Leung Man Kwong (梁文廣) – clearance of HK harbour post WW2 and founder of Universal Dockyards
Stephen Davies: The founder of Universal Dockyards (now within the UDL Group) was Mr Leung Man Kwong (梁文廣, b. unknown-d.1966), who I’ve been trying to track down for ages and have at last managed to via this website.
Mr Leung was the boss of 80 divers, shipwrights, blacksmiths and other salvage workers, who were on hand in late 1945/early 1946 (they’d been working in Guangzhou on a destroyed bridge as I recall) and ready to roll when Capt W.A. Doust RN arrived in HK charged with beginning the clearance of HK waters of the c.230 wrecks, etc.
The result of the cooperation between Capt Doust and Mr Leung, especially once Capt Doust had retired from the RN in early 1946 and become the salvage adviser to the HK Government, was that HK harbour was cleared and back in full commercial operation quicker than any harbour of comparable size and complexity that had to be restored during and after WW2.
After the initial RN clearance, military administration ended in spring 1946, the Royal Navy and the newly christened Marine Department split responsibilities, with the 40% of the harbour covered by the naval anchorages being the responsibility of the RN and the 60% of the commercial harbour that of Mardep.
From information on a bilingual website (https://www.flickr.com/photos/91722684@N05/8441854814) Mr Leung got his company going on the back of the clearance contracts in 1947, though whether that is when he acquired the Yau Tong site is unclear. The Companies Registry notes that Universal Dockyard Co. Ltd. was registered in 1959.
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