Funeral of Aloysius Pang: 'Kind, hard-working and filial son'

Actor Aloysius Pang's mother with other family members at his wake yesterday in MacPherson Lane. Mr Jefferson Pang, the actor's eldest brother, said in his eulogy that their mother doted on Aloysius a lot because he was the youngest.
Actor Aloysius Pang's mother with other family members at his wake yesterday in MacPherson Lane. Mr Jefferson Pang, the actor's eldest brother, said in his eulogy that their mother doted on Aloysius a lot because he was the youngest.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Tributes flow at memorial service for actor, from celebrities, colleagues and relatives

As actor Aloysius Pang lay in his hospital bed in New Zealand, suffering from injuries that would ultimately prove fatal, his thoughts were still primarily about the welfare of his mother.

His mother, the only one from the family to see him when he was still conscious in hospital, cried seeing her son in that state and Mr Pang tried his best to cheer her up.

Speaking on behalf of the family at the memorial service yesterday, Mr Pang's eldest brother Jefferson told those gathered of one of the last conversations the family had with the 28-year-old.

"When my mum was crying by his bed, the first reply he gave was 'Mum, don't cry. If you cry, I'll cry too, and I'm in a lot of pain. I'll be better in a couple of days, and I'll take you to New Zealand casino to walk walk'," he said.

"So when I saw some of the pictures of what happened to him, I could imagine that he was undergoing a lot of pain. And the first priority was still mum," he added, choking up.

Describing the period in the hospital as a very difficult time for the family, he said that Mr Pang's "kryptonite" was his mother's tears.

"Every time my mum cries, he'll definitely cry with her," he said, adding that Mr Pang loved his mother "with all his heart".

CONCERN FOR MUM CAME FIRST

When my mum was crying by his bed, the first reply he gave was 'Mum, don't cry. If you cry, I'll cry too, and I'm in a lot of pain. I'll be better in a couple of days, and I'll take you to New Zealand casino to 'walk walk'.

MR JEFFERSON PANG, actor Aloysius Pang's eldest brother, speaking at the memorial service in MacPherson Lane.

Mr Pang died in New Zealand last Wednesday, four days after he suffered serious injuries to his chest and abdomen while doing repair work during an annual live-firing exercise there. The armament technician from the 268th Battalion, Singapore Artillery was on NSman duty.

Tributes flowed during the one hour and 45 minute memorial service in MacPherson Lane yesterday afternoon, with a string of eulogies from friends, relatives and colleagues - including veteran actors and production crew members.

In the speeches, Mr Pang was repeatedly described as kind, hardworking and filial.

Mr Jefferson Pang, who was the first speaker, said their mother doted on Aloysius a lot because he was the youngest. She would coach him on his scripts when he was younger, be there on set, and "witnessed a fine young man growing to where he is today".

The founder of film distributor Encore Films, Ms Joyce Lee, who produced and directed the 2016 film Young & Fabulous featuring Mr Pang in the lead role, had a meal with him a day before he left for his NSman duty.

The most important people to him were his parents, she said. "(Mr Pang) even told me when he finds a girlfriend or wife, the most important criterion is that she has to be filial to his parents. Otherwise, he would not accept her," she said in Mandarin.

 
 
 
 

Ms Lee said he had looked forward to going to New Zealand because "he said he had some things to think over", being 28 and having felt he had the responsibility to take care of his family.

He had also told her that he wanted to be a director and get married by 31.

"He said 'I want to get married by then - but I haven't made enough money yet. I hope to be able to make enough money, because if I marry her, I want to be able to take care of her for life."

Mr Pang's girlfriend Jayley Woo, who went public with their relationship after his death, attended the memorial service but did not speak. She had earlier written an emotional farewell to him that she posted online.

Actors who knew Mr Pang recalled him as a down-to-earth man dedicated to his work.

Actress Kym Ng said: "Why do I love Aloysius? He is very sensible, always very thoughtful, dedicated to his friends and his work. I will miss you, Aloysius, your smile, your big eyes and the gentleness in your voice when you talk. Farewell."

Actress Felicia Chin said Mr Pang would set aside 10 per cent of his pay every month to thank and bless the production crew, adding that he was also a humble person who would not boast about his achievements.

She said he would buy portable fans for his fellow actors on set.

"He always loved, gave and spoke from his heart."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2019, with the headline ''Kind, hard-working and filial son''. Print Edition | Subscribe