Eternally grateful

Francis Wong and his wife Josephine smile at the camera.

“My father wanted to help a student that needs money to get through medical school. Someone like him, who was so poor, but had the determination to do it. I’m so glad that my dad, even though he’s gone, is still able to help.”

In 1955, a penniless Francis Wong left Hong Kong to build a new life in Canada. A dedicated and loyal man, fuelled by a profound sense of duty, he was sincerely grateful to all those who helped him fulfill his dreams. Beginning with his wife, Josephine.

“He used to say all the time, ‘If it wasn’t for your mom, I wouldn’t have become a doctor. I couldn’t have done it without her taking care of everything else,’” his daughter, Catherine Lott, recalls. While Francis Wong was in medical school, Josephine Wong looked after their household and two daughters while working in an office to help pay for her husband’s tuition.

The couple firmly believed in the value of education, which they saw as the key to a successful life. Mr. Wong was always deeply grateful to the University of Ottawa for admitting him into medical school and allowing him to pursue his dream, so it became important for him to express this gratitude in a tangible way.

And he has done so. The Francis Chu-Yin Wong Financial Aid Bursaries for Medicine Students, which were established through his generous legacy gift, will be awarded for the first time this fall.

“My father wanted to help a student that needs money to get through medical school. Someone like him, who was so poor, but had the determination to do it.

I’m so glad that my dad, even though he’s gone, is still able to help,” said Catherine Lott.

Although Mr. Wong completed his studies in anaesthesiology in 1965, he never forgot the University of Ottawa in the decades that followed. Thanks to these new bursaries, his name will forever be remembered by the institution where it all began for him and his family.

A black and white photo depicts Francis Wong wearing the traditional graduation cap and gown, as he poses alongside his wife Josephine.
Back to top