Community giving a way of life for Richmond realtor

Richmond realtor Patsy Hui didn’t need to look very far to be given an example of what role she should play in her community.
Growing up as the middle child in a family of seven siblings in post Second World War Hong Kong, she was given plenty of opportunities to see first-hand that offering a helping hand was of utmost importance.
“It’s me. It’s part of my life,” said Hui, who is the lead sponsor in this year’s Dancing with the Richmond Stars fundraising event for the Richmond Community Hospice Foundation. “I am always about giving back to the community. That’s because I witnessed what my parents went through after the war when everybody was poor and in need of help.”
Hui, 67, said she learned that during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, her father would take to the streets to collect the dead and take them to the local morgue.
“He wanted to play a role in any way he could,” she said, adding he also started a local benevolent society. “And my mom, she would cook up fresh meals for people in need. It was nothing elaborate, maybe a little bit of rice and some chicken or beef. It was simple food, but it was hot and good.
“My parents, they were always helping. To me, as a 10-year-old, it was fun running around helping give out blankets to people when it was cold. But even then, I could also see what they were doing was extraordinary.”
So, it’s no wonder that when Hui arrived in Canada at age 19 and landed a job with the Royal Bank in Mission, one of the first things she did was get on the telephone and contact the local volunteer agencies to see how she should get involved.
 “That kind of thing, it was just in my blood,” she added.
Hui was also imbued with a work ethic that allowed her to afford her own home by her early 20s.
“I was working three jobs — the bank and two Chinese restaurants on the weekends,” she said. “It was busy, but I had that instinct telling me I should invest in real estate. Not lavishly, but enough to have a nice, comfortable home. Because, when you do that, you can go out and do a good job for other people.
“It’s like if you are in good physical shape,” she added. “If you have a good, healthy body and mind, that’s when you can help others.”
That’s why she still works out three days a week and plays ping pong and ballroom dances with her husband, Hilary, a longtime, local physician, to help stay fit.
“If you want to do a job well, you have to be prepared; you have to sharpen your tools.”
Hui’s association with the local hospice dates back to early fundraising efforts to get it established 11 years ago.
“Hospice is a very peaceful, beautiful place,” she said. “We all have to go sometime, and it’s important to make it nice for the family and the patient. It’s something that just has to be done.”
That’s why she got involved this year as the diamond level sponsor for the Dancing with the Richmond Stars event, which on March 4 has local celebrities, and the returning champion from last year, paired with an instructor to put their best foot forward at the River Rock Show Theatre. Money is raised by sponsoring the competitors, whose bios can be seen online at RichmondHospiceAssociation.com.
Hui said she is looking forward to being at the event and even taking part on the floor, just for fun.
“I love life. That’s what motivates me. I am a pretty ordinary person. I don’t wear designer labels, I drive a 15-year-old car and have the same kids and husband,” she quipped. “But I am one of those people who is always positive.”

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