Kwong Sang Engineering (廣生機器廠)

York Lo: Kwong Sang Engineering (廣生機器廠)

Kwong Sang Engineering Image 1 York Lo

Left: Kwong Sang Engineering founder Ng Kai-lau (HK Pun U District Association, 1955); Right: Family of Kwong Sang founder Ng Kai-lau welcoming his fifth son Chung-yau (triangle) back from studies in the US in 1961. (KSDN, 1961-7-7) 

Kwong Sang Engineering was one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of ship machinery in Hong Kong founded in 1918 by Panyu native Ng Kai-lau (吳啟鎏), who was honorary life president of the Ng’s Clansmen Association and the Pun U District Association of HK.  

Before the War, reports stated that Kwong Sang at one time had 160 workers and factory space of 10350 sq ft. (Hong Kong’s History: State and Society under Colonial Rule, edited by Tak-Wing Ngo, Routledge, 1999) In 1938, Kwong Sang’s address was listed as K.I.L. 1218 Portland Street in Yau Ma Tei. (Directory and Chronicle for China, Japan …). By 1948, Kwong Sang’s address was listed as Kowloon Inland Lot 4180 Mongkok Road in Kowloon. (Telephone Directory for Hong Kong & Kowloon

Kai-lau was succeeded at Kwong Sang by his eldest son Ng Chung-kwan (吳松坤) while his fifth son Ng Chung-yau (吳松有) graduated from Tulane University in Louisiana with a degree in physics in 1961 and furthered his studies at Oklahoma State. By 1958, Kwong Sang’s address was listed as 31 Fuk Tsun Street in Tai Kok Tsui. (HK Industrial Handbook) In 1970, three burglars entered Kwong Sang’s factory at 4 Mongkok Road, tied up the security guard and walked away with steel pipes and machine parts worth $3650 after they failed to locate any cash at the premise. (南洋商报, 23 January 1970, Page 17)

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Kwong Sang’s Factory on Mongkok Road in 1965 (HKU Libraries)

Outside of his business, Ng Chung-kwan was very active, having served as chairman of the Kowloon Chamber of Commerce, honorary chairman of the Mongkok Kaifong Welfare Association and the Ng’s Clansmen Association and was also involved with the HK & Kowloon Engineering Employers Association. The original Kwong Sang Engineering never appeared to have incorporated but a group of craftsmen established Kwong Sang Engineering Co Ltd in 1997 (according to the company’s website although according to the company registry the firm was not incorporated until 1999) to manufacture government marine such as police boats and fire boats with facilities inside the HK Government Dockyard. 

Kwong Sang Engineering Image 2 York Lo

Ng Chung-kwan and Chow Moon next to Tse Kuen (turning the key at the door) at the opening ceremony of the office of the HK & Kowloon Engineering Employers Association in 1975. Szeto Ho of Wang Tak Engineering & Shipbuilding (see article) was also at the event. (WKYP, 1975-2-23) 

Ng Chung-kwan died at the HK Sanatorium in April 1991 at the age of 81 and was survived by five sons and five daughters. (Sing Tao Daily, 1991-4-12) Chung-kwan’s eldest daughter Ng Yin-ching (吳燕清) graduated from HKU with a B.A. and was teaching English at a Catholic school when she married Tsui Yin (徐賢), director of Cheong Sing Garment and Cheong Sing Trading and the third son of Tsui Cheong-sing (徐昌成), the former deputy chief of postal administration and representative of the Ministry of Finance in HK during the KMT regime in 1965. (KSDN, 1965-11-25) 

Kwong Sang Engineering Image 3 York Lo

Wedding picture of Ng Chung-kwan’s eldest daughter Yin-ching (KSDN, 1965-11-25) 

Chung-kwan’s eldest son Peter Ng Yip-chuen (吳業銓) joined Kwong Sang as a manager after graduating from McGill University in Canada with a mechanical engineering degree in 1963.  He married Anna Chan (陳安娜) in 1966 and established Peter Y.C. Ng & Associates Ltd in 1970. Ng Associates provide naval engineering consulting and marine surveying services on behalf of shipowners, underwriters, bankers, shipbrokers and others for the past half a century and Peter’s son Eric Ng Kwok-wing is also involved in the business. Chung-kwan’s third son Ng Yip-tim (吳業添) studied mechanical engineering in Ireland. 

Kwong Sang Engineering Image 4 York Lo

Ng Chung-kwan and his family seeing off his third son Yip-tim for his studies in Ireland in 1958 (WKYP, 1958-9-25) 

Kwong Sang Engineering Image 5 York Lo

Picture and article of the wedding of Peter Y.C. Ng and Anna Chan in 1966 (KSEN, 1966-3-18) 

This article was first posted on 29th June 2020.

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