Hello, my name is Laywood Chan. I was born in China and have two brothers and one sister. I came to New Zealand when I was 18 years old and had never spoken English. I went to night school for three months to learn to speak it. I went to church and this also helped with my English skills.
We worked at market gardens and a fruit shop. My father bought a fish and chips shop and I worked for him. He later bought a building in Lambton Quay where we opened a milk bar and I worked for my father doing the cooking.
I married my wife Joyce in 1956 and we had six children. In 2006 I had a heart operation, and I wanted to come to Rita Angus six years ago but my wife wasn’t ready. I moved to Rita Angus in 2013 for health reasons, but I love the gardens and enjoy walking around the village admiring them. I love to talk to all the residents and am very happy to be here. I also enjoy the activities including the outings.
I have set up a Scholarship at Victoria University for people to learn Chinese culture and language called the Laywood and Joyce Chan Scholarship.