Family, friends attend HK memorial service for late xinyao pioneer

Two heart-shaped wreaths were placed near Dawn Gan's picture by her family at the service yesterday. She died of cancer on Sept 22.
Two heart-shaped wreaths were placed near Dawn Gan's picture by her family at the service yesterday. She died of cancer on Sept 22.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A memorial service for xinyao pioneer Dawn Gan, who died last month at the age of 55, was held yesterday at the Methodist International Church of Hong Kong.

A report by Lianhe Zaobao said that Singapore celebrities and music industry luminaries such as music producer Billy Koh, Ocean Butterflies Music co-founder Colin Goh, concert organiser Cai Yiren and film director Jack Neo and his wife attended the service.

Gan's husband, her three children - two sons and one daughter, aged 21 to 26 - and her family in Singapore, including her two brothers, were also at the service.

Gan, who had been battling a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma since she was diagnosed in 2013, lived in Hong Kong for many years before her death. In 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The singer revealed her condition to the public in 2016 and said she had five operations to remove tumours and a part of her lung. She died on Sept 22 in Hong Kong.

The hall where the memorial service was held was decorated with white flowers. Two heart-shaped wreaths made of pink roses were also placed near Gan's picture by her family. The hall was also filled with floral wreaths with condolences to Gan's family.

Gan's bubbly personality and bright pipes made her a star in the days of xinyao, which is a genre of Singapore Mandarin folk-pop music popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Many of her songs were written by fellow xinyao pioneer Liang Wern Fook, including her signature song Youth 123 and the hit ballad Your Reflection.

Two concerts will be held in Singapore in memory of the singer.

Tomorrow, TCR Music Station, founded by Mr Cai, will hold the Missing Dawn Concert at Level 9 of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre at 8pm. While all concert tickets have been given away, those without tickets can watch the live broadcast at Level 7.

Another concert, titled Embracing Dawn - Farewell For Dawn Gan, will be held at Capitol Piazza on Sunday at 4pm. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. The venue can hold 1,000 people and a live screening for up to 600 people will be held outside the venue. Attendees are encouraged to wear white. The concert will also be screened live on 96.3 Hao FM's Facebook page.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2018, with the headline 'Family, friends attend HK memorial service for late xinyao pioneer'. Print Edition | Subscribe