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100 years old and 75 years married!

Byline: ANDY PASSANT andy.passant@eveninggazette.co.uk

SHUI Cheung Chau is the grand old man of Teesside's close-knit Chinese community.

The father, grandfather and great-grandfather has reached the magnificent milestone of his 100th birthday.

Mr Chau now lives with his 97-year-old wife of 75 years in central Middlesbrough.

But he started life in the Guangdong province of China, born on April 15 1913.

He later moved to Hong Kong, where he married his wife when they were both in their twenties.

They came to Britain in 1982 and have now been here for more than 30 years.

And their marriage has gone way beyond the diamond wedding mark. They are still together after an incredible 75 years.

Mr Chau's family are well-known in the Middlesbrough area through the Chow's takeaway business.

The couple previously lived in Stockton for many years, although they say they felt "a bit isolated" there.

But they now live on North Ormesby Road in Middlesbrough, with easy access to the local Chinese community.

Their home, its walls crammed full of family photos and memories of home, is next door to the Tees Valley Chinese Community Centre.

It means they have regular contact with people from the same age group and cultural background.

Mr Chau and his wife, Choi Chun Tong Chau, are the grand old couple of the local Chinese community.

Next month family from across the world, including Hong Kong and Thailand, will be gathering to celebrate Mr Chau's remarkable achievement.

This week he received a special birthday card from the Queen marking his milestone.

Asked the secret of a long life, he says he has been hardworking, is not a drinker or a smoker - and hasn't chased the ladies.

He said: "When I was young I worked hard. I can enjoy life now."

Another secret, he says, is "no smoking, no drinking and no womanising".

Son Larry, who will be 70 later this year, said: "We are a very close family. Every party we enjoy together.

Larry said: "Mother has always been very loving and father is easygoing."

He said his dad takes care of his health, still cooks and enjoys visiting Stockton market.

The couple have six children, three boys and three girls, together with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mrs Chau, who is only three years away from becoming a centenarian, said of her husband: "He has never chased after another woman. He is a good man."

He says she is the only woman for him, saying: "My wife looks after me."

CAPTION(S):

BIRTHDAY BOY: Shiu Cheung Chau, left, with his birthday card from the Queen and with his 97-year-old wife Choi Chun Tong Chau, far left, and below Main picture by KATIE LUNN
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 20, 2013
Words:453
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