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Obituary: Edward Harm Nam

Edward Harm Nam, who died in Auckland, New Zealand, aged 75, was one of the last surviving children of the founders of Suva’s Wahleys Butchery Limited.
01 Nov 2019 14:25
Obituary: Edward Harm Nam
The late Edward Harm Nam.

Edward Harm Nam, who died in Auckland, New Zealand, aged 75, was one of the last surviving children of the founders of Suva’s Wahleys Butchery Limited.

Mr Harm Nam was the director of the Wahleys Butchery which operates high quality butcheries in Flagstaff and Cumming St. The company also operates a wholesale and manufacturing outlet on Suva St. The youngest of eight siblings was educated at Marist Primary (then St Columbas and St Felix) then moved on to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School.

Edward was known by many as a smart, lively and engaging person. He was a generous person and a family man.

Edward has two older surviving siblings Arthur and Annie Fong.

Edward was fully engaged in the butchery business.

He was also instrumental in the setup of the Harm Bing Holdings Ltd which was established in 1983 and manufactured ice cream (the famous Penguin ice cream), ice confectionery, and cordial drinks.

He also played a key role in the formation of charitable projects and support for the community.

He was a prominent member of the Fiji Chinese community.

His work and achievements in business have been well recognised.

He was the dearly loved husband of Cathy. Treasured and loved father of Edwina, Nathaniel, Felicia and Glynis.

Cherished father-in-law of Aisea and adored gung-gung of Tyler.

Standing at the Back: the late Mr and Mrs Ham Bing Nam. From left: The Harm Nam siblings: Edward, Rosie, Arthur, Victor, George, Annie and Ivan.

Standing at the Back: the late Mr and Mrs Ham Bing Nam. From left: The Harm Nam siblings: Edward, Rosie, Arthur, Victor, George, Annie and Ivan.

Funeral gathering:

The funeral gathering for Edward is being held at 81 Suva Street.

Respects for Edward can be made at Oceania Hospital, 120 Amy Street, Toorak from 9.00am to 9.30am on 2 November, 2019.

The funeral procession will then leave Oceania Hospital at 9.30am.

The procession will then proceed to Domain Road and Suva Street to observe Chinese customary rites and then to the Suva Chinese Cemetery, Reservoir Road at 10.00am.

About Wahleys Butchery

Mr Harm Nam’s father Harm Bing Nam was the founder of Wahleys Butchery. Information provide by the Harm Nam family was earlier published by MaiLife magazine and highlighted:

  • The Wahleys Butchery is widely regarded as one of the first specialist butcher, which makes it one of the oldest in the country.
  • Harm Bing Nam, more popularly known as Harm Nam (the name taken on by his family) came to Fiji in 1913 as a cook for Governor Sir Henry May.
  • Governor May is believed to have been posted to Fiji after serving in Hong Kong, which was then like Fiji, a British colony, so it is most likely that Harm Bing Nam was recruited by the Governor while serving in Hong Kong.
  • Harm Nam was given the option to stay or return to Hong Kong after his service as cook to the then Fiji Governor.
  • He opted to stay and quickly became an influential member of the Chinese community.
  • He is widely credited along with a few other prominent members of the Chinese community at that time for starting the Fiji Chinese School.
  • The school was originally located in Gordon Street, Suva where the Fijian Holdings Building stands but moved to Flagstaff in 1952 and the name was changed to Yat Sen School.
  • Initially Harm Nam dabbled in general merchandise, laundry, ice works and other small schemes but in 1938 he started his Butcher shop ‘Was Ley’, which means ‘prosperity’ in Chinese.
  • This first butchery was located in Cumming Street, where the Wahleys Butchery still stands today.
  • Harm Nam had his own cattle and piggery farm, and an abattoir in Nasau, near the current site of St Joseph the Worker Primary School, and it was acknowledged as the biggest piggery in Fiji at that time.
  • Harm Nam’s wife was also from China.

He is believed to have gone back to China in the 1920’s got married, and returned to Fiji.

  • He had six sons and two daughters, Ivan, Annie, Lauton, George, Victor, Arthur, Rosie and Edward.
  • The pioneer Harm Nam passed away in 1960 at the age of 70. His home in Suva Street, Toorak still stands today.
  • Harm Nam’s sons took over the business when their father passed away.
  • Mr Harm Nam’s children took over the business but some have died. Now his grandchildren continue his visionary and enterprising legacy and the Harm Nam dynasty remains strong.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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