Star Envelopes & Printing Co. (福星信封印刷)

York Lo: Star Envelopes & Printing Co. (福星信封印刷)

Star Envelopes & Printing Co. Image 1 York Lo

Left: Sat Wing-cheung (1959); Center: ad for Star Envelopes in 1971 (HK Pun U District Association); Right: Sat Wing-chung (1967) 

Within the highly competitive HK printing industry dominated by natives of the Heshan (or Hok Shan) district in Guangdong province (see article on Lee Yat-ngok and Local Printing Press), the Sat family from Panyu managed to carve out a niche in the field of printing custom envelopes for businesses and organizations and air letter forms for the general public through their Star Envelopes & Printing Co Ltd, which was active from the 1950s to the 1970s.  

Star Envelopes & Printing, which went by Star Printing Co (福星印務) before its incorporation in 1965, was founded by Sat Wing-cheung (薩永祥). The exact date of its inception was unknown but by the mid 1950s it already had a branch in 20 Lyndhurst Terrace in Central and 102 Tung Choi Street (later moving to 170-172 Tung Choi Street) in Mongkok with Wing-cheung managing the Central branch and his brother Sat Wing-sun (薩永) and Sat Wing-chung (薩永) and nephew Kai-kong (薩啓) managing the Mongkok branch. (HK Pun U District Association yearbook, 1955; HK Industrial Handbook, 1958). 

According to its ads, Star Envelopes invested in state of art automated machinery custom built for printing of envelopes. It was the largest of 20 firms in the 1960s approved by the Postmaster General to print air letter forms, which the general public could purchase for 2 cents. (Hong Kong Airmails, 1968)  

With their profits from printing, the Sat family established Fook Wo Investment (福和置業, incorporated in 1965, dissolved in 2017) to invest in properties. Outside of work, Sat Wing-cheung was honorary life president of the HK Pun U District Association and Vice chairman of the Mongkok Kaifong Welfare Association.

Star Envelopes & Printing Co. Image 2 York Lo

The five sons of Sat Wing-cheung (left to right) from the 1950s and 1960s: Sat Woon-kiu, Sat Kai-chuen, Sat Kai-leung, Sat Kai-lau, Sat Kai-lam (HK Pun U District Association yearbooks) 

Sat Wing-cheung and his wives had 5 sons – Sat Woon-kiu (薩煥橋), Sat Kai-chuen (薩啓銓), Sat Kai-leung (薩啓樑), Sat Kai-lau (薩啓) and Sat Kai-lam (薩啓) and 6 daughters. (obituary of his concubine Madam Yip in WKYP, 1972-8-14). Sat Kai-chuen served as the chairman of the HK Pun U District Association in the 2010s during which the group donated HK$1 million to the Faculty of Dentistry at HKU for scholarships and opened a low cost clinic in Sham Shui Po. 

Star Envelopes & Printing Co. Image 3 York Lo

Sat Kai-chuen (front on a wheelchair) and fellow board members of the HK Pun U District Association at the opening ceremony of a clinic sponsored by the group in Sham Shui Po in 2015 (TKP, 2015-11-20)

By 1977, Star no longer had its Lyndhurst Terrace location but continued to operate its Mongkok operations. As a firm, Star Envelopes was incorporated in 1965 and dissolved in 2001.

This article was first posted on 19th June 2020.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Lee Yat-Ngok, the Local Printing Press Company and the Development of the Hong Kong Printing Industry
  2. The Hong Kong Printing Press – Pedro D’Alcantara Xavier (1886-1952)
  3. A Study of the Hongkong Printing Press, Part 1
  4. A Study of the Hongkong Printing Press, Part 2
  5. The Rise and Fall of Letterpress printing in Hong Kong
  6. Kwong Wah Printing Company – traditional letterpress printing – vanishing HK trades

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