courtesy of mingpao.com
courtesy of takungpao.com
Wong Tin Lam not only had countless work but also had many beloved disciples in the industry. They included famous director Johnnie To Kei Fung. Ah To yesterday honestly said that his mentor's passing has sadden him very much as he even broke down in tears.
Ah To said, "Uncle Tin Lam was half my old man. We met in 1973 at TVB, until I became a director and made movies with him as my actors, over 30 years we spent a lot of time together. He not only was my mentor but also my turning point in life. Without him I wouldn't get to be a director. With my form 3 education it was impossible for me to be a TVB director, the chance was slight. Yet Uncle Tin Lam insisted on asking the company to give me a chance. Uncle Tin Lam was my benefactor. Back when when I made a series with (Liza) Wang Ming Chuen, everyday he told me not to argue with Wang Ming Chuen. I said I didn't argue, it was only work friction. This was the work history between me and Uncle Tin Lam, Wang Ming Chuen. The days that we got past, the series that we made many viewers remembered. The programs back then gave us a lot of anticipation and joy. No matter why, Uncle Tin Lam passed, in his life he has created a lot of history. I was very happy to ask him to act, he missed the life on the set very much. He even said my movie THE MISSION (CHEUNG GOR) that he didn't know what I was making, I thought that was an interesting memory."
Ah To also revealed that last Sunday he just visited his mentor. He knew that they had very little time left and a lot of memory flooded back. Ah To said, "When I visited him he still looked at me and asked who I was. He said that he wanted to close his eyes and sleep. (Ringo) Lam Lan Tung and I backed up a little to keep from disturbing him. He was very fat and big. Wong Jing said that his father passed in a peaceful and comfortable manner. He passed in his sleep and was not in a lot of pain, which put us at ease. He left in a big body, which proved that he had quite a will to live." Ah To even recalled going to the Cannes Film Festival with his mentor and said that he was able to go to because his mentor let him. Then he began to wipe his tears as he continued, "Back then when we went to the venue from the streets, 7 or 8 people in tuxedos held an old man, a big guy. A foreigner thought he was the Godfather and asked who he was. Uncle Tin Lam was very happy to hear that. As a film director he said he was very happy to step foot in Cannes. Ultimately we are all film workers, to be a part of world film he felt very honored." When asked about Uncle Tin Lam's funeral, Ah To said that Wong Jing was in charge and felt that the ceremony was unimportant. It was important that everyone remembered Uncle Tin Lam.
Lam Lan Tung followed Uncle Tin Lam in TVB in 1973. He said, "Uncle Tin Lam was my mentor. At the time To Kei Fung and I followed him and made many television series. The deepest impression was THE LEGEND OF THE BOOK AND THE SWORD (SHU GIM YUN SAU LOK). From him I learned a lot, film techniques, how to make television series and movies. Uncle Tin Lam was the first film director to work at the television station. I was very lucky to be able to follow him." He said that a month ago he just dined with his mentor. Was he surprised? Lam Lan Tung said, "He was my mentor, I don't feel well at all. A month ago he was still very happy, had quite an appetite and was in good health. Uncle Tin Lam should have no unfulfilled wish. He was so amazing, made so many movies and television series, had such good disciples and children who treated him well. He lived and ate well, without a care in the world. He always played mahjong. I hoped he would rest in peace and live happily in another place!"
Chiu Nga Chi and her husband Melvin Wong Kam Sun remembered Uncle Tin Lam online. They wrote, "Everyone has always complimented Uncle Tin Lam's show business performance. He was kind elder who was serious about work and glad to teach the younger generations. Many famous directors and famous actors rose under his tutelage. Wong Kam Sun and I are together
because of him as well. I will forever thank and miss Uncle Tin Lam! Uncle Tin Lam, you are the pride of our show business!"