i am not able to decode what seems to be chinese characters in the document
According to the "Tzuk Po" (族谱) or family chronicle of the 徐 clan settled in Village in Ng Wah county of Kwang Tung Province 广东省´, our forefathers came originally from fujian (福建) Province. They migrated during the Reign of Emperor Cheng Tung (正统) of the Ming Dynasty (明朝), to settle in the Valley of Tsim Hang (粘坑) in Wu Hua county (五华) near Mei Xian (梅县) in the north eastern part of Guang Dong Province (广东省) (see Map 1). Reckoning from the first Tsui migrant settling in Tsim Hang some 400 years ago, I should rank the 14th generation.
The family chronicle shows that my grandfather's family name should be Tsui Wang Mo (徐宏谟）as was customary he had another name Kam Sang (监生), and on becoming a Christian, he chose the third Tsui To Leung (徐道良) as his Christian name. Tsui Wang Mo was recorded as the 4th son of Tsui Foon Po (徐宽宝). My grandfather's elder brothers were (i)Wang Nam (宏南) (ii)Wang Cheung (宏祥) and (iii)Wang Kwong (宏光). As he had in addition two sisters, he was always referred to as "Luk Shuk Kung" (六叔公) to indicate that he was No.6 in the family. Of his two sisters, one was married to a "sau choi" (秀才) by the name of Cheung Po Ching (张宝征) of Tai Keng Yeung Sang (大经), the other was married to Li Ting Fu (李定扶)of Cheung Po Wang Kong (长布 ). The last mentioned had a son, Li Fook Cheong (李福昌), who subsequently was instrumental to inducing my father in establishing a branch of his family in Jesselton British North Borneo, now known as Kota Kina Balu of Sabah, Eastern Malaysia.
My great grandfather was named Tsui Foon Po (徐宽宝), and he was the 2nd of four sons of Tsui Fong Kam (徐芳锦）Tsui Foon Po (徐宽宝) also had three brothers and three sisters. However, of his three brothers only one; namely, Ching Po (清宝) lived to be survived by 2 sons; and of his three sisters, one was married to Lai Hing Lim (ÀµÐËÁ® ) of Sai Po (Î÷²¼), one to Cheung Ming Si (ÕÅÃùÊ«) of Yau Choi Hang (ÓÐ²Å¿Ó), and one was married to Cheung Lan Sing (ÕÅÀ¼Éý) of Lut Chi Kong (Àõ×Ó¸Ú). In turn Tsui Fong Kam (徐芳锦)was the eldest of three sons of Tsui King Cheung (徐敬昌) who had only one daughter married to Mr. Tsang () of She Hang (蛇坑); and it was recorded that he lived to the venerable old age of 97.
According to an oral account of my father, Tsui Yan Sau (徐仁寿), - spoken after a dinner on the occasion of his 60th birthday in May 1949 - our family's connection with Hongkong could be traced back to the mid 19th Century when one of the brothers or cousins of his grandfather ventured to Hongkong with the hope of buying at relatively price the highly profitable commodity of the then quite respectable opium. His venture however was not as successful as he had hoped. On arrival in Hongkong he could not find the right contact thus frustrated his high hope of making some quick profit out of a small capital. Instead of an opium merchant or buccaneer, he met a missionary from Basle Switzerland. Apparently the missionary succeeded in talking him into accepting the teaching of Jesus Christ. Soon not only was he baptized but also was assisting the missionary in translating some of the Bible stories into the Hakka dialect. Amongst those with whom it was said he had made friends with during his prolonged visit in Hongkong, the names of Sir Guy Ho Kai (何启) and the name the Rev. Morrison ( ) were mentioned. It was also said that he had something to do with a secret organization headed by one Dr. Sun Yet Sun (孙中山 ), who later was more widely known as Sun Chung Shan (孙中山) who was at the time receiving his medical training in the Alice Memorial Hospital in Hongkong. Before long my great grand uncle brought home to the village of Tsim Hang, not pots of opium, but the Holy Bible, and along with it certain German missionaries. In consequence our village of Tsim Hang in Wu Hua (五华) county soon became one of the earliest operational bases of the Basle Mission. In Shan Ha, (山下) which means "At the foot of the hill", a gospel hall and a missionary primary school was soon built - right next door to our house. Thus from this humble gospel hall on an unwanted site at the foot of the hill in Shan Ha village a tiny seed of the mustard plant soon germinated, grew and prosper.
Amongst its early students attended the primary school at Shan Ha to be trained as a lay preacher towards the end of the 19th Century, was one who came from the far away Ì‚õ‚î‚ç‚ ×‚á‚è‚ village ( ) north of Ó‚è‚á‚í‚ Ã‚è‚õ‚î‚ ( ) near Ì‚é‚ Ì‚ï‚î‚ç‚ ( ) in Ó‚õ‚î‚ Ï‚î‚ ( ) County. His name was Ð†á†î†ç† Ì†ï†ë† Ó†á†í† ( ), who in those days had to make all his way ( a distance of some 100 LIs ) up the Å‚á‚ó‚ô‚ Ò‚é‚ö‚å‚ò‚ to Ó‚è‚á‚î‚ È‚á‚ village in Ô‚ó‚é‚í‚ È‚á‚î‚ç‚ ï‚æ‚ Î‚ç‚ ×‚á‚è‚ County for his ð‚ò‚é‚í‚á‚ò‚ù‚ ó‚ã‚è‚ï‚ï‚ì‚ education. Years later Ð†á†î†ç† Ì†ï†ë† Ó†á†í†, as a lay preacher, spread the Gospel in the rural district stretching from Ô‚á‚é‚ð‚ï‚ ¨‚ ©‚ ô‚ï‚ Ó‚è‚á‚ Ô‚á‚õ‚ Ë‚ï‚ë‚ ( ) in the New Territories. Eventually it was in this very rural district that Ð†á†î†ç† Ì†ï†ë† Ó†á†í† rose to become the first Chairman of the È‚å‚õ‚î‚ç‚ Ù‚å‚å‚ Ë‚õ‚ë‚ ( ) when the latter was established in late 1925 under the personal auspices of Ó†é†ò† Ã†å†ã†é†ì† Ã†ì†å†í†å†î†ô†é†, then Governor of Hongkong. It was at the time when Ð†á†î†ç† Ì†ï†ë† Ó†á†í† was no more than just a primary school student at Ó‚è‚á‚î‚ È‚á‚ that he must have deeply impressed my grandfather; so deeply and favourably that my grandfather had the foresight seeing fit to entrust the life long happiness of his beloved 6th daughter Ô†ó†õ†é† Ã†è†é†î†ç† ×†ï† ( ) to be betrothed to him. Had it not been for the fact that Uncle Ð†á†î†ç† Ì†ï†ë† Ó†á†í† had long before us built his own house in the village of Ó‚õ‚î‚ç‚ È‚é‚í‚ Ô‚ï‚î‚ç‚ ( ) in Fanling, New Territories, it would never have occurred to my father that he too should consider building a house of his own in that same village. I recall my teacher of history at the University of Hongkong, Mr. N.H. France, used to fondly repeat the saying: " No one know what would happen if what did happen had not had happened". Looking back, I would happily say I am glad that my father did build his house in Fanling, where I have had hell of a time growing up to become what I am or what I have been.
A documentary evidence of an earliest possible date which would show that I am related to my grandfather was a proud family group photograph of early 1917 (if not of late 1916), presided over by my formidable grandfather sitting at the centre, with myself as a baby held securely on her lap by my mother, sitting at the extreme end on my grandpa's right hand side. (see photo 1). The photograph showed that I had a Rosary in hand, which was given to me by my sister to keep me happy and stop me from crying. To my recollection however I only became aware of the existence of my grandfather when I was 3 years old when living in his house at Tsim Hang Village. My vague impression was he was the most important person in the house, commanding the respects of not only those who were members of the household but also many others living in the village. When I cried, they used to invoke the name of Grandpa as a means to induce me to stop crying. Other than that, I can't even remember what he looked like at the time. The next occasion of my meeting him was in my father's house in Hong Hong, when I had already attained the age of 5. He visited us as a house guest and stayed with us for a while. It was on this occasion that he left an indelible impression in my mind as one with an unmistakable white beard and moustache, always holding an exceptionally long wooden tobacco smoking pipe ( taller than me - 4 or 5 feet long). When he smoked, he had to stretch his hand far out with a lighted match to light the tobacco stuffed in a small hole at a knob in the far end of the long pipe. His also used his long tobacco pipe as a walking staff like a Bishop, and he would to bang it on the floor when he expected others to take note of a point he had made.
My third encounter with him was very pleasant and memorable. It was
in the last year of his life (1925). He was then the Guest of Honour in
my father's newly completed house in Fanling, New Territories - the
pride of the family. At the age of 9, I must have been a bright boy. I
was then his favourite grandson and was privileged to have the freedom
to indulge myself
in almost anything before the kindly old man. I could help myself with
choicest piece of meat from his special dish on the dining table, which
my father would abstain from touching. I could climb on his bed and
up and down without annoying him. I could even play with his long
pipe - which nobody else would dare even to touch - as if it were my
fu" weapon. He never admonished me. Occasionally he even praised me as
a smart boy. Grandpa left me with an unforgettable image of being
the undisputed head of the Clan and of the Family; a wise old man who
all the answers to all questions; the person who must be consulted on
question of importance. Yet away from the homestead he demonstrated
seeking enlightenment from elderly persons in the neighbourhood in
relating to local history, folklore, legend, architecture, flora and
fauna. In his many excursions which he used to fondly and proudly take
he had shown great interest in the people and the history of the five
walled villages and six other not so old villages without wall in
- which were homesteads of the noble TANG Clan (邓族 ) for hundreds of
years. He had a lot of praise and admiration for the marvels of the art
the old buildings - the paintings, carvings, timber, woodwork, bamboo
brickwork, ironwork and masonry, particularly those in their ancestral
My beloved grandpa died at the age of 70, in the very evening on his 70th Birthday in November 1925. To celebrate the occasion of his Grand Birthday, all his children, grand children and other closed relatives, who happened to be in Hongkong, responded to a summon for a proud family group photograph. Along with other close friends of the family and a few of our neighbours, we had a big dinner party to do him honour. Poor grandpa he was too ill to taste the good dishes specially prepared in his honour, and too uncomfortable to sit up straight so as to really enjoy the proud presiding centre seat of honour in the family group photograph. The group photograph was taken by the then leading professional photographer, A FONG, in the presence of many of his admirers at the front porch of Shek Lo (石庐) the proud new house of his favourite son, to which he was invited to spend his well earned long and happy retirement ! He was in fact yelling in pains when the group photograph was taken. He died a few hours later.
Presiding over the burial rites at his funeral was the Rev. Ling Sin Yuen (凌善元), Pastor for the Shamshuipo Church of the Basle Mission, concurrently the supervising Pastor for Fanling in the New Territories. Assisting in administering the burial rites was a London Mission Pastor The Rev. Cheung Chuk Ling (张祝龄) of the Hop Yat Tong at Bonham Road on Hongkong Island. In his Eulogy, The Rev. Ling stressed the point that he was a pupil of my grandfather at the Li Long Seminary, where my grand father himself was trained for missionary work before him. In his short homily The Rev. Cheung Chuk Ling also acknowledged that he too was a pupil of my grandfather. However, it had never been made clear to me, as precisely at what stage of his life did my grandfather work as a teacher at the Li Long Seminary. I guess it might have been at an early stage, probably when he himself had freshly graduated from the Seminary itself, that he was retained to be one of the junior assistant tutors. As far as I am aware the chances are members of my TSUI family may excel in practical work and in organizing ability and even in leadership, but hardly any of us has yet distinguished ourselves academcally as much of a scholar. Knowing my grandfather well I cannot imagine how my grandfather could be much of a theologian or a philosopher. I have indeed heard many quotations of his oral pronouncements on many subjects on varying occasions, but I have yet to come across a single piece of written work - in essay or in other forms - which had been credited to his authorship.
My grandfather had a reputation of being a man of endless initiatives, even though he seemed lacking the stamina necessary to sustain the many projects he had very imaginatively started. The medicine shop which he started at Xingning did not seem to last long. We have heard very little about his other business ventures, let alone success stories. We were given to understand that he had plenty of excellent ideas. For example, he advised that in rearing pigs one should combine it with the rearing fish in a fish pond fish near the pig sty; and the best time to harvest your pond fish should be within a few hours after a typhoon, when the deep sea fishermen had not had the time to get out into the sea to catch theirs from off shore. By so doing, you could hold your customers at ransom and sell your pond fish at premia prices. By siting your pig-sty right next to your fish pond, the waste from the pig-sty would help to reduce the costs of fish meals needed for feeding the pond fish; at the same time you also solve your drainage problem and reduce the offensive stench of pig rearing. According to another oral account of my father, my grandfather was once a stone work contractor. He contracted to build one of the stone walls which supported the Naval Hospital at Morrison Hill in Wanchai on Hongkong Island. I suspect it might have been one of those supporting the Ruttonjee Hospital near the Waterworks Depot at Bullock Lane. The story was, he lost money in that venture. However, if I am not mistaken, the stone wall which he built lasted many years (and was still there in July 1988, when I last visited the Waterworks Depot).
According to an account of my mother, corroborated by my aunt (an elder sister of my father), my grandfather was a man of a strong character and a fiery temper. He was originally trained to be a preacher or pastor, but he had many other human interests besides preaching the Gospel. Amongst other things he had a particular interest in medicine, the traditional Chinese herbal as well as the modern western chemical. Being a father of a sizable family of his own (he had 11 children), he applied his self-taught medical knowledge with care and with a lot of common sense but with confidence. He was particularly knowledgeable and experienced in the treatment of worms and of measles. For the former he used a western drug known as (?)"Sandonin" in controlled tiny dosage and with meticulous caution; for the measles he used aspirin to control fever and advised careful nursing to prevent chill which could lead to pneumonia, but he also prescribed a certain traditional Chinese herbs to soothe the patients. He used to tackle many other ailments common among children as well, always with common sense and with great confidence. It was in his younger days when working as a preacher or catechist in Xingning County Town (兴宁), when having cured the measles of a child of one of the aspirants, the grateful parents presented him with a chicken and a few eggs as a token of gratitude. The German pastor learnt about this and my grandfather was admonished. The stern German pastor held the view that (a) it was wrong of my grandfather, without proper training and the appropriate qualification, to have practised medicine which could lead to serious consequences; and (b) even if he had effectively cured the child and the child parents were genuinely grateful, my grandfather should not in return accept the chicken and the eggs even as a gift which amounted to a payment in kind and smack corruption of a mild form. As a result my grandfather was indignant for being admonished, for what he considered to be a very Christian and charitable act; he did not ask for payment nor a gift. The chicken and the eggs were given to him in good faith, all above board and nothing improper. He was so furious that he promptly resigned from his post. Thus he left the Mission. Soon thereafter he started a medicine shop of his own in Hing Ning (Xingning) It was in this County Town of Hing Ning (Xingning) that my paternal grandfather subsequently met and became friendly with my maternal grandfather, who was a cross country itinerary peddler, purveying his imported dried goods from village to village, making friends with any one who cared to buy his ware or just to make friend with him. The two got on so well that they soon betrothed their son/daughter in marriage. It was in the county town of Hing Ning (Xingning) where my father was born, for I recall vividly witnessing my father completing one of the census forms in the year 1931, when he put down Hing Ning (Xingning) as his place of birth. I was curious and asked why, and he then explained to me that the year when he was born his father was operating a shop in the county town of È‚é‚î‚ç‚ Î‚é‚î‚ç‚.
But by far the most fascinating story I heard about my grandfather was, that he was resettled in 1905 by the then Squatter Board from Fan Yee Hang番衣坑 "The Laundry Valley" at Kennedy Town in West Point, to Telegraph Bay 钢线湾 in Pokfulam 朴扶林, at the turn of the century. To the south and adjacent next to Telegraph Bay (where the Baguio Villa 碧瑶湾 now stands), was a bathing beach just beneath what was then a summer resort for the missionaries of the French Paris Foreigh Mission (MEP). This summer resort at Pokfulum was the rest and recreation station for the French missionaries working in South China (Canton and other parts of Kwangtung including the counties of Ã‚è‚ï‚î‚ç‚ Ì‚ï‚ë‚ ( ) á‚î‚ä‚ Ë‚á‚ò‚ Ù‚é‚î‚ç‚ Ã‚è‚ï‚÷‚ ( ) - the same mission territory which was subsequently taken over by the American Maryknoll Fathers), who used to come to Hongkong for their occasional R & R. The resort composed of a spacious campus right next to the old Dairy Farm (part of the Dairy Farm is now the Chi Fu Fa Yuan 置富花园 and includedth the “The Bethany” 伯大尼 ‚ as well as the building which has since been converted to become the present day “University Hall” of HKU, along Pokfulum Road. Part of the resort's campus had in recent years, been developed into what is now the Baguio Villa 碧瑶湾. The old campus was very spacious, with the lower part of it set aside as burial ground for the missionaries, and beneath it was a bathing beach with built in granite changing room facilities for swimmers.
The M.E.P. fathers had special arrangment with the De La Salle Christian Brothers of the St.Joseph's School for the latter to use the swimming facilities at this beach in the summer. When my father was 8, he lived with my grand father in one of the huts at Telegraph Bay. As a country boy fresh from the backward village up country having plenty of time and not much to do he was encouraged by my grandfather run erramds fof the Christian Brpthers and to make friends with them when they came for their swim at weekends. By offering to run errands or to do any odd jobs - probably for one or two cents tips a time, my father must have proved that he was a pretty smart boy. For through such relationship the Christian Brothers eventually succeeded in securing for my father "financial assistance" or a "grant" of some sort, from the St.Vincent de Paul Society, for my father to receive full time education as a boarder at the De La Salle Brothers' St.Joseph's School (now the St. Joseph's College), then located at the St. Joseph's Buildings in Robinson Road, (recently demolished for redevelopment) right next to the Cathedral. As a result my father received his English education and was later converted to become a Catholic.
After completing his education at the St. Joseph's my father first went back to country, where he taught English in several newly founded modern type of "middle" (secondary) schools in the county town of Mui Yuen (梅县) and Hing Ning. It was at this stage of his life when he got married; for my eldest sister Mary was born in 梅县‚ which explains why she was named 梅英 (Mui Ying ). 1911 happened also to be the historical period when the former Manchu Dynasty was overthrown and the Republic of China was established. My father, who cut his pig tail earlier than his comtemporaries while he was still a student at the St. Joseph in Hongkong, was soon nick named as "Æ†á†î† Ô†ó†õ†ô†" ( ) the Æ‚ï‚ò‚å‚é‚ç‚î‚ Ó‚å‚ö‚å‚î‚ô‚è‚, as he was the 7th child in the family, who was teaching English and who adotped the Foreigner's life style of not wearing a pick-tail before everyone else. It happend in that year (1911) also when there was a bitter inter clan feud between the Ô†ó†õ†é†ó† and the Ã†è†å†õ†î†ç†ó† in the village of Ô‚ó‚é‚í‚ È‚á‚î‚ç‚ when fire arms were resorted in their attempts to settle the inter clanial differences. My father soon left an image in the village as a fearless young man who was not afraid of gun fire and was a sharp shooter who hit his target without wasting his bullets when he fired his fowling-piece.
Later my father returned to Hongkong where for a while he worked as a teacher in Ying Wa School an Anglican secondary school, but subsequently switched back to teach in his alma mater, the St. Joseph's School, where he earned the reputation of being able, without having to turn round, to pin point on a map hung on the wall behind his back with his finger or a stick, the exact positions of the various cities. He enrolled himself in the evening class of the Technical Institute to qualify as a Certificated Teacher. When he sat for his final qualifying examination he chose "money" as subject for essay writing in English. He scored 100% full mark in that paper, which he kept as a secret treasure right up until he was 90 years old, when one day he proudly showed it to his young grandson, my 10th son Ephraem, who brought a group of young students from Wah Yan College to interview him for a feature article in a school magazine.
At the age of 30 he was offered a long term contract by the Christian Brothers as a career teacher. He turned it down and decided to start a private school of his own. He started his ×‚á‚è‚ Ù‚á‚î‚ Ó‚ã‚è‚ï‚ï‚ì‚ on 16th day of December, 1919, with no more that 4 pupils, of whom one was his own nephew, and was stubborn enough to get on with it against all odds. Within two years the enrollment swelled to over 300 with which he succeeded in earning the recognition of the Education Department with its approval for inclusion of Wah Yan in the Government Grant-in-Aide List. This was a case unprecedented, as until then only schools run by missionary societies had been so previleged. To enhance the quality of teaching in his private school, he enlisted the help of a proven good teacher in the person of Ì†é†í† È†ï†ù† Ì†á†î† ( ) whom he invited to be his partner to help in the running of his school. Between the two of them they soon recruited a team of hand picked good teachers on the staff. Further more when the locally recruited teachers in Government Schools were poorly paid, my father was bold enough to offer better terms of employment to teachers in his private school. As a result, Government's hands were forced to quickly revise the pay scales applicable to locally engaged teachers.
Just as when everything was shaping up nicely and well there came the General Strike of 1925, when trins, Trams and ferries stopped running, and many shops suspended business making it virtually impossible for students to attend classes even if they were willing. Over half of the students enrolled and some of the activist teaching staff decided to go along with the strike and withdrew. Many returned to Canton or other parts of the China. The school could not function and had to be closed. For a few months prospects were so uncertain that we wondered whether we could survive. In effect it meant no students were paying their fees, hence no money to pay the wages for the theachers and not enough money even to pay for the food we need. The General Strike started early in June and lasted right up to mid October, when the Kuomingtang Army, after winning battle after battles in its Northern Expedition, established its Goverenemt in Nanking. The newly established KMT Government called off the strike on 10th October, the National Day of China. It was after mid October when things began to quiet down, when students and teachers began to return and when classes were resumed. With the activist teachers and students gone, it did not take long for Wah Yan to regain its momentum. By 1929 Wah Yan College was able to celebrate its Tenth Anniversary, the name Wah Yan excelled not only by the results of its students in Public Exams; namely (i) the Junior Local (ii) the Senior Local and (iii) the Maticulation Exams for the Univeristy of Hongkong, but also in the ready acceptance for employment of its "school leavers" in the public as well as in the private sectors.
When Wah Yan was enjoying the very best reputation it could have hoped for, my father had the foresight to recognize that while teachers would understandably continue to ask for increased pay because of the needs of their growing young families, the school could not yeqwar after year continue to increase the fees it charges. He saw the need to invest elsewhere in order to earn additional income to pay the teachers. Together with his partner Mr.Ì†é†í† È†ï†ù† Ì†á†î† they began to diversify thier investments into other commercial ventures. Unfortunately, excellence in the skill of teaching had no relevance in the skill in commerce. They both lack the necessary expertise and business acumen to make a success in their business ventures. Inspired by the success of an existing fast moving coastal passenger carrier the í‚¯‚ö‚ ¢‚Ã‚è‚é‚õ‚ Ã‚è‚ï‚÷‚¢‚ ( ) which was already doing brisk business shuttling between Hongkong and Ó‚÷‚á‚ô‚ï‚÷‚¬‚ they ventured jointly with the Procurator of the Catholic Mission in Hongkong, the Rev. Fr. Â†é†á†î†ã†è†é†ï†, PIME, to buy a "war surplus" disarmed and disused former German gun boat, reputed to be just as fast if not faster than the m/v "Chiu Chow", bringing it back all the way from Hamburg to Hongkong, intending to convert it into a coastal passenger carrier, sell it to a local shipping interest for coastal passenger and freight service in competition with a proven successful forerunner. For technical advice, they relied on a veteran master mariner, a Capt Â†ò†á†î†ä†ô† from Germany, whom they hardly knew. Due to their own naivety and lack of relevant experience, they did not realize that it took time and would cost a lot of money to employ a competent crew to navigate the ship all the way from Europe, to buy the necessary fuel to move the ship over such a long journey, to revive the long disused engine and keep it going, before the ship could be brought to Hongkong. It had never occurred to their minds before then that dues had to be paid for tying up a ship in a harbour, even if the ship was lying idle waiting for money remittance to buy fuel to enable the ship to continue its journey. The miscalculation brought with it unanticipated cash flow problems for which adequate provision had not been made. Thus instead of making a profit, they lost a lot of money which nearly ruined all the three of them. Nay that was not the full story. Simultaneously in Hongkong the three partners also invested a substantial amount in buying over a small shipyard, the Ó‚ï‚õ‚ô‚è‚ Ã‚è‚é‚î‚á‚ Ó‚è‚é‚ð‚ Ù‚á‚ò‚ä‚, specialized in building medium and small size motor vessels, in Ô‚ï‚ë‚÷‚á‚÷‚á‚î‚. After building the firt two lighters, the shipyard had no more ship to build. The venture proved equally disastrous for the investors. Of all the time there were in history to start a business, they picked the ÷‚ò‚ï‚î‚ç‚ year (1930), when the "crash" of the NY Stock Exchange in October 1929 marked the beginning of the world wide "great depression". Luckily the 3rd of their diversified ventures (in which the Catholic Mission was not involved) was not that disastrous. Talked into by one of my father's cousins Ì†é† Æ†ï†ï†ë† Ã†è†å†ï†î†ç† ( ) ñÀ‚öÀ‚, who came back to Hongkong from Â‚ò‚é‚ô‚é‚ó‚è‚ Î‚ï‚ò‚ô‚è‚ Â‚ï‚ò‚î‚å‚ï‚ seeking treatment of his hemorrhoids, my father decided to venture a smaller amount of capital in a longer term project of clearing some 300 acres of grounds to start a rubber plantation in Ê‚å‚ó‚ó‚å‚ì‚ô‚ï‚î‚ Â‚ò‚é‚ô‚é‚ó‚è‚ Î‚ï‚ò‚ô‚è‚ Â‚ï‚ò‚î‚å‚ï‚, now Ë‚ï‚ô‚á‚ Ë‚é‚î‚á‚ Â‚á‚ì‚õ‚¬‚ Ó‚á‚â‚á‚è‚, Å‚á‚ó‚ô‚å‚ò‚î‚ Í‚á‚ì‚á‚ù‚ó‚é‚á‚, for which relatively cheap labour could be indentured from China. It was made quite clear from the start that it would take some seven years for the rubber trees to mature and to yield, and that prices for rubber fluctuate according to world demands. By 1938, the venture proved successful.
Apart from this long term project of rubber plantation which left a ray of hope in the distant future of seven years of waiting, both my father and Mr. Ì†é†í† lost practically all their savings and were heavily in debt. Thus they were forced to consider finding a successor to take over Wah Yan from their hands. It happened that the Ê‚å‚ó‚õ‚é‚ô‚ Æ‚á‚ô‚è‚å‚ò‚ó‚ ï‚æ‚ ô‚è‚å‚ É‚ò‚é‚ó‚è‚ Ð‚ò‚ï‚ö‚é‚î‚ã‚å‚ was looking for some worthwhile project to establish their presence in Hongkong. My father approached them and soon an agreement was reached, whereby the Jesuit fathers would take over Wah Yan College on Hongkong side as from January 1932, but the Government Grant of some $48,000.- for the year 1931, would be given to my father partly for repayment of loans earlier incurred, and partly as his retirement gratuity. This explains why when my father died in 1981 at the age of 92, an Archbishop The Most Rev. Tang Yee Ming S.J., who was a pupil of my father in the early days of Wah Yan, led some twenty Jesuit priests of the Irish Province in Hongkong and a few others to concelebrate the Requiem Mass for his soul at the Ó‚ô‚®‚É‚ç‚î‚á‚ã‚é‚õ‚ó‚ Ã‚è‚á‚ð‚å‚ì‚ é‚î‚ ×‚á‚è‚ Ù‚á‚î‚ Ã‚ï‚ì‚ì‚å‚ç‚å‚ Ë‚ï‚÷‚ì‚ï‚ï‚î‚. It was also agreed then that Mr. Ì†é†í† on his own were to continue to operate with lower paid staff the Kowloon Branch of Wah Yan on the same school premises; but the property of the school premises was to be vested in my father name who undertook to repay the loans borrowed for the businesses ventures, and in consideration of which my father was to continue to receive regularly a rental as the owner. With the gratuity paid in cash and the question of property right of the school premises regularized, my father later negotiated a mortgage for banking facilities with the Chartered Bank, with which he partly used to repay, by instalments the debts previously jointly incurred, and partly to invest in the safer long term projects. The latter included (i) certain additions, alterations and improvements to the existing school premises at Î‚å‚ì‚ó‚ï‚î‚ Ó‚ô‚ò‚å‚å‚ô‚ Í‚ï‚î‚ç‚ë‚ï‚ë‚¬‚(ii) the continuation of his earlier project of a rubber planting Ê‚å‚ó‚ó‚å‚ì‚ô‚ï‚î‚ ï‚æ‚ Â‚ò‚é‚ô‚é‚ó‚è‚ Â‚ï‚ò‚î‚å‚ï‚ for the management of which he sent his eldest son Ð†è†é†ì†é†ð† and (iii) the commencement of systematic buying up piece by piece at relatively cheap prices of paddy fields located in Fanling New Territories. The improved school premises made it possible for Mr. Ì†é†í† and subsequently the Jesuit fathers to operate Kowloon Wah Yan as a full fetch secondary school, complete with laboratory facilities for Physics and Chemistry. The rubber plantation began to yield by 1938, when World War II was about to begin. The paddy fields in Fanling later proved to be our sole dependable life line during the war years when the rental in kind ( which was rice grains) met more than our needs to sustain the livelihood of the entire family taking refuge in China. However, in human terms, the price we paid for keeping intact our rubber plantation in Borneo was the life of my elder brother Ð†è†é†ì†é†ð† , whom the Japanese accused of being an underground agent for the Allied Force, for which he was locked up in prison, tortured and did not survive to enjoy the "Victory" in 1945. Similarly the price we paid for keeping the intact our paddy fields holding in Fanling through out the Japanese occupation period was some four months imprisonment with multiple tortures by the Ê‚á‚ð‚á‚î‚å‚ó‚å‚ Ë‚å‚í‚ð‚å‚é‚ô‚á‚é‚ in Hongkong of my 8th brother 徐世祥 who was accused of being a British agent operating underground and assisting in financing the spy activities of the Â‚ò‚é‚ô‚é‚ó‚è‚ Á‚ò‚í‚ù‚ Á‚é‚ä‚ Ç‚ò‚ï‚õ‚ð‚ agents operating in Japanese held Hongkong. It was lucky that Stephen was not killed. Both these incidents took place in early 1945, shortly before the end of World War II.
It was my 5th Aunt Tsui Tak Ching ( ) who used to tell bits of the story here and there about my father, and it was my mother and sometimes my sisters who retold the other bits of the story. In any case, the story will never be complete. Be that as it may, let me tell it in the best way I can as follows, knowing that certain parts of the story might have been "coloured" or "over exaggerated". It was my Aunt who told me the story that when my father came down from up country to Hongkong, he was just a little over 8 years old. At the time my grandfather was already operating his "businesses" from his hut down at Telegraph Bay‚ at Pokfulam on Hongkong Island. At that time my grandfather had already indulged in taking a concubine, and most of the money he made (if any) were spent to keep his newly acquired concubine, a step daughter and two young children (nos.10 and 11) happy. My father had little to spend. So much so, when my father walked his way from Tsim Hang to Hongkong, he had only one pair of trousers and a pair of home made cloth-sole shoes to wear; and when crossing a stream on the way he had to take off his trousers and shoes before wading his way across the stream. To the foregoing, my mother added the other part of the story as follows: On arriving at Telegraph Bay, the younger brother was wearing a loving velvet gown while rolling his body on the dirty floor, but my father had to be content with an old 2nd hand frock given to him by someone else. As indicated in an earlier part of this story my father had to earn his extra two or three cents by running errands for the Christian Brothers at the swimming Beach to buy what he needed. My father had the reputation of being a bright boy when he was very young. He was said to be able to recite from cover to cover the Lutheran version of Catechism before he was enrolled in primary 1 at the school in Ó‚è‚á‚î‚ È‚á‚. At St. Joseph's School he had the reputation of being able to memorize all the lessons taught in classes, and that he could add long columns of figures quicker and more accurately than any one else in the same class. When these stories were told, they were told in the presence of my father who did not dispute the accuracy of the story.
( ) In Hakka, we call our mother "Ah Mi" and not "Mama" My mother came from a 陈 family ( ) (pronounced chin in Hakka) in the county town of 五华‚ ( ). Because she was born in the year of 庚 ( ), she was given the name 庚( ). Her father was an itinerary salesman, purveying various items of imported goods from village to village in the country. He appeared to have got on well with my father's father when the latter established his medicine shop in the county town of 五华. The friendship led to the eventual betrothal of my mother to my father. My mother had a younger sister, who married (钟一斋 ) also of 五华‚ county town. For a time (in 1924-5) my uncle Chung worked in the pay master's office of my father-in-law's regiment. (As a matter of fact, it was from my uncle Chung that I first came across the name of my future father-in-law, Lin Yin Hung 练演雄. They had 4 sons; namely Chung Yan Yeung 钟恩杨, Chung Yan Por 钟恩波, Chung Yan Hau 钟恩浩, Chung Yan Long 钟恩朗and a daughter Chung Yan Hing ‚ Three of their sons eventually migrated to British North Borneo. Because my mother's mother wanted very much to have a son, so she named the younger girl Kiu Tai (求 ) which in Cantonese should be pronounced as Kau Tai, meaning praying for a younger brother. Her prayer was not directly answered and so she had to adopt a son and named him Chin Fook Lin (福 ), who eventually went oversea to make his living in Bangdong in Sumatra of the Dutch East Indies‚ now Indonesia‚ where they spent the war years returning to China in 1946 via Hongkong. His daughter, ÃÂ„èÂ„iîÂ„ ÙÂ„áÂ„ôÂ„ ÌÂ„áÂ„îÂ„ ( ) subsequently served the Communist Party in China in which capacity she eventually rose to become the Political Officer supervising the Wai Yeung county Peoples Hospital in Waichow.
In her younger days my mother was noted not only for her beauty but also for her intelligenc. She studied in the Basel Mission's boarding school for girls at Cheong Tsuen‚ (樟村 ) the Camphor Tree Village, the Switzerland like highland near our village of Ô‚ó‚é‚í‚ È‚á‚î‚ç‚. While at the Basel Mission boarding school for girls some 80 years ago at the beginning of the Twentieth Century my mother, along with several of my aunts, learnt and practised Ò‚ï‚í‚á‚î‚é‚ú‚å‚ä‚ Ã‚è‚é‚î‚å‚ó‚å‚ - the same Ð‚É‚Î‚Ù‚É‚Î‚ system which the Government of the Chinese Peoples Republic nowaday adopted as one of China's official languages; the way all Chinese names are to-day being romanized, e.g., Â‚å‚é‚ê‚é‚î‚ç‚ instead of Peking, Ç‚õ‚á‚î‚ç‚ Ä‚ï‚î‚ç‚ instead of Kwangtung; Ç‚õ‚á‚î‚ç‚ú‚è‚ï‚õ‚ instead of Canton; È‚õ‚é‚ú‚è‚ï‚õ‚ instead of Waichow; Ó‚è‚å‚î‚ú‚è‚å‚î‚ instead of Shum Chun, Ä†å†î†ç† Ø†é†á†ð†é†î†ç† instead of Tang Shiu Ping, Ú†è†á†ï† Ú†é†ù†á†î†ç† instead of Chiu Chi Yeung, Ê†é†á†î†ç† Ú†å†í†å†î† instead of Kong Chak Man; Ø‚é‚î‚è‚õ‚á‚ instead of Sun Wah. As a by-product, my mother wrote a beautiful hand of alphabetic penmanship. A European solicitor in Messrs Hastings & Co. was surprisingly impressed, when she opted to sign her name in copy book like English on the Deed of Conveyance for the house at 8 Mosque Street which she bought with her pin money way back in 1936. Her attainment in the traditional written Chinese was good enough not only to enable her to read the Holy Bible from cover to cover, but also to sing from the texts of the Hymn Books provided in her churches. It was also adequate for her to read the pre-war (World War II) version of the monthly Family Life magazines published by the Ó‚å‚ö‚å‚î‚ô‚è‚ Ä‚á‚ù‚ó‚ Á‚ä‚ö‚å‚î‚ô‚é‚ó‚ô‚ Í‚é‚ó‚ó‚é‚ï‚î‚ é‚î‚ Ã‚è‚é‚î‚á‚¬‚ from which she picked up an amazing amount of knowledge relating to hygiene, nutrition, social, morals topics, in addition to some doctrinal religious subjects.
While my father was by profession an educator, my mother in her own way was a remarkable educational proponent. In my primary school days it was my mother who supervised my brother Mark and myself in our home work every day. As she worked along with us when we did our homework, she picked up a lot of knowledge in modern topics and new ideas; and she would not hesitate to apply her newly acquired knowledge to remind us of our obligations, or to encourage us in our pursuit of further knowledge. It was my mother who insisted that Mark and myself should take extra curicula private lessons in Chinese classics when we were in our secondary school. Had it not been for the private lessons in Chinese classics, my out look in life, my knowledge in the Chinese language and my interest in Chinese culture might never have been the same. One thing for certain I would not have taken Chinese Literature as my subject of studies when I was enrolled at the University of Hongkong. It was indeed my mother who insisted that my brother Mark, on passing his matriculation exams in 1936, should, at her private expenses, go up to University and take the Degree course. Upon my returning from Rabaul New Guinea after a year's teaching, it was my mother who encouraged me to continue my education at a university. In her Will she made specific provision for university education of her grandchildren.
My "Ah Mi" insisted that all of us, brothers and sisters, should learn to cook by taking a part in preparing the meals for the family, particularly during the summer vacations. Her way was that we should team up in pairs; with the eldest (Í†á†ò†ù†) teaming with the youngest (È†é†í† Ã†è†å†õ†î†ç†), the second eldest (Á†ç†î†å†ó†) teaming with the 2nd youngest (Ó†á†é† Ã†è†å†õ†î†ç†), the 3rd eldest (Ð†è†é†ì†é†ð†©‚ teaming with the 3rd youngest (Í†á†î† Ã†è†å†õ†î†ç†), the 4th eldest (Myself) teaming with the 4th youngest (Í†á†ò†ë†)- (Ì†ï†õ†é†ó†á†, being too young and small, was spared) - listed on a roster and made responsible in turn for the day's meals. We then had an old fashion village style grass burning twin-stoves with two huge "woks" in the kitchen, which required a "stoker" to continuously stuffing into the furnace with an adequate amount of dried grass as fuel for a big fire to produce sufficient heat to cook the rice and the other various dishes. The younger one of the team would function as the stoker, the elder one would cook. It was the cook's responsibility to cut the vegetable and meat into the right sizes, and it was the responsibility of the junior to help in the cleaning and washing up. Mother would be at hand as the consultant when the team got stuck with problems or a new item had to be tackled, and she was very good at this. It was in this way, I learnt, for example that cooking rice required an intense fire at the beginning until the water boils, then allow the burnt up grass to remain growing in the stove so as to continue the intense heat without the flames, thus the water used to cook the rice in the "wok" would evaporate until the rice dries up but remains moist and soft the important point to remember was never to allow the rice to be over dried as have been toasted so that the rice when served at the table would be just right i.e., warm, moist, soft and palatable. In the cutting of beef, we were taught to make sure that we ã‚õ‚ô‚ á‚ã‚ò‚ï‚ó‚ó‚ - î‚ï‚ô‚ á‚ì‚ï‚î‚ç‚ - the texture of the meat so that the meat would tear easily when chewed in the mouth, otherwise the beef would be too ô‚ï‚õ‚ç‚è‚ for the teeth to chew. When cooking vegetables we were taught to prepare the "÷‚ï‚ë‚" red hot, and throw the veg on to the "÷‚ï‚ë‚" and fry until it smells good, then add water and cover the "÷‚ï‚ë‚" with a lid to cook the veg until the it soft. The important point to remember was, î‚å‚ö‚å‚ò‚ ô‚á‚ë‚å‚ ï‚æ‚æ‚ ô‚è‚å‚ ì‚é‚ä‚ í‚ï‚ò‚å‚ ô‚è‚á‚î‚ ï‚î‚ã‚å‚; otherwise the veg would turn yellowish and would not taste so good. My mother also made sure that we all learnt to know how rice grains with coarse husks are processed into edible meals of rice. For that we had a complete set of gears, including a winnower to free grain from the lighter particles of chaff by blowing away the empty shells or grass; a grinder ( made of hard wood chips as "teeth" or "cutters" driven in on a hardened mud foundation tightly bounded by circular bamboo knitting binder, with a hard wood axle at the centre on which the grinder would revolve as the grinder was pushed and pulled by a bar hooked to a hinge) to grind open the husks; a sieve to separate the grains from the husks; and a pounder paddled by foot to pound the coarse rice so as to soften and polish it to make the rice more palatable. The operation included a series of hard work, for which we teamed up in the same way as we cooked our summer holiday meals as above described.
My "Ah Mi" gave birth to 8 sons and 4 daughters, of whom two boys and a girl died very young. In her younger days, she raised the family like a mother hen herding her flock of chics, constantly feeding them, drilling them, keeping them warm, sheltering them from attacks of creditors. In the later part of her life, she never grudged the expense when the entire family gathered together for an elaborate dinner in a restaurant to celebrate her birthdays or moderate dinners for lesser occasions. On top of these she would make sure that each one of us would get a packet of Ì‚á‚é‚ Ó‚é‚ (lucky money) to commemorate the more important occasions. My "Ah Mi" also insisted that the entire family should ã‚ï‚í‚å‚ è‚ï‚í‚å‚ for dinner on Christmas Day, on the 2nd day of the Chinese New Year, and on such other occasions as may be appropriate for a family gathering. In the later years of her life, she made a point of getting to know how her married sons and daughters were getting along with their respective spouses, or how they might have been raising their respective growing families, by way of regularly, once a month, visiting every one of them by turn in their respective homes where she would spend at least a night with each of the respective families. Should any point give rise to comment, she would not hesitate doing so; however, when she did, she would raise the point for discussion rather then insisting that her own way or method should prevail. In short, she cared and shared.
My "Ah Mi" was baptized as a Christian by the missionaries of the Basel Mission in Ã‚è‚ï‚î‚ç‚ Ô‚ó‚õ‚å‚î‚¬‚ the Switzerland like highland near our village of Ô‚ó‚é‚í‚ È‚á‚î‚ç‚ in Î‚ç‚ ×‚á‚è‚®‚ She was taught her catechism when very young and was brought up in a stern puritanical background of the German Lutheran missionary, with very strong views of what was right and what was not. In point of fact when it was proposed that she should married my father, who, at the time had already been converted into Catholicism, she had the experience of being in a crisis and was wondering whether it was morally right for her to marry a "convert" to a religion which Martin Luther had seen fit to have "ò‚å‚æ‚ï‚ò‚í‚å‚ä‚". She did not concede to give way to agreeing to become a Catholic herself, but she tolerated her husband being a Catholic and conceded to have her children being brought up as Cathodic, but she herself continued her practice as a staunch Protestant. She said her own grace before meals when we signed the Sign of Cross and said our Catholic version of prayer before and after meals. We abstained from meat and had our fish or eggs and vegetables on Fridays and on Wednesdays during Lent, but she felt free to eat what was convenient for her. She went to her church for her Services on Sundays and we went to our Catholic church for Masses. She would remind us to say our morning and evening prayers while she would pray in her own ways in the quiet. In her leisurely time she would read her Holy Bible and would ponder over what she had read from the Good Book. She would not hesitate to share with the family her inspirations or visions or discoveries from such readings. She had a very good soprano voice, and her singing in church came out noticeable when listened from a distance. She loved practising her singing of hymns on her own at home, and would encouraged all of us to sing along with her. She was positive that praising the Lord in her Protestant way was just as good if not better than the Catholic ways of saying prayers etc.
"Ah Mi" loved vegetable gardening and in addition to growing the various traditional species, she was very good at experimenting on new species of foreign vegetables, such as cabbage, cauli flower, beet root, etc. She used to spend half a day almost every day in the vegetable bed by the side of our house, tendering the vegetables she grew. She also had an expert knowledge in the rearing of chickens and ducks. She cooked very well and she loved to have the entire family coming home to dinner. "Ah Mi" impressed me to be a very efficient shopper. She used to take me along with her in her regular shopping expeditions, bi-weekly at the Taipo Market and monthly to downtown Hongkong when I was at the age of ten and eleven. On the night before each such expedition, she would ask me to jot down on a piece of paper, her shopping list. As the list was prepared, she would advised me in advance from which particular shops or stalls she were going to buy her pork, beef, fish, dry goods or vegetables, etc., and indicated quite clearly, where exactly each such shop of stall was located in the Market or in the downtown department stores. On the shopping list she would advise listing the items in the order of the geographical disposition of certain shops and stalls, so as to avoid repeatedly going up and down the street more times than absolutely necessary, thus saving time and saving physical labour. In the market she would teach me how to tell the freshness or otherwise of the fish by examining the colour of the gills, and when buying beef and pork by paying particular attention to the smell and the colour of the meat. She also taught me to avoid buying vegetables which were soaking wet but use my fingers to test the freshness of the vegetables. When I mastered my skill in riding my bicycle she gained the confidence to let me do the market-shopping on my own. She also used to take me along when she had her monthly shopping in downtown departments stores in Hongkong. There she had her routine by way of buying as much as she needed and could in one particular department store first - the Ó‚é‚î‚ã‚å‚ò‚å‚ Ã‚ï‚í‚ð‚á‚î‚ù‚ was her favourite. When the main bulk of the shopping was over, she would take me to the restaurant at the roof garden of the Sincere Co. for a quick lunch. (The Sincere Company was the only building in Hongkong in those days to have two Lifts taking shoppers up and down the floors; and I always enjoyed riding the Lifts up and down). After lunch, she would do her supplementary shopping at the piece goods dealers in ×‚é‚î‚ç‚ Ï‚î‚ Ó‚ô‚ò‚å‚å‚ô‚ ( ).Occasionally when she could not get all she wanted from the Sincere, she would try the Ó‚õ‚î‚ Ã‚ï‚í‚ð‚á‚î‚ù‚ ( ) next door or the ×‚é‚î‚ç‚ Ï‚î‚ Ã‚ï‚í‚ð‚á‚î‚ù‚ ( ) further west down the road. I also enjoyed, of course, the cookies from On Lok Yuen which she never missed as there were so many of us, youngsters longing for it at home. All these would mean more than half a day's job commencing from our leaving home at 9.30 for the 10 o'clock train in the morning and finishing just in time for us to catch the 4.30 afternoon train on our way back to Fanling in the New Territories. "Ah Mi" loved fish and would not mind paying a high price for a life garoupa. She loved a sip of her own brew rice wine to go with her favourite dish at dinner; and she would appreciate an occasional small cup of Port or Brandy. However unlike my father she had a very poor set of teeth; she had to see the dentist very often.
Early one afternoon in the summer of 1932, when I came home from school, I noticed my "Ah Mi" was in tears. She was obvious feeling very sad and up set. I asked her why, but she hesitated. After a while she said to me. "Son, to day is the Twenty-fifth anniversary of my wedding with your "Ah Pa"; it should be a cause for celebration, the Europeans called it Silver Wedding, but your "Ah Pa", my husband, is not here! He is with another woman elsewhere. I don't know what to do !" "Are you quite sure, Mom ?" I asked. "Yes, I am very sure !" she replied. I was then 15 going on to 16 years of age, I knew so little and my experience was so limited, but I knew for certain something was very wrong; but I did not know how to comfort or console my beloved "Ah Mi". The fact was, by 1930, the year following after Wah Yan College celebrated its 10th Anniversary and when Wah Yan College was enjoying its pinnacle of success, my mother had already given birth to eight boys and four girls, of whom only one did not survive. Hitherto my father was totally absorbed and involved in the tasks of establishing his school, building his house and managing the two very successful Wah Yan Colleges. Up till then he had been a scrupulous practising Roman Catholic observing strictly every rule there was designed to make a Catholic a good Catholic. However when he and his partner Mr. Ì†é†í† started to diversify their energy and interest in other forms of business ventures - buying an ex gunboat from Europe, taking over a shipyard and possibly planning for other business ventures, the two of them began to get mixed up with businessmen whose lifestyle was to indulge in feasting, wining and womanizing. We believe it was in one or a series of such occasions my father was attracted to a young woman whose origin we knew very little about. Before long there was the rumours that he had secretly kept a woman somewhere outside the house. At first we did not or refused to believe the story, but soon it proved to be true. My mother was so upset that she nearly went mad. She must have gone round and lay her complaint about the unfairness of the matter before practically everyone she knew. She heard words of sympathy and comfort but could get no practical solution to her problems. In her state of shock, anger, fury and despair, my mother successively lost two of her youngest off springs; a son Shun Cheung ( ) who died of meningitis, and a daughter Catherine ( ) who died of Pneumonia. Against the strongest possible protest from my mother who desperately enlisted the support of all of us, her sons and daughters, my father brought home one day, a young woman with a a baby boy, requesting my mother to formally admit her as his concubine. Under duress, my mother accepted her cup of tea but did not drink it. However on the coming home of the woman, my mother could never accept the situation in peace; so much so that a short while thereafter the woman and the child had to move out of the house and lived in a place elsewhere. The separation lasted until the outbreak of the Pacific War. After our branch of the family was brought back to the village of Ô‚ó‚é‚í‚ È‚á‚î‚ç‚, my father resolutely took the risks and all the troubles to have returned to the Japanese occupied Hongkong to bring the woman and her children back to join the family in our ancestral home at Ô‚ó‚é‚í‚ È‚á‚î‚ç‚. By this time, she had already given birth to five children, and on returning to Tsim Hang three more were born.
After the War, on knowing the death of my brother Ð†è†é†ì†é†ð† in Borneo, my father took upon himself to take over the management of the rubber plantation in Borneo. He brought along with him, his concubine and her six living children, to live away from my mother. In Borneo they begot seven more, making a total of 15 children born of the two of them, of whom 12 (nine boys and three girls) survive to-date.
Thus in all there were 27 of us, born of the same father out
of two separate mothers. Their names, in the order of seniority, are as
follows:- 1) Tsui Mui Ying, Mary 2) Tsui Shui Lan, Agnes (died 19 May
1981) 3) Tsui Ying Cheung (died an infant) 4) Tsui Chun Cheung, Philip
at the end of War) 5) Tsui Ka Cheung, Paul (myself) 6) Tsui Shing
Mark 7) Tsui Man Cheung, Matthew 8) Tsui Sai Cheung, Stephen 9) Tsui
Cheung, Joseph 10) Tsui Ping Ying, Louisa 11) Tsui Shun Cheung, (died
infant) 12) Tsui Kit Ying, Catherine(died an infant) 13) Tsui (died an
14) Tsui Yau Cheung 15) Tsui Tat Cheung 16) Tsui Kwong Cheung 17) Tsui
an infant) 18) Tsui Tsang Ying 19) Tsui Tsung Cheung 20) Tsui Nyam
21) Tsui Yick Cheung 22) Tsui Yee Cheung (died an infant) 23) Tsui Sam
24) Tsui Tung Cheung 25) Tsui Nyam Woo 26) Tsui Luk Cheung 27) Tsui Dor
Chong Lok (长乐 ) Old name for Ng Wah County Chong Pu ( ) a market
town about 3 miles away from Tsim Hang
in Ng Wah County Chong Tsuen(樟村 ) Camphor Tree Village, lopcated in
a peak district quite close to Tsim Hang, Agnes likened it as a place
very much like the highlands in Switzerland Fook Kin ( 福建) Fujian Hing
Ning ( 兴宁) Xingning Kwangtung ( 广东) Guang Dong Lung Wah ( 龙华) Long Hua,
a market town near Shum Chun Mui Yuen ( ) Meixian, also known as Kar
Ying Chow Ng Wah ( 五华) Wu Hua Sham Chun (深 ) Shenzhen Sun On (新安
) Xinan, old name for Po On District Swatow (宝安 ) Shantau, sea port
town for Chiu Chow Waichow (惠州 ) Huizhou.