Mrs Yvonne Foley


Date 15 March 2014 Interviewed by Ben Fielden, Chungwen Li
Language English Audio Edited by Ben Fielden
Venue Museum of Liverpool    

Yvonne's father was from Shanghai. Her mother was English. Her father was forced out of the UK after World War Two along with many other Chinese seamen who had served in the British Merchant Marine during the conflict.

Growing up in Liverpool she learned but little of her Chinese heritage. Her mother told her how much she was like her Shanghainese father, how he had been from the French Concession in the city and had chosen her French name. But it was only when she had married and moved with her husband to Hong Kong that she began to learn more about the part of her that was Chinese.

Over the years she worked as an administrator, ran a youth club, qualified as a teacher of English and then as a jeweler. She lived in Australia and Canada as well as Hong Kong and the UK and gradually she learned more about China, its history and culture.

It was not until both her mother and her English dad had died that she began to research what had happened to the Chinese man who had helped bring her into the world. She felt that to have done otherwise would have been disrespectful to her dad.

Now living back in Britain, comfortable with who she is, she does what she can to help other British Chinese feel comfortable with their unique identities and be proud of who they are.