Daughter recreates father’s photos nearly 40 years later.

19 June 2018

We were recently contacted by the daughter of an alumnus, Maria Wong, wanting to know if we could trace a trophy her father was awarded in 1981. Maria’s father, Chi Min Wong (Diploma Food Technology 1981), had been awarded distinction along with a trophy called the ‘Yorkshire Egg Producers Cup’ which has his name engraved on it.

After some investigation, the trophy was located in one of the display cabinets in the reception of the Main Hall. Once we confirmed we had indeed traced the cup, Maria started to plan her journey all the way from New York, USA, where Chi is also now based. Along with her husband, Maria visited Brackenhurst and got to hold the trophy and recreate some of the photos her father and mother had taken nearly 40 years earlier. Chi’s name is also printed on one of the award boards in the Main Hall dining room.

Chi said of his time at NTU:

“I was working as a public health inspector for the government of Hong Kong when they sent me abroad to the Nottinghamshire College of Agriculture in August 1980, to broaden my knowledge in food technology. I joined the second year of the Diploma Course in Food Technology and was awarded a distinction, as well as the Yorkshire Egg Producers Cup for placing first in the class of 1981.  Being the first inspector to achieve such an honour made the news in several local newspapers in Hong Kong at the time. 

I remember arriving at Heathrow airport in London and then taking a train to Nottingham. When I arrived at the college, I was so impressed by the beautiful campus and the warm reception. Enjoying the typical English meals in the elegant dining hall was particularly memorable. Lunch and dinner were held at set times every day, and the students would line up outside the dining hall before the doors opened. When we entered, we would fill up one table at a time in order of arrival and dine communally. This tradition felt very refined and welcoming to me. 

I stayed in a room above what is now the Brackenhurst Shop, but back then it was a small student bar. I will never forget the many loud and repeated plays of ‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang coming from downstairs late into the night every night. This  posed quite a challenge for my younger self trying to catch up with homework assignments and preparation for frequent tests. 

After completing my studies in England, I returned to Hong Kong and was assigned work focusing on food safety and sanitation inspection. After about another decade, I moved to the USA with my wife and daughter and we settled in New York. I continued my career as a food safety inspector with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, working there for over 18 years until my retirement.

I am grateful for the outstanding education I received which I was able to apply to my lifetime career in food inspections. My time at the College was full of fond memories of the different people, culture, and landscapes I encountered there. Perhaps one day I will have a chance to visit the campus as well.” 

If you want to plan a reunion or visit the campus you can get in touch with Helen Trout, Alumni Relations Coordinator for Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.



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