Barbara Yung was born on May 7, 1959 in Hong Kong. Where she was born and who was helping with her birth is unknown. It is also unknown how her mother got through this period as a single mother working in a textile factory in a period when there was hardly any social policy. It must have been a difficult period given the appalling conditions of the refugees in Hong Kong.
Life changed for the better when Barbara's mother moved in with a much older white man who worked for the government. Barbara called this man her stepfather. Working for the government gave the family all kinds of privileges which made life in Hong Kong very pleasant. Besides a good income they lived in a government villa with a sea view in the richest part of Hong Kong called The Peak. They had staff for the household chores (11).
The first photo of Barbara was when she was probably less than a year old and could barely sit on her own. She wore neat clothes. This photo was taken by the then renowned photograph studio "Lan Xin Photography, Lee's studio" (12). Barbara's probably already lived with her stepfather in this period .
In 1961/1962 Barbara was baptized at Saint Margaret's, a Catholic church on Broadwood road in Hong Kong (13). It is unclear why Barbara's mother had changed her religion, in China she was a Buddhist. Much later, in England, she changed her faith back to Buddhism (11).
When Barbara was 4 years old, her stepfather retired and thereby losing his privileges of government housing. The family moved to an apartment in the North Point area. Near Kings road, where a cinema was located(14). They lived on the ninth floor. The ground floor consisted of shops, small businesses including a launderette and between the housing blocks was a playground (11).
Barbara often talked about the happy times during this period and about the strong bond she had with her stepfather. He was very proud of her and took her everywhere to show her off. Several pictures show Barbara as a young girl posing inside luxury restaurants. Her stepfather spoiled her and there was little he did not allow. For example, Barbara could still remember that she would sit on his shoulders and then cut his hair with scissors (11).
If her stepfather went somewhere and Barbara was not allowed to come along, she would wait for him in the playground between the apartment buildings. There she met Roderick Chan, a young man eighteen years older than Barbara, who worked in the laundromat on the ground floor. More and more Barbara went to the laundromat to wait for her father and chat with Roderick. This way her stepfather got to know Roderick when he went to collect her which led to a close friendship between the two (11).
Fate struck, her stepfather got lung cancer. All the family's savings went to medical care. In the end it didn't help. When Barbara was seven years old her stepfather died. During the last days of his life Roderick promised that he would take care of the family. A promise he kept until his own death (11).
Barbara never spoke much about the period when her stepfather was ill. Only that she insisted that I had to promise her that if I felt some pain, no matter how minor, I should tell her immediately. She was convinced that her stepfather had ignored the signs of his cancer for too long until he could not be cured (3).