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Shirley’s Memoirs


Shirley Choi

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©2018, Shirley Choi

Chapter 1


My mum was such a hardworking lady. She came to Northern Ireland in the 1960’s. After marrying my father in Hong Kong, she sacrificed a lot by coming here to make a life.

I do not know too many details of my mum’s early life in the United Kingdom but I do have many pictures of her working in Larne in the restaurant where she worked. She worked in Scotland for three months, after arriving in the UK before crossing the water to Northern Ireland.

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of being separated from her family in Hong Kong, not to mention the culture shock she must have experienced upon arrival in the UK. She came here with very limited English when she was just sixteen after marrying my father. My parents had married only after three months after meeting; they were introduced to each other after my granny’s fear of my dad marrying a white girl, as racist as that may sound. My dad had come to the UK as a single guy in the year or two before he married my mum…. when my granny (dad’s mum) had heard during these trips that the Irish girls were always flirting with him. No surprise as my father was a very handsome man. My granny reportedly panicked and arranged for him to get hitched. Although I do not believe it was a strictly traditional kind of arranged marriage.

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