Franklin Chung Cham Tong (Tong Tong), the beloved sixth son of Chung Bin Yin and Poon Ngan Yip was born in Xinhui, Guangdong Province, Republic of China on May 7, 1935. He was an excellent student, with high marks in English and known for his penmanship which was exquisite because he practiced his signature with the Declaration of Independence as his guide for proper cursive. He put his faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized by the Ling Liang Church in Hong Kong on May 3, 1958. Cham Tong graduated from Nam Wah School in Xinhui and from Kings College in Hong Kong, pursuing business studies. He chose the name Franklin as he prepared to study overseas and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with Honours from Pepperdine University. Franklin was married to Lena Tao and they welcomed their first born, Paul in Los Angeles.
Franklin moved his young family back to Hong Kong in 1964 to help his father’s family business, the “Kwong Tai” camera shop. He was his father’s confidant due to his loyalty; he was the family’s first university graduate. With great foresight, Franklin helped his father set up a shareholding structure for the family business before it was even common practice in HK. In 1967, Franklin and Lena had a daughter, May, and she was a delight to her parents. Franklin moved his family to the United States due to the political unrest from the HK riots. His father wept at not having his son by his side. Franklin and Lena worked to build a better life for their family. They found success in America due to their strong work ethic; they started a real estate business, becoming real estate brokers and making investments. This strained the family, distracted from their faith in Christ, and resulted in divorce.
Franklin continued investing in real estate and earned his general contracting license. In 2003, he decided to return to China, enjoying semi-retirement at the age of 68. He moved to Punyu, Guangdong China with the help of his older sister (Aunt #5) and looked forward to appreciating his heritage and being near his family. Franklin enjoyed touring China and made new travel friends during his golden years. He was excited to become Grandpa Frank to Taylor and Toby, and he enjoyed making memories with Paul and Esther in Hong Kong. He was especially fond of family reunions when May and grandson Lincoln travelled to Hong Kong and Punyu.
Grandpa Frank had an initial fall in his home in 2010, which seemed like the start of God calling him back. He was paralyzed on the right side of his body from this accident and required major neck and spine surgery in Hong Kong. He recovered and regained the majority of his movement through intense physical therapy and moved back to China where he resumed life and his real estate investments.
However, a second fall in 2018 left Grandpa Frank with immobility and dementia. Paul and Esther moved him to Hong Kong to care for him and Grandpa Frank enjoyed his new friends at a Christian nursing home. Although dementia took away Grandpa Frank’s short term memory, amazingly he recalled past events and shared with two chaplains that he was baptised and a follower of Christ. Grandpa Frank started to turn back to God, and in his last three years, he expressed his desire for God. He received a new name “Tong Tong” due to his sweet smile, affection, and love for chocolate. When Paul and Esther were praying over him, Grandpa Frank suddenly encouraged Paul to pray for his grandsons during a precious moment. It is with great rejoicing that Grandpa Frank turned his heart to Jesus, expressing joy and peace as he sang hymns and read scripture.
On Thursday, October 28, 2021 Grandpa Frank passed away at the age of 86 years. He was the beloved father of Paul and his wife Esther, and daughter May. He was the proud grandfather of Taylor, Tobin (Toby), and Lincoln. Grandpa Frank is now in the arms of His Heavenly Father and we look forward to the day that we will meet again in Heaven.
我們最敬愛的鍾湛棠先生，他於1935年五月七日出生在中國廣東新會鍾炳賢及潘銀葉家中。他在家中排行第六。他自幼聰穎好學，英文造詣甚佳，且能書寫一手漂亮英文書法，據云他的英文簽名乃臨摹自美國的獨立宣言的英文書法, 氣象萬千。他1958年在香港靈糧堂受浸，成為基督徒。湛棠先生在新會的南華小學畢業，即考上香港著名的英皇書院。他取名Franklin乃預備畢業後到海外升學，之後他負笈美國，在加州的Pepperdine University 主修會計，取得榮譽學士學位。在這期間，他與屠苑軒姊妹（Lena Tao）結為夫妻，婚後一年得長子Paul。
1964年，湛棠先生舉家回港，協助其父親的生意，經營廣大攝影器材公司。憑著其觸覺和眼光，他把一間小型的家庭式商店發展為有股東制的公司，公司的業務及規模皆有長足發展。1967年，家中再添一女 May。未幾因著香港左派暴動，時局不穩，湛棠先生舉家離港赴美，在那段日子經營地產物業生意及投資。因著他長袖善舞，生意十分成功，但也因此他在人生及信仰路上迷失，甚至離婚。2003 年，他已六十八歲，決定過半退休生活，返回中國大陸定居。那幾年他住在番禺，與家鄉的親人共敍，也遍遊神州大地，享受人生。在這期間，Franklin享受與兒媳孫輩經常相聚，女兒May及男孫Lincoln也是經常從美國返回香港及番禺縣與爸爸團聚。
在2021年十月二十八日，湛棠先生以八十六歲高齡安詳辭世，返回天家。他是兒媳（Paul and Esther)，女兒May的父親，孫輩 Taylor, Toby及 Lincoln 最敬仰的祖父。在此我們紀念他，感謝神給他莫大的恩惠，也記念他在天父懷中得享安息，盼望有一天他和家人在天家重聚。
Date: Friday, 19 November 2021
Time: 2:00 PM
Venue: St. Andrew’s Church
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