with your favourite white roses and lilies; after the guests gave their bows, the group of 8 got ready - Jacky Cheung, Lam Chik, Tsui Hak, Tony Leung Kar-Fai, Stanley Kwan Kam-Pang, Lau Pui-Kei and two of your friends, with Mr. Tong standing at the back, guarded the casket closely into the van. The song 'The moon represents my heart' was played, at this time all the guests present broke down into tears. Anita Mui was so weak that she had to be lifted and supported onto the bus.

Mr.Tong managed well during the whole program, wearing a neat set of black suit, black tie, with a white rose on his chest, sitting at the first seat, front row among the Cheung family, giving thanks to all the guests who attended. Many friends who came comforted Tong and gave him a tight hug. At the end where the family members took their last look at the body, Tong was given 10 minutes alone to give his last words to you. He put a fareweel love letter in your hands. At that time Tong already cried to the point of collapsing with his body bent down, and had to be lifted up with the help of friends. When the casket was guarded into the van, Tong could barely walk the short distance and had to be supported by the driver and assistant Kenneth.

The van, decorated and completely covered in flowers, left the funeral home at 12:15pm. Your niece sat in the front next to the driver, holding your photo, crying continuously. When the van drove out of the funeral home onto the street; the thousands of fans waiting outside - men, women, old and young people - waved and shouted "Leslie" and "Gor Gor" furiously; many fans raised their posters, photos, old albums and flowers; some fans repressed their tears and clapped loudly giving you their last round of applause, some fans even immediately broke down in tears hugging each other. Many fans screamed: "Gor Gor, please don't leave!" looking at the van driving far away, many fans reached out their hands trying to grab. Two fans even cried so much that they fainted on the ground. The fans refused to leave even after the van had long left, remaining their quietly with their heads down.

Around 12:45 pm, the van arrived the crematorium. Before they arrived, there were already some groups of fans waiting there, crying "Leslie!" non-stop. The sorrow touched everyone who were present, including the press. Inside the crematorium, Mr. Tong was in charge of the cremation service. Being all in tears already, he pressed the button with his trembling finger and sent away your body. At this time Tong completely collapsed, hugging with the ten or so family members.

After that, the group went to gather at Kong-Lai Conrad Hotel for the comforting meal. There were 18 tables full of your friends and family. During the meal Tong hugged warmly with good friends like Fei Fei, Teresa Mo and others. At around 4:20 pm, Tong left. He had remained silent to the press the past 2 days. But for the past week he had gone to the funeral home every night to see your body and to talk to you.

Among celebrities and friends once again Florence Chan with her son, Eliza Chan, Teresa Mo and her husband, Alan Tam, Hacken Lee, Anita Yuen, Cheng Chi-Lam, Stanley Kwan, Tony Leung Kar Fai, Ti Lung, Eddie Lau, Chow Yun Fat with his wife, Anita Mui, Nicholas Tse, Patrick Tse, Dicky Cheung, Tang Kwong Wing, Law Mei-Mei, Pansie Ho, Willie Chan, Chingmy Yau, Karen Mok and his mother, Derek Yee, Law Chi Leung, Vincent Kok, Raymond Wong, Andy Hui, Alfred Cheung, Edison Chan and his father, Fei Fei Lydia Shum, Aaron Kwok, Gordon Chan, Sandra Ng, Faye Wong, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Carina Lau, Grasshoppers, Anthony Wong Yiu Ming, Anna Ueyama, Michelle Reis and manager Chan Sin Chi, Sammo Hung, Beyond, Dior Cheng, Choi Yat Kit, Twins and many others attended. Alan Tang said: "Gor Gor left in style, pity for those of us around him..."

All the guests who attended the funeral service was given a little booklet for memories. The cover of the booklet used the same photo from "He's a woman, she's a man"; around 20 pages in total. It contained photos and a clear record of your life experience. Lyrics writer Lam Jik wrote the preface to the memorial pamphlet. "With air, there is wind, wind will continue to blow." Athough Gor Gor has no religious belief, the event pamphlet quoted from the Bible, John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies".





Many thanks to Joanna for source in English - please visit her LESLIE CHEUNG ALWAYS

Other source from HK Top Ten Home Page and HK Entertainment News in Review 1/2/3


More articles: Reuters - The Star - - China Post - Planet Out - - The Data Lounge - EnglishEastDay- EnglishEastDay- The Business Week - The Eletric New Paper - Sanspo - please refer also to all links here.


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