Ching Cheong Weaving & Dyeing Works (禎昌織染布廠)

York Lo: Ching Cheong Weaving & Dyeing Works (禎昌織染布廠)

Ching Cheong Weaving Image 1 York Lo

The Ho family at the 70th birthday celebration of Ho Cheuk-yau in 1956 (TKP, 1956-9-23)

Ching Cheong Weaving & Dyeing Works was one of the largest and oldest weaving and dyeing mills in Hong Kong founded in 1923 by Ho Cheuk-yau (何卓猷, 1886-1960)and run by his family until the 1980s.

A native of Shunde, Cheuk-yau was born into a family of farmers in the 1880s in his hometown and started a business transporting spices between Guangning, Huaiji and Sihui in Guangdong and later exported to Thailand in the early 20th century. He started the Kwong Shing Dyeing & Weaving Factory in Shanghai and worked as the manager of a rubber company in Amoy, Chuanzhou and Zhangzhou in Fujian province before founding Ching Cheong in HK.

During the Japanese occupation, Ching Cheong’s factory in Kowloon was taken over by the Japanese military and torn down. After the War, Cheuk-yau rebuilt the plant on the same site and helped to revive the Kowloon Chinese Chamber of Commerce (九龍華商會, a Kowloon City based organization, not to be confused with Kowloon Chamber of Commerce) in 1946 with fellow Kowloon City dyeing mill owner Ngai Shiu-hung (see article on Yuen Hing). When he was offered the position of chairman, he politely declined but served as vice chairman for three terms. He had also served as chairman of Lok Sin Tong during which he built its schools which had 1300 students by 1956. (essay about the life of Ho Cheuk-yau by Lui Chan-ming on his 70th birthday. WKYP, 1956-9-16)

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Ching Cheong plant was located at 3 Ha Heung Road in To Kwa Wan. (AA Far East Businessmen’s Directory, 1969; Asia Textile Bi-annuals, 1965; A Handbook of HK Industry and CMA Members Directory, 1958) During the draught of 1963, the Ho brothers offered water from the wells of Ching Cheong to residents in the neighborhood on days when the government was not supplying water. (WKYP, 1963-7-28)

In 1956, the Ho family held a 70th birthday celebration for Ho Cheuk-yau at the Chung Kwok restaurant (中國酒家) which was attended by over 1000 guests and gift money received were donated to various charities. Four years later, he passed away at his residence at 19 Ha Heung Road in To Kwa Wan next to the Ching Cheong plant and was buried in Sai Kung.

Ching Cheong Weaving Image 2 York Lo

Left: picture and obituary of Ho Cheuk-yau in 1960 (WKYP, 1960-12-31); Right: Ho Heung-min

Cheuk-yau was succeeded by his sons Ho Heung-min (何享綿) and Ho Tun-min (何敦綿) at Ching Cheong. Born in Shunde in 1914, Heung-min came to HK at the age of 16 to join his father at Ching Cheong. He was extremely active in community affairs having served as chairman of the Shun Tak Fraternal Association (順德聯誼總會), Lok Sin Tong, Kowloon Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Kowloon City Kaifong Welfare Association and executive committee of the Chinese Manufacturers Association and Chinese General Chamber of Commerce. After the Communists came to power in the mainland in 1949, Heung-min maintained close ties to his native Shunde in the 1950s and 1960s during which he donated much needed supplies, supported schools and invested in businesses. In the 1980s, he decided to close Ching Cheong and retired to Canada but continued to donate generously to his native Shunde including giving away the HK$140,000 in gift money he received for his 80th birthday to establish a scholarship at the primary school at his hometown of Sima Ning (西馬寧) in 1995 and received the title of honorary citizen of Shunde in 1992. His eldest daughter Ho Yun-chu (何潤珠) married Chiu Hark-chuen (趙克銓), the fifth son of Chiu Hip-ting, the founder of Chung Yuen Electrical (see article) in 1959 and the wedding banquet was held in Macau. (WKYP, 1959-11-22) His son Henry Ho (何漢琦) served as the chairman of the Shun Tak Fraternal Association of Canada, which was founded by his father.

Sources (aside from those cited above):

https://www.newton.com.tw/wiki/%E4%BD%95%E4%BA%AB%E7%B6%BF/3161431

This article was first posted on 21st May 2021.

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