Flowers, cards and tributes have been left outside Busy Bee, which is currently closed for renovations.
Flowers, cards and tributes have been left outside Busy Bee, which is currently closed for renovations.

Calls for memorial as locals and politicians remember Kent

An outpouring of grief and gratitude has flowed in the wake of the sad news that local chip king Kent Wong passed away at the weekend.

Some Bundaberg locals are calling for a memorial plaque in the city to honour the man who cooked them fish and chips for more than 52 years.

Juvena Curd offered her condolences to the family and said she would love to see something set up as a permanent reminder of Mr Wong's service to the city.

"I would love to see a memorial plaque installed in the CBD area for the many years of service and commitment Mr Wong and his family has contributed to the Bundaberg region," she said.

Kent Wong at work.
Kent Wong at work.

 

Others reminisced over the many memories they had of Busy Bee Fish Bar.

Rebecca Willard said she'd been going to the popular takeaway for a quarter of a century.

"Your chips were famous Kent, I've been going to Busy Bee since I was a kid and that's at least 25 years," she said.

"Bundaberg will miss you and your chips."

Gen Campbell echoed the tributes of many, saying Mr Wong's chips were always the best in town.

"RIP Kent, you will always be remembered for your years of service to the bundaberg community and the best chips in town.

"Rest in peace."

Amanda Panichelli said she was saddened by the news.

"He cooked the best fish and chips in Bundy hands down," she said.

"Condolences to his family and friends at this sad time. May this legend rest in peace."

Bundaberg MP Tom Smith says he met the Wongs on the campaign trail and the loss is very sad news for the region. He is pictured here with Mr Wong’s son, Andrew.
Bundaberg MP Tom Smith says he met the Wongs on the campaign trail and the loss is very sad news for the region. He is pictured here with Mr Wong’s son, Andrew.

 

Local politicians pay tribute to one of Bundaberg's legends

Many NewsMail readers described Mr Wong as a legend in Bundaberg and local politicians have acknowledged the role he played in the community.

"Kent Wong is an icon of the Bundaberg community and it is extremely saddening to hear of his passing," Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said.

"Kent has served his famous battered chips for the last 52 years and will leave a lasting memory for many in the community.

"I send my condolences to the Wong family, I can only imagine their sadness. I wish the new owners well and hope they can continue Kent's legacy," Mr Smith said.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said Bundaberg wouldn't be the same without Mr Wong.

"Sadly our Bundaberg and Burnett region has lost a true local icon in the passing of Kent Wong," he said.

"You can't call yourself a local unless you've been served Kent's renowned hot chips from his cherished Busy Bee Fish Bar.

"He stood diligently at the deep fryer for 50 years serving our community.

"This true gentleman will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him.

"Our town won't be the same without Kent.

"My thoughts go out to Kent's family."

Divisional councillor Tracey McPhee also paid tribute to the most famous fish and chip shop owner the region has ever known.

Cr McPhee said almost everyone had a story to tell about a trip to Busy Bee.

"I was saddened to hear of the passing of Bundaberg business owner Kent Wong, who has been somewhat of a local legend in the region for many, many years," she said.

"Mr Wong, his wife Lin and their son Andrew have made and outstanding contribution to the CBD, having run their successful and extremely popular Targo St fish bar for more than 50 years in the area.

"Like myself, I'm sure many locals and visitors have a story or two to share about visiting Mr Wong at Busy Bee and tasting his delicious double-battered chips."

"I send my sincere condolences to the Wong family during this time and thank them for their many decades of service to the Bundaberg region."

Kent Wong served many a customer through the years, with a secret 90-year-old recipe.
Kent Wong served many a customer through the years, with a secret 90-year-old recipe.

 

The chips that made Busy Bee famous

Busy Bee is currently closed for renovations, and according to the business, new owners will come on board soon.

In 2019, the Wongs announced they'd be winding down into retirement after decades of hard work.

That year, the Wongs' son Andrew chatted with the NewsMail to reveal the secrets behind their hot chips.

Never using frozen potatoes, the family used local spuds and if they couldn't be sourced, other fresh Aussie potatoes were used.

The Wongs were up early every morning, going through an entire truckload of potatoes each week.

On Fridays and weekend days, the Wongs could make their way through up to 20 buckets of potatoes a day.

The chippies were made with a Belgian recipe, which saw them being double-fried.

The first cooking is at a lower heat, before the battered chips are rested.

They're then fried at a higher temperature to give them crunch.

The secret of the batter? That's a secret that goes back even further than the Wongs' time at Busy Bee.

Former owners Douglas and Stella Lung passed the 90-year-old recipe to the Wongs when they took over the shop 52 years ago.


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