Well-known Victoria flower enthusiast Harry Leong has passed away at age 94, and family are remembering him for his passion that blossomed and left a legacy.
Leong, who opened Harry’s Flowers about 60 years ago, died early in the morning on Sept. 7 with his family by his side, according to his daughter May Lin. She says he suffered from poor health for most of his life.
He operated the flower store at 1817 Oak Bay Ave. before handing over the keys to his niece, Eugenia Lai, in 1987.
It is “the oldest flower shop in Victoria,” reads Leong’s obituary. It states that he owned the business alongside his wife, Sau Lan, who passed away in 1993 after 46 years of marriage.
“Everyone knows Harry’s,” said Lai.
Colourful bouquets and planters often line its exterior, and all these years later Lin says people still remember her father as the face behind the store.
“Even when he was in the hospital, people went ‘Oh, you’re Harry’s Flowers.’ He was really happy that people remembered him,” Lin told CHEK News Monday.
“My dad and my mom worked really hard,” she said. “They’re hardworking and grew their own flowers and things like that to sell in the store. He had to give up the store during the time I was sick. He had to look after me.”
Lai, who operates the store alongside her husband, Tim Lai, says she’ll remember her uncle most as a “friendly guy with a good sense of humour.”
His obituary states that he “loved singing, eating, cooking, fishing, and an occasional trip to the casino,” and that both he and his wife were “well loved by all.”
Lai says Leong “taught us lots about the business,” while Lin adds that the couple “work really hard maintaining (Harry’s) flower shop.
“He was really happy about that.”