Community & Environment

Permanent memorial to Cr Philip Yeung

The late Cr Philip Yueng, with Mayor Andrew King and Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher

A permanent memorial to Cr Philip Yeung will be installed at Claudelands Park, close to the Settlement Centre Waikato where he spent much of his time and was a familiar figure.

Today’s announcement by Hamilton City Council comes on the first anniversary of the passing of the popular and high-profile East Ward councillor.

Cr Yeung passed away after a short battle with cancer on 30 September, 2017. First elected to the Council in 2013, he was into his second term on the Council when he became ill and took formal leave of absence from his position. He had been deputy chair of the Council’s Community and Services Committee.

Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher, who joined Cr Yeung at many community events and spoke at a formal city memorial service at Claudelands in October 2017, says it’s entirely appropriate the memorial to his friend is installed near the Settlement Centre Waikato (formerly Migrant Resource Centre).

“The memorial will take the form of a special plaque, bearing the city’s crest, along with a family picnic table and also a specially selected oak tree,” Deputy Mayor Gallagher says.

“This is the right place for this memorial to Philip – he loved the work of the team at Settlement Centre Waikato and was a significant contributor there.

“I’m sure there will be many people who pause to reflect on Philip’s life when they’re there.”

The memorial has been arranged by the Council’s Community Group, with the support of Cr Yeung’s wife Alice and daughter Jeannie, and the Settlement Centre Waikato.

“This is the right place for this memorial to Philip – he loved the work of the team at Settlement Centre Waikato and was a significant contributor there.

The Settlement Centre Waikato, New Zealand Chinese Friendship Society, Waikato Weekly Chinese Newspaper, Hamilton Chinese Golden Age Society, Hamilton Mandarin Church and the New Zealand Chinese Association (Waikato) have all supported the memorial.

Cr Yeung was Hamilton’s first ethnic Chinese councillor. Prior to his election, he spent 12 years in the role of Ethnic Communities Advisor, within the Council’s Community Development team.

Known for his hard work and tireless efforts to promote unity among the city’s ethnic communities, Cr Yeung was born in Hong Kong in 1956. With their young daughter, Cr Yeung and Alice emigrated to New Zealand in 1996. He held several different jobs, and ran a takeaway store, before joining the Council in 2001.

The memorial is expected to be in place in a few weeks, while Cr Yeung’s contribution to the city and the Council will also be remembered at the 11 October Council meeting.

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