Southeast Ice Company (東南冰廠)

York Lo: Southeast Ice Company (東南冰廠)

Southeast Ice Company Image 1 York Lo

Opening ceremony of Southeast Ice Company in 1969 (WKYP, 1969-11-25)

The fishing industry has created demand for locally produced ice and in 1969, Southeast Ice Company opened on Tung Yuen Street in Yau Tong next to the fishing village of Lei Yue Mun to supply ice to local fishermen.

Southeast Ice Co was incorporated in 1968 and its board comprised exclusively of individuals with the same surname, likely from the same family –  chairman Wong Sum (王森), Wong Sang (王生), Wong Siu-kuen (王少權), Wong Ping-kwan (王炳坤) and Wong Ping-kei (王炳祺) with Fok Chau-ho (霍就好) as manager. According to a source, the Wong family came from Shau Kei wan where it was involved in providing financing to fishermen and the family owned the Wong’s Building on Aldrich Street in Shau Kei Wan before it was re-developed into Hip Wo Mansion in 1990. Wong Sang also established the Wong Sang Prize at the Shau Kei Wan Government School which continued to be supported by his family after his death.

Southeast Ice Company Image 2 York Lo

The Southeast Ice factory in Yau Tong in 1969 (WKYP, 1969-11-24)

The three-story ice factory occupied 10000 sq ft with 6000 sq ft loading area. Designed by David Wong of Wai Yip Refrigeration Engineering, the factory was equipped with the latest equipment from the US and consisted of two 60-ton pools which could produced 800-900 bags of ice (each bag 300 pounds). The factory had two cold storage which could store 8000-10000 bags of ice and had office, meeting rooms and workers dormitory and cost HK$4 million to build.

The factory formally opened in November 1969 and its opening ceremony was attended by E.H. Nichols (李國士, 1925-2016), who was Director of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1965 to 1980 and several hundred guests including representatives from the fishing industry.

Southeast Ice Co was dissolved in 1989. It is possible that it became the Yau Tong factory of HK Ice & Cold Storage (香港製冰及冷藏有限公司), the oldest and largest of the four ice manufacturers in Hong Kong. HK Ice was originally founded in the late 19th century, merged with Dairy Farm to form Dairy Farm Ice & Cold Storage in 1918 and operated its plant in Causeway Bay at the site where Windsor House and Hang Lung Centre are located until the 1970s, and acquired by Polytec Asset in 2004. It currently has plants in four locations in HK with daily production of 1600 tons: Tai Po, Aberdeen, Castle Peak and Yau Tong. The other three players in the ice manufacturing industry in HK currently are Shiu Pong Group (蕭邦生雪, founded in 1979 by Shiu Pong with factories in HK, Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou), Tsit On Ice (捷安冰粒, founded in 1966 with plants in Yuen Long, Macau and Cheung Chau) and Turbo Ice (德保雪粒, founded in 1981)

This article was first posted on 22nd March 2021.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. The Dairy Farm Ice and Cold Storage Company – HKBRAS article
  2. The Hong Kong Fishing Industry during World War Two – on the trail of Amakusa Marine
  3. Great South Fishing Industries (廣南漁業)
  4. No.1 Tai O Market Street 大澳街市街 – manufacture of oars and paddles for fishing boats
  5. Hong Kong Industry during World War Two – Fishing, Food and Beverages, Tobacco

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