Rendy Ng and Alan Wong

As we approach Valentine’s Day, we speak to the Chief Gemologist at Bee’s Diamonds and her husband, Dr. Alan Wong of Southside Family Health Centre, who exemplified the virtue of love with their 15 years of dating (10 of which were in a long distance relationship) before their marriage.

On how they met…
Rendy: We met volunteering at St. John’s Ambulance in Canada while we were both teenagers, providing first aid at public events. Alan stood out as a calm-minded leader who taught first aid and medicine, an arguably boring subject, in an interesting and captivating manner. And that’s how he attracted my attention.

On how they endured 10 years of long distance relationship…
Alan: It was certainly not easy. We did the best we could by keeping up with our common interests such as reading the same book, learning a new sport, trying a new cuisine together at the same time, just in two separate continents. Then we shared our “findings” via the Internet and possibly the first series of Logitech webcams. We also flew to each other as often as we could. I still remember a time when both our telephone bills were in the figures above ten thousand dollars a month and our parents screamed when they saw the bills…

On how they ended up in Hong Kong…
Rendy: I was born in Hong Kong, educated in Toronto and Birmingham in the UK, and returned to Hong Kong for my first job. I was a corporate lawyer at Baker & McKenzie in Hong Kong and London for three years, prior to joining Bee’s Diamonds in 2010.

Alan: Born in Hong Kong, did my schooling in Toronto, medical school in the Netherlands-Antilles, followed by family medicine training in Minnesota, USA. I worked in the UK and in Australia before joining the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. I am now a GP at Southside Family Health Centre at One Island South.

On the best place to work…
Alan: Each medical system has its own strengths and weaknesses, but Hong Kong wins for its flexibility. Due to its dual track system, you can work in the public or private sector. Also, Hong Kong is much more accessible. Laboratory testing, imaging and procedures are easily done thanks to the availability of those in the private medical sector. This  allows doctors and patients to reach a diagnosis quickly, which leads to prompt treatment and faster recovery to good health.

Southside is by far the best place to work in Hong Kong because it’s away from the commotion and the activity of the main city, so it offers more time for patients to ask questions and for me to explain things in detail. Generally in Hong Kong, practicing medicine is very quick paced and to the point. At Southside, our patients enjoy having the time and space to discuss any health concerns or get direct, professional responses to their questions. There is no queuing (usually!) and doctors get to know the patients really well, which in turn helps us to build long-lasting patient-doctor relationships. I don’t wear a white coat or a mask at Southside, because I see a lot of adorable and lovely children. I want to be the friendly doctor who welcomes them in person rather than behind a scary mask and funny looking coat.

Alan Wong
Dr. Alan Wong of Southside Family Health Centre

On the decision behind their career choices…
Alan: There’s both an art and science to medicine. It’s not just knowing the basic sciences to treat conditions, but it’s about the art of communication to patients and their families. I enjoy the mix of both worlds in medicine. I also like its diversity. I can start the day with a sick child, then an elderly gentleman with diabetes, then the day may end with a biopsy of a suspicious skin lesion. It’s exciting.

Rendy: In his medical school admission personal statement, he said he could not resist the joy of witnessing the birth of a child and being able to care for him and his family all the way through. As a family doctor, you see the whole family — you are there for their every milestone. Alan and I share a similar vision. My work involves adding joy to people’s milestones.  At Bee’s Diamonds, I have the honour of witnessing the beginning of many new families, through our work of choosing diamonds of strict purity and hand crafting their engagement rings,We’ve been through many wedding anniversaries, births of children and birthdays with our customers. The experience is highly emotionally rewarding as we see the continuity of life through their milestones. It’s one of my best career choices.

On their love and passion…
Rendy: I love history, heritage and legacy and this is also why I have chosen to be involved in Bee’s Diamonds. As a little girl, I remember sitting on my father’s lap counting and laying out cartoon patterns using small diamonds and a tweezer. It’s a shared memory between my father and I. This sense of emotional attachment is still present nowadays and that’s why I enjoy going to work with him everyday, laughing, working, something arguing, and seeing fruitful results from our dedicated work. My father just celebrated his 40th anniversary of being in the diamond industry last year. He is my role model and I learned a lot from him – his hardworking character, integrity and his sincerity. We travel extensively to source diamonds of premier purity and whenever I walk alongside with him in every diamond district – it takes hours and hours to walk through just one hallway because people from the industry would keep stopping him to say hi. His popularity stems from his integrity and honesty — and that’s something that we feel is very important to preserve at Bee’s Diamonds. His motto is “a Promise is a Promise” and this makes him strong and well known for all these 40 years in the international diamond arena.

Alan: When I studied medicine in the Netherlands-Antilles, I had the opportunity to come across a rare field of medicine called hyperbaric medicine, which remains as one of my passionate subjects of study. Hyperbaric medicine refers to the use of pressurized oxygen.  It is best known to treat decompression issues in divers.  This interest allows me to meet divers of all levels,assess their health conditions and provide preventive and protective suggestions prior to their scuba diving certifications or after their diving trips. Hyperbaric medicine is also useful in the treatment of ischemic wounds, gas gangrene, certain burn injuries, carbon monoxide poisoning, and more.

Rendy Ng
Rendy with a few of Bee’s Diamonds’ most notable pieces

On their proudest achievements…
Rendy: I am proud that every piece of jewellery produced at Bee’s Diamonds is still handcrafted by local artisans, of which there are fewer and fewer in Hong Kong. We still insist to have the pieces made by hand because only handcrafted pieces can achieve the refined level of extrinsic and delicate details. All our pieces are designed once, handcrafted once, and made only once. The cost is high, but we can maintain our prices to be highly reasonable and competitive for our customers because we are the source and supply of diamonds. One of our signature pieces is a brooch that we designed and produced for the Hong Kong Federation of Women Lawyers. This brooch represented the success and achievements of women lawyers in Hong Kong, and it was presented by the former Secretary of Justice, Ms. Elsie Leung to the first Chinese female astronaut, Liu Yang.

On giving back to society…
Rendy: My family is active in the community through various commitments as donors and sponsors. Women, children, and arts are very close to my heart. Bee’s Diamonds supported The Women’s Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, the Hong Kong Ballet Ball, Changing Young Lives, and various causes over the years.

Alan: Volunteering is in our blood. I am still with St. John’s Ambulance, and I am also volunteering for the Air Cadets. I also enjoy teaching voluntarily. I now teach family medicine at the University of Hong Kong and I was a lecturer at the University of Melbourne School of Medicine previously. Recently, I have been giving complimentary first aid talks at Southside Family Health Centre since September. It stems from an article I wrote about party first aid — it’s very difficult to learn first aid on paper, so as a supplementary, I offered a demonstration in person. We now hold seminars every two weeks; it’s only one to two hours long, so it’s great to learn a lot in short amount of time.

On one final tip on how to maintain a loving relationship…
Alan: A good relationship takes a lot of hard work. No pain, no gain. It’s constantly working at it, consciously and emotionally. Understanding and putting family first is always the key. Rendy and I have our own professional and social commitments, and we understand and respect each other’s choice of life, but at the end of the day, our son and the family always come first and that’s how we feel we are valued by each other.  

Rendy: Through my work, I have come across many couples who celebrate their wedding anniversaries. I always ask the couples who celebrate more than 10 years of marriage for that one tip to sustain their marriages and the reason why their marriages last. Some of them credit  their parents for setting good role models as partners, some of them say it’s shared interests and common topics, some say it’s presents at every Valentine’s Day. But the one that always sticks to my mind is – You have to enjoy making the other person laugh, all the time.

Bee’s Diamonds
Unit 1502, 15th Floor, The Center, 99 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
T: +(852) 2180 7812  W: www.beesdiamonds.com 

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