Dr. YAU Chi-hi, MD (WY68) passed away on January 18, 2010 in TorontoEnlarge

(Picture of Chi-hi from the booklet of Expansive Club of WY68 courtesy of David Mok)

Dr. Lo Chi-man (68) remembers him:  

Chi Hi Yau was a 1968 Form 5 graduate from Wah Yan College , H. K, S. J. During secondary school he represented Wah Yan to compete at the Hong Kong Music Festival in "poetry recitation" and won several honors for our Alma Mater. He finished Upper 6 Science in 1970, also at Wah Yan, before moving to the United States to start college. He graduated from Princeton University with a baccalaureate degree in 1974 and went on to study medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City , graduating with an M.D. degree in 1977. He completed his internship and residency in Medicine at Bronx Municipal Medical Center and did his fellowship training in nephrology in Tornoto General Hospital . He had a internal medicine practice in Toronto . He passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness several days ago. He is survived by his wife, Matilda, an oncologist practicing in Toronto , a daughter, Andrea, and a son Kevin.  

Andy Ng added: Chi was the loving and caring father of his kids, and uncle of his nephews and nieces (both Yaus and Matilda Ngs families) providing guidance and help. He had a pleasant personality, always wearing a smile. He was easy going but could be meticulous in planning and could go for a perfect solution. Chi had a cruise and a trip to China last year and was planning a family reunion cruise this year. He was professional as a doctor as he treated his fellow passenger during the cruise. He was loved by his patients and they had high praises for him.  

Lo Chi-man continued: Other than our classmates in Toronto , I probably know Chi Hi for the longest time, and definitely spent the most time by his side during the formative years. I visited his home at Happy Valley while still in secondary school, and got to know some of his family. His brother, King Fei was Head Prefect who menaced us when we were young and ignorant in Form 2. Another brother offered several of us (I think the group included Doug Wong Ying Tak and Angelo Yip Chun Tat) temporary employment after Form 5 for a project "counting cars" at a street intersection. Several years later I visited this brother of Chi Hi at his home, who told me he was working for a "petrol" company in 1968. The "counting" project he conducted was the first "field survey and marketing study" ever conducted in Hong Kong . Another brother, King Wei, is a well known Howard Hughes medical researcher at John Hopkins Univeristy. King Wei was the one who first told me that Chi Hi has just passed on.  

It was during Form 5 we grew closer. I remember Fr. McCarthy commented the five Chi's (Yau Chi Hi, Ma Chi Ming, Lai Chi On, Chan Chi Kueng and me) sitting together simply confused him. Chi Hi told me the near misses of his family. They lived in Ming Yuen Street West during the deluge of 1966, and Kotewell Road during another rainstorm in 1972. I know some of the people who perished during those disasters. The Yau's lived through those nightmares with relatively little loss. I was also privileged to learn some of the tragedies in his family. I got to know him more as a person. He simply loved animals, especially dogs. He once owned a dog, a cocker spaniel I think. He told me when his pet died, he cried for weeks.  

He was interested in martial arts. He, Vincent So Chung Yueng and I joined the Go-ju karate club in Causeway Bay after Upper 6. When we met again in 2007 after many years of drifting apart, he wanted to do tai-chi push hands with me.  

Our paths after Wah Yan took similar twists and turns; I marched on at a slower pace. We shared a similar anxiety to be applying to US medical schools with foreign student visa status. He was my resident while I was a sub-intern in medicine. From 1979 to 1980 we shared an apartment on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan . I learned about some of his romantic adventures, his first love and then the later breakup. There were little details; we were both busy and rarely had time to engage in any long discourse. Perhaps we were also trying to protect our fragile egos. But he was definitely more courageous while I was particularly timid about exposing the more vulnerable, emotional side of ourselves.

He had a taste for finer things in life: fresh Italian bread from Bakeries along Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, reading the New York Times in a lazy Sunday afternoon, and shopping at the one and only Bloomingdales at 59th Street and Lexington . For me, a quick bite in Chinatown, with Chi Hi and George So Gee Foo (then a MBA candidate at Columbia Business School ) in tow, was luxury.  

He watched with amusement but kept quiet while I was dating Esther during that year when we shared an apartment. When he was leaving for Toronto , he encouraged me to "go for this nice girl". Esther and I were married six months later, in December 1980.  

I saw him again in person in 2007. He came to New York with Matilda to pick up their son who had spent a summer at Columbia University . We discovered we still shared many common interests: I still practiced Tai Chi alone by myself while he was learning the art from a real master, and he and Matilda were taking ballroom lessons as were Esther and I. We were moving to a different house then, otherwise we could have flaunt our dance steps to one another at my home. We did promise to do some push-hand the next time we meet, perhaps in Toronto . Well, I lost that opportunity. I lost a great friend.  

May God bless his soul and his family.