Glorious Life; Untimely Death
After the liberation from the Japanese occupation, HKJC resumed racing smoothly until striking by tragedies.
1948-02-28, the second Extra Race Meeting at Happy Valley was marred by two accidents.
One of them was an extremely saddening fatality.
The first mishap took place before the field was on the track.
1948-02-28_9 Ascot Handicap, (second section) for Australian ponies ‘B’ class, 6 Furlong.
Tang Man-wa was the jockey of SUNSHINE, though his name ‘wa’ was used another Chinese character without the ‘horse‘ key or radical.
Once the bell was sounded by the Steward, Mr Tang, knowing his moody horse, mounted with caution.
Just before leaving the Parade Ring, SUNSHINE ran wild, and tried to get back to the stables.
That caused Mr Tang to knock his head against an overhead beam of the door at the stable entrance.
Mr Tang was badly thrown against the cement rails of the paddocks.
The wounded jockey sustained a nasty cut over his forehead.
In response to the ‘yellow light’, Dr Anderson rushed to the Secretary’s Office and rendered first aid to the injured jockey.
Mr Tang was rushed to Queen Mary Hospital.
1948-02-28, at 12:25 a.m., Mr Tang passed away, without regaining consciousness.
Many of his friends, especially those among the racing fraternity learned with deep regret.
Mr Tang was survived by a wife, a son, and two daughters, two brothers, two sisters, and many cousins.
1948-03-02, HKJC flag was flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.
In the afternoon, an impressive and prestigious funeral service was held at the Monument, Happy Valley.
Chairman Arthur Morse, Col. H. B. L. Dowbiggin, J. F. Macgregor, Dr Chau Sik-nin, D Benson, jockeys, trainers, mafoos were among many hundreds attended the funeral.
Later, according to Chinese rites, the coffin was later conducted at the Chinese Permanent Cemetery, Aberdeen.
A record gathering of sympathizers paid their last homage.
According to Shum Kut Shing (Lo Kut) ‘s《30 Year In Racecourse》page 23:
“SUNSHINE subsequently was raced by C L Gregory with a few successive wins.
Mr Tang was rest in peace for long, sadly due to this horse.”
SUNSHINE, before the accident was the mount of Kenneth Kwok and young H W Mok.
This unstable and difficult waler pony was owned by Mr Yang Wing-hong, the eldest son of Mr Yang Fat-li.
In the second accident, during the running of the final event on the same day Peter Young was thrown over the rails by JUSTICE OF THE PEACE.
Fortunately, the injuries were slight and Young was able to return to the Stands unassisted.
According to page 172 of《Pow Mah》written by Henry Ching:
“In 1947 there was another fatality, but not connected with the track. Another well-known Chinese rider, Mr Tang Man-wa, was seriously injured in an accident in the stables and succumbed to his injuries.”
The year should be 1948 instead.
1950s, Yang Wing-hong was the chairmen of many famous institutes such as the Confucius Hall, Yuen Yuen Organization (founding) and Pok Oi Hospital.
The Yangs were wealth merchants, descendants of Hakka Ngwa,from the Northern-east of KwangTung (Canton) Province.
1942-05-03, Yang Wing-hong wanted to leave Hong Kong which under Japanese occupation, so his two newly arrived Walers NATIONAL HOPE and NATIONAL RIGHT were auctioned.
Later Shum Kut Shing (Lo Kut) became their owner.
Acknowledgment to Mr Lacuda Mengnah for the content and images.