Help from total strangers brings up an ICAC officer

A drama themed on ICAC fighting against corruption had been aired previously. In reality, Lucy Fung took after this spirit to maintain a fair and righteous society. She joined the ICAC shortly after graduation from secondary school and worked in the force for a straight 36 years until her retirement in 2013. Now at 66, Lucy looks back at her young years as a timid from an underprivileged background. It has been the pushing hands of a “stranger” that made her a civil servant of Hong Kong.

Lucy had a rough childhood. Foster mother’s support gave her the opportunity to continue her studies.

Distraught at the Suggestion of Quitting School

Lucy was born in the 50s. Being the first-born child, Lucy and her parents nestled in a rented cubicle in Sham Shui Po in the beginning. But after her mother gave birth to her siblings, they had to move to a wood-hut area in Kowloon Tong because of their poor financial situation. Her father worked for a hardware store as a cashier and later partnered with their relatives to run a construction equipment business. Her mother collected fabrics from a garment factory to sew at home. It was harsh but the family managed to make ends meet.

Good fortune won’t last forever. The entire business was cheated away from Lucy’s father and store by his partners that harbored greed. He was heart-broken and illness-stricken from years of hard work. The family felt into a dire financial situation in a sudden. Lucy and her younger siblings had to help out with more income by fixing plastic flowers at grandmother’s home. Lucy can still remember the pressure, “one day, I overheard mum and dad worrying about our finances. My next younger sister and I might have to quit school to save on tuitions. I was helpless.” To an eight to nine-year-old child, this news felt like the end of the world to her.

When one door shuts, another opens. Lucy’s mother learned about Plan International from friends and decided to seek help. Plan International lined up a Canadian foster mother, Mrs. Alice Cancross to be her sponsor.  With HK$45 plus daily necessity items received each month, Lucy and her siblings could continue their education. It also marked the beginning of a love-filled relationship between Lucy and her foster mother.

Lucy (girl standing in rear with short hair and glasses) is the oldest amongst the eight siblings.

Foster Mother Offered Relieve And Encouragement in Times of Trouble

This relationship lasted for eight years through letters. “Foster mother and I had never met as we were far apart. Yet, she had been kind and concerned about my well-being. I got to have the first ‘I love you’ of my life from her, true and pure love is hard to come by. I promised myself to be diligent at all times as a gift for my foster mother.” Lucy strived hard in English so that she could communicate well with foster mother in letters. She wished to meet her one day and thank her in person.

Besides frequent “letters from home”, Lucy receives HK$100 from her foster mother every Christmas as good-will money. She used it on buying winter clothes and Chinese New Year preparations. “Foster mother did not send me a gift on a regular basis, but her love was always there with me.”

Worked at ICAC And Served Hong Kong for 40 Years

Being diligent and decisive, Lucy got herself into a high-ranking school and graduated with excellent academic results. She was recruited by the Hong Kong Government Secretariat as Assistant Clerk in the Filing Section. Then, she passed more examinations to become Clerk II in the Security Bureau, an appointment that only a few Chinese could undertake in those days. She won recognition from her seniors and colleagues for being committed and earnest. In 1977, Lucy transferred to the newly established ICAC.

Throughout her 36 years of service until retirement in 2013, Lucy exhibited unswerving commitment in serving the society. Though her wish to meet and thank foster mother in person was unable to be fulfilled in the end, she keeps this love in heart, “it was all for foster mother’s love could I continue studies, graduate and join the government and live my life to the fullness.”

Lucy actively involves in Girl Guide programs to groom young girls to be responsible citizens

Rains cause flowers to burgeon. Lucy’s foster mother changed her life with love. As soon as Lucy learned about the return of Plan International, she registered as our sponsor for the children in China, to spread the love that she had got from her foster mother.

Ex-Beneficiary – Ms. Lucy Fung