Grinstein, Boris

Plot Location2C3
SurnameGrinstein (“Green”)
Given Name(s)Boris
Place of BirthKrasnoyarsk
Date of Birth (Eng)December 25, 1903
Date of Birth (Heb) 
Date of Death (Eng)April 14, 1971
Date of Death (Heb)19 Nisan 5731
Age at Death67 (stone says 68)
Hebrew Nameברוך
Spouse’s Name 
Father’s Name 
Mother’s Name 
Other Surnames 
Marital StatusS
Maiden Name 
Title (e.g., Dr) 
Religious Status (כ/ל/י) 
Cause of DeathBowel cancer (?)
Other Family Data 
Inscription (Eng)BORIS GRINSTEIN
Inscription (Heb)פה מצא מנוח המ׳ ברוך גרינשטיין נלב״ע י״ט ניסן התשל״א והיו ימיו ס״ח שנה תנצב״ה
Inscription (Other)“292” centered on front
HistoricalKrasnoyarsk is third largest city in Siberia. It is northwest of Mongolia.

He lived in Tianjin before coming to Hong Kong.

Penelope Elias wrote on 21 January 2020:
“Despite the difference in their ages, my husband Egbert, who was born in 1939, and Boris were great friends. My husband got to know him when he was sent out from the Netherlands to work for the ABN in HK in 1964. Boris was with Cogent Gems on Queen’s Road Central. This was a family firm owned by the Leung family. It still exists today. To my knowledge, he had no family although he had a great affinity with young people. I only met him in August 1970, when Egbert and I were invited for the evening to his apartment.

“Boris was a real character — charming and mischievous. My husband told me quite a few stories about him over the years. He once flounced right across the ground floor of the Peninsula Hotel in drag and wearing a wig causing great mirth. He could get away with quite outrageous behaviour. He was such an entertaining host, and very impish. At a certain point he disappeared into the apartment (we were all on the balcony) and reappeared with a jade ring (the simple kind, no setting), which he presented to me saying it had been given to him by Casey Leung’s great-grandmother and telling Egbert, ‘If you don’t marry her, I will!’ At that point Egbert had not yet proposed to me although it turned out later that he had already told scads of people he was going to marry me! I still have that ring.

“I was told that Boris was a white Russian. He never fully mastered speaking English and spoke with a strong Russian accent. He used to ask me ‘Vat you tinking?’ and, believe it or not, this and other phrases he used became a lasting feature of my own speech pattern that occasionally pop up in my speech to this day!

“Boris already had bowel cancer (I think) by the summer of 1970. That August, he took Egbert and me out on his boat for the day. The boat was a gift from the Leungs, which shows how close they were. I returned to Montreal that September to do a postgraduate degree. In the early spring, Egbert (who had proposed to me at his sister’s wedding in Eindhoven by then) told me that Boris had been admitted to Canossa Hospital. He remained irrepressible and insisted that he was going to marry one of the hospital’s sisters! He never complained. The day he died was Easter Sunday, I think. I visited Egbert in May and he took me to see Boris’ last resting place. I remember I just burst into tears. He was very definitely larger than life. The Leungs had taken care of all his funeral expenses.

“Boris had been a supporter of the State of Israel and so when the boat was sold, the money it raised was sent to a friend of his in Israel who was in somewhat dire straits, according to Egbert.”

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