So Wonderful – Sweet Tunes of a Fruitful Life
Seeing the energetic and industrious Billy at the Gingko House, no one can possibly guess that
he is already 70 years old. Billy has been working at the Gingko House for eight years. Being
an optimistic, communicative and versatile multitasker, he is a farmer and tour guide of the
farm, a quality assurance manager for catering and service, as well as the leader and guitarist
of the “silver-hair” band, the Wonderful Band.
Billy has indeed many duties, yet he enjoys them very much. He said, “I love to try different kinds of work and cherish every chance which can unleash my potential. When I first joined the Gingko House, I worked as a part-time farmer at the Lohas Organic Farm. The physical requirement of farming made me find the job real tough and think of quitting. Yet, I persisted and have become healthier and more energetic, and regained dynamism in work.”
In 2012, Gingko House came up with the idea of staging live music performance at its restaurants, thus fostering the formation of the Wonderful Band, the first “silver-hair” musical band in Hong Kong. Originally a troupe of elderly music lovers playing music for leisure, the band is now the house band at Gingko Moment, the folk music restaurant under Gingko House. Sharing their interest at work, Billy and his band perform live music at the restaurant, rendering relaxing and melodious evenings for customers.
“The name of our band, Wonderful, has a Chinese homonym, meaning ‘warm breeze’. It is our hope that our music brings warmth and happiness to others. We are very fortunate that our band gains support and recognition from our customers and society respectively,” explained Billy. “The six of us in the band have been playing music together for many years, and are become great friends with strong understanding. We treasure each performance opportunity. Every time we are going to perform a new song, we practise over and over again, and bolster each other’s morale, in order to make every performance our best shot.”
Billy now works six days a week, and finds his life fulfilling. “I volunteer for quality assurance work, giving suggestions on how to improve the food and service quality of the restaurants. I am grateful that the SE provides opportunities for elderly people like me to engage in different tasks. I hope I can make every effort to contribute to the SE, as well as raising public awareness of the efforts and value of the elderly,” added Billy.
Golden agers join hands and support one another to pen a glorious new chapter in life. It is not easy to promote senior employment indeed. The Gingko House provides employment opportunities for the elders in need, and what’s more, enables them to apply their wisdom and experience in different positions, and to enjoy a fulfilling old age. Zealous golden agers like Billy come together in SEs. They forge a bright way forward for the re-engagement of the elderly in the society. As Wonderful Band’s favourite hit “Carry on till tomorrow” goes, “beyond the shadows of the clouds and onward to the sky…carry on, carry on, carry on”!
The Gingko House is a pioneer in senior employment in Hong Kong. Providing senior members of the society with diversified job opportunities in its restaurants, organic farm, food factory, outside catering service, canteen, elderly band, etc., the Gingko House provides a stage for them to give full play to their abilities in the right positions.