Tacksen Shuihing Godown (德成瑞興貨倉)

York Lo: Tacksen Shuihing Godown (德成瑞興貨倉)

Tacksen Shui Hing Godown Imagw 1 York Lo

Left: Yan Chi-kit (HK Album, 1967); Right: signage of the Tacksen godown at 37A South Bay Road in Repulse Bay from a scene of an old movie (YouTube)

Tacksen Shuihing Godown Co Ltd was one of the leading Chinese operators of godowns in the 1950s and 1960s. At its peak, the firm operated 3 godowns in HK and 1 in Kowloon. Although the firm was not incorporated until 1967, it was likely founded in the late 1940s. The firm’s owners were Yan Chi-kit (甄子傑) and Wong Ka-yee (黃家貽). A native of Toishan, Yan was born in 1919 in Canton and was educated at Sun Yat-sen University before moving to Hong Kong

Tacksen Shui Hing Godown Image 2 York Lo

Picture and article of the Tacksen Repulse Bay godown fire in 1952 (Ta Kung Pao, 1952-5-25)

By 1952, Tacksen which operated out of 448 Wang Hing Building in Central had three godowns on HK island – No 1 at Des Voeux Road West, No 2 in Kennedy Town and No 3 at 37A South Bay Road in Repulse Bay. The Repulse Bay godown was comprised of 6 individual warehouses with 33 storage spaces (No 1-12, 14-34; there was no 13 due to superstition) and capacity of 199,168 cubic feet. On May 24, 1952, a fire broke out at storage space #34 and 13 reels of old films stored by a movie company were destroyed.

In 1961, Tacksen expanded to the Kowloon side with a new warehouse by the waterfront at ex-Naval Yard site next to Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The site at the Kowloon camber had capacity of 854,658 cubic feet.

Tacksen Shui Hing Godown Image 3 York Lo

Picture and article about Tacksen’s new godown in Kowloon in 1961 (WKYP 1961-4-4)

By the early 1970s, Tacksen only kept the Kowloon and Repulse Bay godowns. In 1973, Tacksen decided to exit the godown business and as a firm was dissolved in 1995. Outside of work, Yan Chi-kit was vice president of the HK & Kowloon Joint Kaifong Research Council, chairman of Tai Hang Residents Welfare Association, supervisor of the Lee Sing School in Tai Hang and president of the Yan Clansmen Association. He was also chairman of Sze Hing Loong Properties (四興隆置業 – unclear if this company was involved in the development of the Sze Hing Loong Industrial Building in Chai Wan). For his community involvement, he was awarded an MBE. In 1975, his wife Li Yuen-kin (李畹堅) died at the age of 60. Relative to Yan, Wong Ka-yee maintained a lower profile but was elected chairman of the industry trade group HK Chinese Godowns Association (華商貨倉聯會) in 1960.

Sources:

大公報, 1973-10-26, 1960-12-18

工商晚報, 1975-05-19

This article was first posted on 28th May 2018.

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