Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 10th 2014 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 10, 2014
Politicians, business people and the common
man have all paid glowing tribute to well known
San Fernando businessman Maurice Soong, who
passed away last Wednesday at the age of 78.
The owner of the popular Great Wall Restaurant,
along Circular Road, died after a long battle with
cancer. A private cremation will take place today,
following a funeral service at Our Lady of Perpetual
Help RC Church, Harris Promenade, at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that dona-
tions be made to the South Cancer Society.
Last year, Soong, who had been in business for
almost half of a century, was honoured as one of
The Unsung Heroes of Mon Repos for his development
of the city of San Fernando.
Former San Fernando West Member of Parliament
Diane Seukeran remembered him as "the loveliest
man ever, an old school gentleman and a successful
She said the success of his business was based on
his integrity, style, charm and warmth. She said he
came from humble beginnings and even though he
rose to prominence, he never lost his humility.
During his lifetime, she said, Soong played the
politics well, embracing politicians of all ilk and party,
an attribute she credited to him having grown up in
her home, which was more like a mini parliament
where her father, the late politician Lionel Seukeran,
"Maurice was my neighbour. He grew up in our
home. He was practically my father s son."
She said it was her father, who persuaded Soong,
while he operated Cherry Blossom Restaurant, not
to rent, but to own and even paved the way for him
to have the business financed.
"I saw Maurice and his wife Brenda work hard to
build their business and they grew with it. All of San
Fernando respected Maurice and Brenda and wished
them well. His death has really hit me and I hope
that Soong s will continue, the way Maurice would
have wanted it."
San Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein, remembered
as a young man growing up, he and his family would
walk to the nearby Soong s Cherry Blossom on Coffee
Street, every Friday. He said aback then, his late
father Rakeeb Hosein was not yet a mayor, but Soong
would always come downstairs in the restaurant to
"His death is a great loss, not only to the San Fer-
nando business community, but a personal loss. He
was a friend of the family, a very humble person. We
had a good relationship and I would miss him."
Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray who
had many memorable experiences at Soong s also
expressed condolences to his widow, Brenda, and
family. Coudray, who also served as CEO of the San
Fernando City Corporation and as mayor said: "Mau-
rice was a dear friend and true patriot who loved
and cared about San Fernando. He made a name for
himself and San Fernando through his business,
Soong s Great Wall, and was a good corporate sponsor
of charitable events in the city. May his soul rest in
Myrtle Ford, the 94-year-old mother of People s
National Movement (PNM) general secretary Ashton
Ford, died on the 21st anniversary of her husband s
passing on Saturday.
Ford said funeral arrangements were being finalised.
He said his mother fell ill last Sunday and never
fully recovered. Ford said he received condolence
messages from many including the political leader
of the PNM Dr Keith Rowley.
He said his father, Charles Ford, was a former PNM
activist and close friend of the country s first prime
minister, the late Dr Eric Williams, and his mother
was a member of the PNM s women s league.
Soong's legacy of love
In a statement, his surviving relatives said he died
peacefully at a private nursing, surrounded by his
"Dad s journey began in Hermitage Village and
continued to San Fernando where he opened Soong s
Restaurant and Soong s Cherry Blossom on Coffee
Street. Believing that San Fernando Hill was truly
one of the most outstanding landmarks in all of
Trinidad, he chose to build Soong s Great Wall on
Circular Road in 1981. This has been one of his
greatest accomplishments. He was most proud of
his beautiful wife, children, and grandchildren and
he was equally proud to call Trinidad his home."
and father of
from left, who
Lara, and his
Ford mother dies
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