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Suan-Seh Foo

Toronto, Ontario
Grant of Arms, Flag and Badge
November 1, 1998
Vol. III, p. 280

Arms of Suan-Seh Foo

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Blazon

Arms

Argent semé of crosses bottony Sable on a pall reversed Gules cotised Azure a rod of Aesculapius surmounting a mahlstick and a paint brush in saltire Or;

Crest

Within a circlet of maple leaves Gules on a mount in front of a palm tree Vert a Chinese lion passant Or armed and langued Gules its dexter forepaw resting on a bamboo ball Or;

Motto

DEUS ET DIGNITAS;


Symbolism

Arms

The reversed Y-shape refers to the old badge of the Straits Settlements (Penang, Malacca and Singapore), which used a similar shape in white on red. This indicates Dr. Foo’s birthplace in Singapore and his family’s geographical abode for three generations. The addition of the blue makes reference to the colours of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toronto, of which Dr. Foo is a graduate and which he continues to serve through the executive of the Medical Alumni Association. The pattern of crosses refers to the ankhs on the arms of the Faculty, suitably differenced to make a reference to Dr. Foo’s Christian faith. The rod of Aesculapius is a traditional symbol of medicine, and the mahl-stick and the paintbrush refer to Dr. Foo’s avocation as a painter.

Crest

The crest was inspired by an emblem Dr. Foo recalls from British Singapore, showing a lion in front of a palm tree. In this case the lion has been rendered in the Chinese style as a reference to Dr. Foo’s ancestry. Such a lion is known as a “Fu dog”, which makes a pun on Dr. Foo’s surname. The ball is traditionally shown with the male lion. The bamboo which forms the ball is significant in that the Chinese character of bamboo forms a part of Dr. Foo’s surname. The maple leaves indicate his Canadian citizenship.

Motto

This Latin phrase means “God and honour”. Dignitas refers not only to proper bearing and behaviour but also the Chinese concept of worthiness.