C.F. Leung, Ng Iu-cheung and L.S. Chang – Directors of Kwong On Bank

York Lo: C.F. Leung, Ng Iu-cheung and L.S. Chang – Directors of Kwong On Bank

Before its acquisition by DBS Bank in 1999, Kwong On Bank (廣安銀行) was one of the leading Chinese-owned banks in Hong Kong. Founded in 1935 by Leung Kwai-yee and primarily led by his sons, Kwong On had other significant shareholders such as the trader William S.T. Lee covered earlier in the group. This article profiles three other directors of the bank in the 1950s through 1980s and their families, who had interests in real estate, manufacturing and other businesses outside of Kwong On.

Leung Chik-fun (梁植, 1906-1984)and Tai On Land Investment (大安置業公)

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 1 York Lo

Leung Chik-fun and Kwong On executives greeting visitors from Midland Bank in 1963. Left to right: Lionel Leung, Leung Chik-fun, executives from Midland Bank, Wu Zi-koen (吳子坤) (WKYP, 1963-11-21)

Leung Chik-fun was vice chairman of Kwong On Bank for decades until his death in 1984 and was the founder and chairman of Tai On Land Investment, an active property developer in the 1950s and 1960s.

Leung was the son of Leung Chi-nam (梁熾南,1883-1956), who lived at 25 Lan Fong Road and Madam Tsui (1880-1969) and he had two brothers -Leung Ngok-sai (梁岳西) and Leung Chun-yin (梁振賢) and one sister. (WKYP, 1956-2-26; WKYP, 1969-3-10) He was one of the first graduates of Canton University (廣州大學) in Canton, which was founded in 1927. Little info is available about Chik-fun’s early career. One of the co-founders of the Chinese Manufacturing Association who was sales manager of Nanyang Brothers Tobacco in the 1930s had the exact same Chinese name, but it is unclear if they were the same person.

In 1947, Leung Chik-fun incorporated Tai On Land Investment Co, one of the first post-War real estate developers in Hong Kong. Within a decade, Tai On had developed many buildings and in 1958 alone, Tai On had projects at the intersection of Shantung Street and Hak Po Street in Mongkok, Lee Tung Street in Wanchai and Castle Peak Road in Kowloon with flats starting as low as $8550 each. (WKYP, 1958-2-26) The same year, Leung Chik-fun spent six months in Australia, visiting Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to explore investment opportunities for a group of HK businessmen with A$5 million to invest and also procured construction materials and steel on behalf of the HK Building Contractors Association with monthly imports of A$400,000. (KSDN, 1958-11-8)

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 2 York Lo

The mother of Leung Chik-fun donated HK$6000 to the Senior Centre in Ngau Chi wai in 1960 while he looked on (WKYP, 1960-9-20); Ad for Tai On’s new building in Mongkok in 1960 (WKYP, 1960-12-21)

In 1960, Leung Chik-fun through Leung Tak Fook Tong and Tai On donated $3000 to the typhoon relief drive organized by Wah Kiu Yat Po and donated $6000 to the Ngau Chi Wan Senior Centre in celebration of his mother’s 80th birthday. (WKYP, 1960-6-18) When his daughter Valerie got married in December 1960, the banquet at the HK Hotel was attended by the who’s who of the business community including Sir S.N. Chau, Kwok Chan, R.C. Lee, Kenneth Fung, C.Y. Kwan and many others.

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 3 York Lo

Leung Chik-fun and others at the opening of Kwong On Bank’s Sham Shui Po branch in 1962. Top right to left: Leung Chik-fun, Ernest C Wong (see Danemann article), Ko Cheuk-hung (高卓雄), Lau Chi-yuen (柳子元, see article), Hui Yeung-shing (許讓成) of Park Hotel, Tsang Kwok-sun, Leung Kwai-yee, Yeung Yun-tak (楊潤德)Bottom: Leung Chik-fun with Standard Chartered manager Reynolds and Chinese manager Yung Chi-yim (容次嚴), Hang Seng Bank’s Wong Cho-sum (黃藻森), and Leung Kwai-yee and his son Ronald D.B. Leung(梁定邦). (WKYP, 1962-6-17)

 

As Tai On was busy developing properties in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Kwong On also continued to expand. In 1959, Kwong On built its 12-story head office building in Queen’s Road Central, followed by its Kowloon branch building at 730 Nathan Road in Mongkok in 1960 and then its Sham Shui Po branch building at 140-144 Nam Cheong Street in Sham Shui Po in 1962 as shown in above picture. The year before, Tai On had developed a residential building at 54 Yen Chow Street in Sham Shui Po (later redeveloped into Peace Building in 1982).

In 1962, Tai On developed Hill Main Mansion (山海大廈) at 35-47 Ha Heung Road in To Kwa Wan with flats starting at $10000 each in partnership with Wing Wo Land Investment (incorporated in 1935, dissolved in 2018) which operated out of 28 Wing Kut Street in Sheung Wan. (WKYP, 1962-12-3);

In 1963, Tai On developed the Tai On Building at 194-202 Tung Choi Street in Mongkok with flats starting at $20000 each and shops on the ground floor starting at $70000 each. (WKYP, 1963-9-23)The same year, Tai On developed Sun On Mansion (新安大廈)at 20-28 Cannon Street in Causeway Bay with flats starting at $30000 each. (WKYP, 1963-7-13)

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 4 York Lo

Leung Chik-fun (left) and Leung Kwai-yee (center) with Equitable chairman Carlos P. Romulo at the opening of Equitable Bank’s HK branch in 1963. (WKYP, 1963-8-16); Ad for Tai On Building at 194-202 Tung Choi Street in 1963 (WKYP, 1963-5-23)

In 1965, Tai On developed a residential building at 145-149 Cheung Sha Wan Road with flats starting at $20000 each.(WKYP, 1965-8-31)

In 1968, Leung Chik-fun visited Europe and the US to study the banking industry. (KSDN, 1968-5-21). As Chinese banks sought strategic foreign backers after the banking crisis in the 1960s, Kwong On brought in Fuji Bank of Japan as a majority shareholder in 1973 but C.F. Leung remained engaged as vice chairman of the Bank and worked closely with his new Japanese partners.

In June 1984, Leung Chik-fun died at the HK Sanatorium at the age of 81. He was survived by his wife Kan Wai-man, their only son Winston Leung and three daughters – Valerie Leung Shui-ying (梁瑞瑛), BA graduate of HKU who married Yip Tai-hui (葉大栩), Leung Shui-kwan, Australian accountant who married Tong Cheuk-yan (唐卓炘) and Leung Shui-wah, M.S. in economics graduate from Australia who married Ronald Dean. (WKYP, 1984-6-9) The Chik Fun Leung Medicine Scholarship and ASB Scholarship at the University of New South Wales in Australia and the Chik Fun Leung Memorial Bursary at the University of British Columbia in Canada were established by his descendants in his memory.

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 5 York Lo

Left: wedding picture of Valerie Leung and Yip Tai-hui in 1960 (WKYP, 1960-12-20); Right: Edwin Leung (first left) as chairman of Tung Wah in 1983 next to vice chairman Chim Kam-yuen (first right) presenting souvenir to Leung Man-kin, then deputy Director of Education (WKYP, 1983-7-3)

Winston Leung Wing-ching (梁穎清) succeeded his father as chairman of Tai On Land which was dissolved in 2005 and also succeeded him as vice chairman of Kwong On Bank and served on its board until its acquisition by DBS in 1999. He was chairman of Bestbond Development (百利邦發展), which was incorporated in 1993.

Another notable member of C.F. Leung’s family is his nephew Edwin Leung Chung-ching (梁仲清), who studied architecture at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and returned to HK after graduation to start his own architectural practice ELA Architects & Engineers (as a firm it was incorporated in 1987, dissolved in 1993). He was chairman of Ying Chung Enterprises (瑛仲企業, incorporated in 1974, dissolved in 1988), Chung Keung Enterprises (仲強企業, incorporated in 1971, dissolved in 1991) and Gulf Industries (高富工業, incorporated in 1975 and dissolved in 1986) and is the owner of Jonnex International (仲益國際有限公司) which has tried to re-develop Tak Sing Lane in Sai Ying Pun in recent years. Outside of business, he has been active in community affairs, having joined the board of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals in 1979 and became its chairman 1983-84. (TKP, 1981-3-4) He was also chairman of the HK Anti-Tuberculosis Association and sponsored and designed its Chinese medicine clinic.

Ng Iu-cheung (吳曜) and Ching Loong Bakery and Dragon Seed

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 6 York Lo

Left: Ng Iu-cheung and his wife returning to HK on theAPL liner President Hoover after their Americas trip in December 1958 (WKYP, 1958-12-1); Right: Tai On ad for its building on Yen Chow Street in 1961 (WKYP, 1961-12-2)

Ng Iu-cheung was another longtime director of Kwong On Bank and he was also a director of Tai On Land covered above. He was briefly covered in the article about Ching Loong Bakery as he was the last managing partner of the firm which was his family business.

A graduate of Queen’s College, Ho was also director of the retailers Dragon Seed and Dragon Light (龍光行) (to be covered), which occupied the site of Ching Loong’s branch on Queen’s Road Central. (WKYP, 1965-7-3; HK Album, 1967)

In the 1950s through the 1980s, there are many news clippings of Ng and his family donating money to various charitable causes and after his death, his family established the Ng Iu-cheung Memorial Scholarships at his alma mater Queen’s College. He passed away in 1982 and he and his wife Wong Koon-mui had at least three sons Ng Ming-lun (吳銘倫), Ng Ming-loi (吳銘來) and Ng Ming-fat (吳銘發) and two daughters Ng Suen-wah (吳巽華) and Ng Suet-wah (吳雪華) based on the news clippings of their charitable donations. (WKYP, 1982-5-12)

Chang Lan-sheng (張蘭生) and the Great Sun group of companies

Chang Lan-sheng and his family were a significant shareholder of Kwong On Bank and he and his son Lister served on its board for many years. Originally from Shanghai, he came to HK in the late 1940s and established Great Sun Textile (大生紡織實業,incorporated in 1961 and dissolved in 2012). The family also operated Houng Sun Hong (宏生行) out of 73 Jervois Street in the mid-1950s. (香港華商年鑑, 1954)

In 1948, Chang Lan-sheng acquired the site of 45-47 Carnarvon Road in Tsim Sha Tsui in Tsim Sha Tsui from a Madam Chu for $80000. In 1961, he incorporated Houng Sun Construction (宏生建築, dissolved in 1999) to engage in property development and in 1964, he built Houng Sun Building (宏生大廈) on the Carnarvon Road site. The 75-year Crown lease of the Carnavon Road site expired in 1963 and the renewal rent was assessed at $60764 by the government, a significant jump from the prior rent of $76 and was disputed by Chang up the way to the UK Privy Council.  (WKYP, 1967-2-4) In 1971, Houng Sun developed Great Sun Factory Building (大生工廠大廈) at 44-50 Tai Pa Street in Tsuen Wan. Other companies controlled by the family include Great Sun Estates (大生置業) which was incorporated in 1980 and Great Sun Godown (大生貨倉, which was incorporated in 1970.

Directors Of Kwong On Bank Image 7 York Lo

Ad for the Great Sun Factory Building in 1971 (WKYP, 1971-2-22); Right: Lister Chang (Kiangsu Chekiang Residents Association)

According to the obituary of his principal wife Chiang Pao-chu who died in 1978 at the age of 78,Chang Lan-sheng had two wives – Chiang and Tsao Houng (曹泓,1916-2010), four sons (Tso-ping, Tso-liang, Lister, Tso-ming), two brothers -Chang Lan-sum (張蘭洲) and Chang Lan-fang (張蘭芳)  – and 13 nephews and 3 nieces. (WKYP, 1978-8-24)

L.S.’s eldest son Tso-Ping Chang (aka Chang Chok-ping, 張作平) served as director of Great Sun Godown and Houng Sun Construction and was also an independent director of Kingsway International Holdings controlled by the family of Choi Kai-yau.

L.S.’s third son Lister Chang Tsou-sun (張作鑫)worked for the securities firm Hayden Stone in the US after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1969 and founded Fine Products Microelectronics Corporation (萬邦電子), one of the first wafer fabs in Taiwan with Andrew Yen (嚴雋泰), the fourth son of Taiwan President C.K. Yen (嚴家淦) before returning to HK where he joined Kwong On Bank and served as its executive director from 1987 to 2002. He was on the board of Singamas Container from 1994 to 1996 and outside of business served as vice chairman of the Kiangsu-Chekiang Residents Association and the board of the UC Berkeley Foundation and the Yeh Family Philanthropy.

Sources (other than those cited above):

https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr71-72/h720510.pdf

https://www.scmp.com/article/266241/singapore-giant-snares-kwong

This article was first posted on 28th December 2020.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Oriental Bank Corporation – HK’s first note issuing institution, 1847
  2. H.O. Tong (唐海安, 1893-1961): KMT Official, Shanghai Hotelier and Jai Alai Operator and HK Industrialist and Banker
  3. Peter Kingson Kwok (郭幼庭,1883-1953): Metal Trader and Founding Director of Bank of East Asia and his Family
  4. The Silver-Haired Midas: Kan Koam-Tsing, the Banker and Gold Dealer who backed South Sea Textile and Camelpaint
  5. Woo Ping (胡炳) – Weaving and Real Estate Pioneer
  6. Cho Shiu-chung (曹紹松, 1922-2011) – Real Estate Developer and Philanthropist
  7. Kin Yick Liong (建益隆) – Real Estate Developer from the 1960s
  8. The Wongs and the Hungs – Pre-War pioneers of HK real estate and philanthropists
  9. Ching Loong Bakery (正隆餅家) 1889 – 1963
  10. The Lane Crawford Bakery, Stubbs Road, 1938-1948

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *