Remembering Nancy and Albert Yeoh

As they say, savour every moment of life, appreciate daily blessings that come to us in different ways… some may be in the form of a beautiful butterfly flitting past at the most unexpected of times, and mostly, in the form of dear friends, near or far, but always in each other’s hearts.

Well, one such friend has recently returned to the Lord, very suddenly, I might add, but as someone pointed out, she was blessed with a painless exit from the stage that highlighted her life, as one of the last icons of Penang’s heritage.

That lady was our dear Nancy Yeoh of the ‘Albert and Nancy of E&O hotel fame.  The kind of fame that was synonymous with the crème de la crème of society in the hotel’s early hey days, when Nancy joined her husband, Albert Yeoh and his Band, to entertain at the hotel, for at least four decades.

In her inimitable style, Nancy’s mellow contralto voice kept an international audience entertained with a wide repertoire of songs in English, French, German, Maori, Tagalog, Polish and Chinese (and perhaps a few more languages), accompanied by Albert’s perfect tinkling on the ivories.

The couple became an institution in the Penang entertainment scene. Our family and friends treasure fond memories of many joyous weekend evenings toe-tapping to the Yeohs’ old-world musical style at the then 1885 Lounge of the E&O Hotel.

Their special friendship will remain with us for always – from shared travel adventures to regular afternoon tea banter and being there for each other during the good and not-so-good times.

Albert and Nancy never failed to help entertain friends at our private social gatherings. Even though Albert had joined the choir of angels in heaven a few years ago, Nancy continued to sing alone at our birthdays and anniversary parties (the show must go on..), with or without any musical accompaniment.

The last time our group of friends saw Nancy bring the audience to their feet and join in the singing, was in August this year, at Suzanne’s 88th birthday gathering. It was all the more memorable an evening, thanks to Nancy’s expert coaxing of the party mood to joyous notes of unabashed stage performances.

Always clad in long shimmery dresses, many of which she stitched herself, Nancy had a vast collection of chandelier earrings, which she treasured.  She probably had one or more for each day of the year and wore them with sheer delight.

On a closing note, we will miss Nancy’s kindness, sincere friendship and her cheeky rendition of the Cantonese song “Why I love you so” (Thim Kai Ngor Choeng Yi Lei)…not forgetting her very thoughtful creation of special songs, dedicated to us on different occasions.

We have lost a friend on this earth, but gained a new angel by our side!

God Bless us all.

Tony

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13 thoughts on “Remembering Nancy and Albert Yeoh

  1. Tim kai ngor chong yee lei
    Yan wai lei hai laeng (beautiful in Cantonese)
    Tim kai ngor chong yee lei
    Yan wai lei hai laeng (beautiful in Cantonese)
    Kin yuin si how ngor chow paeng
    Paeng yuin si how ming chaeng chaeng
    Tim kai ngor chong yee lei
    Yan wai lei hai laeng

    Tim kai ngor chong yee lei
    Yan wai lei hai laeng (beautiful in Cantonese)
    Tim kai ngor chong yee lei
    Yan wai lei hai laeng (beautiful in Cantonese)
    Pak, pak chaeng, sai sai saeng, charn laeng
    Sor yee ngor chong yee lei la
    Chong yee tol ngor paeng (sick in Cantonese)

    Tim kai ngor chong yee lei
    Yan wai lei hai laeng

  2. Hi Daddy and Mummy,
    So sorry to hear about your dear friend Nancy’s demise. Pray you will be comforted to know she’s now joined the heavenly choir in singing for none other than the King of kings and Lord of lords! Nothing can compare with that great joy and honour.
    Esther

    • Esther dear,
      We are aware that Nancy is now enjoying her reward. Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
      Love, Daddy & Mummy

  3. Dear Tony and Suzanne, it was heartwarming to read your post about my parents. They were the true musical icons and legends of the E&O Hotel. I am indebted to you for sharing all those kind words. Thank you very much.

    • Dear Philip, we have lost two good friends but have gained two angels instead. Kindly let Kenneth know about my post too. Thanks and do take good care. Tony & Sue

  4. What a heartwarming tribute to Auntie Nancy! Thank you. I would like to seek your kind permission to reproduce this posting for the December issue of E&O Edition, the corporate newsletter of the E&O Group.

    Auntie Nancy has been most kind to donate some of her gowns and scores of those famous chandelier earrings to the E&O Gallery (slated for opening early 2013) which is a living record of the social history of the iconic E&O Hotel.

    It is only fitting that we acknowledge her kindness and generosity in as many ways as she has helped different people. Thank you. Kind regards, Poh Lin

    lokepl@easternandoriental.com

    • Hi, Ms Loke,
      It is my privilege and pleasure to let you reproduce this posting for your December issue of E&O Edition. It may interest you to know that my wife Suzanne and I had indeed celebrated our 63rd wedding anniversary dinner at the same hotel on OCT 18, 2011 – I had mentioned it in our blog under the posting “Hello……” dated 24 November, 2011.
      God bless, Tony

      • Thanks so much for your kind permission, we will be in touch when the magazine comes out at the end of the year.

        Sincerely, Poh Lin

      • Hi Tony,

        For the intro to the article, may I ask for your surname? And would you happen to know when exactly Auntie Nancy passed on?

        Many thanks again & I’ll be in touch when the newsletter’s printed.
        Poh Lin

  5. So sorry to hear of Aunty Nancy’s demise. Glad that I met up with her last Christmas. Both Albert & Nancy were at my parents’ wedding in 1959 held at E&O. Yes, the band of course. RIP! Aunty Nancy.

    • Dear Hilda, mum and dad must have had a fairy tale wedding at the E&O… any photos of that wondrous occasion, perhaps even if at all, with Nancy and Albert in the background?

      God Bless

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