Tarzan Hui, Tung Leung and Lim Yiong-lin – three consecutive chairmen of Po Leung Kuk from 1968 to 1971

York Lo: Tarzan Hui, Tung Leung and Lim Yiong-lin – three consecutive chairmen of Po Leung Kuk from 1968 to 1971

Tarzan Hui, Tung Leung and Lim Yiong-lin were three leading businessmen in the 1960s to the 1980s who succeeded each other as chairman of the charitable organization Po Leung Kuk (hereafter referred to as PLK) from 1968 to 1971 and all three were appointed unofficial justices of the peace in the early 1970s. The trio made their initial fortunes from different fields and augmented them through investments in industries, real estate and securities. Largely forgotten today, all three families are connected to some of the leading business families in Hong Kong through marital ties.

Tarzan Hui (許達三, 1924-1989): Developer, Stockbroker and Philanthropist

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Obituary of Tarzan Hui in 1989 (WKYP, 1989-8-29)

A native of Anhai in Fukien province, Tarzan was the son of Hui Chee-ping (許志平), the proprietor of the trading firm of Wee Cheng Hong (惟誠行) at 47 Bonham Strand West which specialized in exporting cotton cloth to the Philippines. (HK Chinese Business Almanac, 1954) Chee-ping died in December 1968 at the age of 73 and Tarzan’s younger sister Yan-duen married So Sung-kin, a jade merchant who was covered earlier in the article about players in the HK jade industry. Outside of Wee Cheng Hong, the Hui family also operated Bee Sing Co Ltd (美誠有限公司) – incorporated in 1961, dissolved in 1979) and Tai Hong Co Ltd (泰康有限公司, incorporated in 1963, dissolved in 1974)

Tarzan Hui was a real estate pioneer in the 1960s and was one of the founding directors of the Real Estate Developers Association of HK in 1965. He operated several property development firms – Chi Seng Investment (志誠置業有限公司, incorporated in 1961, dissolved in 1981), Luen Seng Land Investment (聯誠置業), Ko Fat Ltd (高發有限公司, incorporated in 1961 and dissolved in 1971), Yau Sun Development (友信置業有限公司, incorporated in 1962) and Wing Heung Investment Co (永香置業有限公司, incorporated in 1963, dissolved in 1980).  Luen Seng which operated out of the same office as Wee Cheng Hong developed the 18-story Ko Fat Mansion (高發大廈) on Chatham Road in Tsim Sha Tsuiin 1963. The building which was designed by famous architect Su Djin-gih had flats available for sale ranging from $28900 to $52900 each.

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Ad for Ko Fat Building developed by Tarzan Hui’s Luen Seng Land in 1963 (WKYP, 1963-6-18)

Together with members of the HK Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society, Hui established the Kam Ngan Stock Exchange in the early 1970s where he operated Sang Yick Hong Securities(生益行股票證券公司). When Kam Ngan merged with Far East, HK and Kowloon exchanges to form the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Tarzan was a member of the executive committee.

Tarzan Hui joined the board of PLK in 1966 and was elected chairman in 1968. Aside from PLK, he served on the board of United College at CUHK and was active in various Fukienese associations in HK. For his community service, Tarzan was appointed UnofficialJustice of the Peace in 1972.

In November 1978, two burglars broke into the home of Tarzan Hui at 25-29 Lockwood Road in Happy Valley. They rounded up the 13 residents who were at home at the time – which included Tarzan and his wife, their daughter, their two sons and their wives, the twin daughters of the eldest son and four servants. The burglars walked away with $500,000 worth of jewelry. (KSDN, 1978-11-29)

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Left: Tarzan Hui and fellow leaders of Po Leung Kuk in 1968. Right to left: Hui Chung-sing, Tarzan Hui, Loh Chan Lai-chu, Tung Leung (WKYP, 1968-3-28); Right: Wedding picture of Henry Hui in 1974 (TKP, 1974-8-31)

In August 1989, Tarzan Hui died of liver disease at the age of 65. His eight pallbearers at his funeral at the HK Funeral Parlour included civil servant Lee Chun-yung, fellow SEHK director Cham Siu-leun, Kowloon Exchange founder Peter Chan, developer Fong Yun-wah of Hip Shing Hong, Chow Kwan-lim of Chow Sang Sang, Chiu Shu-fan, Ko Ming-yum and Chan Yau-tak (WKYP, 1989-9-1)

Tarzan was survived by his wife Chan Yuen-yung and his four sons and a daughter who predeceased him. His eldest son Henry K. Hui (許九思) is a lawyer in Toronto and married Chow Suet-ying (周雪英) in 1974. His second son Wilson Hui Kwun-sue (許君恕) is a doctor who received his MBBS from HKU and was married to Winnie Cheung Wai-sun (張慧燊), whose family was the largest shareholder of Wheelock Marden and developer of Daimaru and connected residential/retail complex in Causeway Bay. Winnie’s twin sister Wendy Cheung is the widow of prominent politician and lawyer Lo Tak-shing (羅德丞, 1935-2006) and Winnie’s second husband is the lawyer and company director Philip Yuen Pak-yiu (阮北耀).Tarzan’s third son Hui (許祖恩) was managing director of an ad agency while his fourth son William Alvin Hui (許錫恩) is a lawyer in HK who was admitted to practice in 1988.

Tung Leung (): Distributor of Tiger Balm and Industrialist

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Left: Tung Leung; Right: Tung Leung and his wife before boarding their Swissair flight for their 2-month trip in Europe and the US in 1960 (WKYP, 1960-10-12)

A native of Chekiang province, Tung Leung made his initial fortune acting as overseas distributor of Eng Aung Tong (永安堂藥廠), the manufacturer of the famous Tiger Balm ointments (see article on the Aw brothers and AunEe-han) through his Sun Shine Industrial (光明實業, incorporated in 1958, dissolved in 2002). In October 1960, Tung Leung and his wife went to Europe and the US for 2 months together with Aun Ee-han, the HK manager of Eng Aun Tong for sightseeing and business.

With his profits from selling Tiger Balm, Tung invested in industries and was director of LihChyuan Printing & Dyeing Co (麗泉印染, incorporated in 1966, dissolved in 1995). Outside of HK, Tung was particularly keen on the Malaysian market where he had teamed up with Ipoh industrialist Chan Swee-ho to establish the Malaysian branch of fan maker Din Wai Electrical (see article on SMC, DEMC and TAT) and also developed the Hotel Pantai PuteriDewi on Gold Sands in Pangkor Island in 1967. (WKYP, 1967-7-12; KSDN, 1968-4-3)

Like his predecessor Tarzan Hui, Tung was also involved in the securities business as the proprietor of Tak Lee Securities.

Tung joined the board of PLK in 1967 and was elected chairman of PLK in 1969. Aside from Po Leung Kuk, Tung was also honorary life president of Chung Sing Benevolent Society and honorary president of the Kiangsu Chekiang Residents Association and the King’s Park Boy Scouts. (KSDN, 1968-4-3)

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Wedding picture of Tung Poon-sin and Wong Pui-hang in 1974 (WKYP, 1974-1-5)

Tung’s fourth son Tung Poon-sin (董本善) joined Sun Shine Industrial as managing director after attending university in America and married Wong Pui-hang (黃佩珩), London-trained interior designer and fifth daughter of Sidney Wong (黃榮棟), the Chinese manager of the American trading firm of L.D. Seymour in 1974. Sidney Wong’s other daughters are married to Dr. Peter Lee Chung-yin (whose family controls the logistics firm Sun Hing Group), Wong Kwok-leung (son of accountant Wong Wing-seen) and Cheng Chung-ngai (鄭從毅,son of Cheung Chung-kwan, see article on taxi kings) thus connecting the Tungs to several prominent families. Tung Leung’s daughter Tung Wai-man (董唯曼) married her UC Fresno classmate JamesHui Chun-wo (許晉和), son of Hui Ki-pak and grandson of the shipping and property tycoon Hui Oi-chow (許愛周) in 1970.

Lim Yiong-lin (林勇仁): From Jeweler to Towels Manufacturer and Financier

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Left: Lim Yiong-lin; Right: directors of PLK celebrating Lim Yiong-lin (seated third from right) and Tung Leung (seated fourth from left) being appointed JP in 1971 (KSEN, 1971-12-25)

A native of Fukien, Lim Yiong-lin made his initial fortune in the jewelry business with Heng Hing Hong (恒興行), which opened at Room 902 at Takshing House in Central in 1959. The firm’s primary focus was in the distribution of Japanese cultured pearls to jewelry stores in HK and the opening cocktail reception was attended by many prominent Fukienese businessmen in HK at the time such as the developer Chan Ching-pow (see article), individuals associated with the Overseas Trust Bank and Chan Kee-wah (see article on HK Cement) and two prominent Taiwanese businessmen in Japan – Wang Tseng-hsiang (see article) and the “king of pearls” Cheng Wang.

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Lim Yiong-lin and guests at the opening of Heng Hing Hong in 1959 (WKYP, 1959-8-16)

In August 1965, Lim teamed up with Shanghainese jeweler Yen Wai-sing (also a PLK director in 1971) to open Perfect Jewellery (仁成珠寶首飾, its Chinese name being an acronym of Lim and Yen’s names) on the ground floor of the Prince’s Building in Central, a month after its incorporation. (WKYP, 1965-8-15) This was later acquired by Tse Lee Yuen (see article) and as a firm it as dissolved in 1977.

From jewelry, Lim moved into garment manufacturing. In 1962, Lim incorporated Heng Sang Weaving Factory (恒生織造廠) to manufacture cotton towels and face clothes and the firm had its factory at Hung To Road in Kowloon. (Asian Textile Bi-Annual, 1965) In 1968, Heng Sang built its own 200,000 sqftbuilding on Wai Yip Street in Kwun Tong.By 1970, the firm had 148 looms which rivaled the size of the “King of Towels” Hop Hing covered earlier which had 197 looms at the time. (Asian Industrial Development News, 1970) By 1972, the firm had $10 million worth of the latest towel manufacturing equipment imported from Japan, Switzerland and Italy (including 24 Ruti machines from Switzerland which were allegedly the first ones installed in Southeast Asia) and had a dyeing division equipped with German equipment which produced 2.4 million pounds of towels and 1.5 million of dyed cloth.

In 1970, Lim incorporated Garden Estates (林生置業, dissolved in 1997) to develop properties. To capitalized on the stock market boom in the early 1970s, Heng Sang was renamed Heng Sang Industry & Realty Holdings (恒生工業地產) and went public on the Far East and Kam Ngan exchanges in December 1972through the sale of 5.4 million existing shares underwritten by Citibank’s affiliate Asia Pacific Capital. The firm had estimated profits of $2.4 million at its IPO and the Kwun Tong property was also generating $1.2 million in rental income. (KSEN, 1972-11-22) Heng Sang Towels Manufacturing (恒生毛巾廠, incorporated in 1974, dissolved in 2000) was established as a subsidiary to continue the towel manufacturing business.

Within months of the IPO, the stock jumped from $1 to over $5 and in February 1973, the firm issued 8.6 million new shares at $5.60 each plus $8.5 million in cash to finance the purchase of stakes in two properties firms which controlled sites in North Point and Kowloon and also an oil tanker. (KSDN, 1973-2-22) In August 1973, Heng Sang announced plans to open a synthetic fiber factory on a 5 million sq ft site in the Manila area in partnership with local partners and acquired Hip Shing Construction in HK which was contractor for projects in North Point and Tai Hang Road and expected to bring $4 million in annual profits to the firm. (WKYP, 1973-8-17; KSEN, 1973-8-24)

In 1975, five directors of Heng Sang were fined $1500 for not reporting the firm’s 1974 earnings at its 1974 annual shareholder meeting and the five collectively controlled 90% of the firm’s shares. (KSDN, 1975-9-3)

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David Lim Man-shan and fellow PLK chair and vice chair in 1980. Left to right: Leong Siu-hung (梁紹鴻), Woo Wing-fai (胡永輝), Chiu Chun-pong (趙振邦), Lam Wong Shiu-suk (林王兆淑), Lim Man-shan, Ng Shu-shiu (伍樹炤). (TKP, 1980-3-7)

In 1980, Heng Sang sold its factory at 41 Hung To Road for $28 million. By 1981, the firm had several overseas investment projects – including 25% of a property project in Seattle, 40% of a palm plantation and palm oil factory in Indonesia in addition to its towel business. (WKYP, 1981-3-17)

In July 1982, Heng Sang Industry was renamed Whitehall Finance (偉豪財務), its subsidiary founded in 1973 in partnership with the Indonesian Chinese tycoon SoetopoJananto (葉瑞基, 1934-1984), to shift its focus to financeand sold its manufacturing business and certain overseas investments to the Lim family for $15.7 million in cash. (TKP, 1982-7-15) Unfortunately like many other banks and deposit taking institutions at the time, Whitehall collapsed in 1983 during the height of the confidence crisis and was dissolved in 2000.

Outside of business, Lim Yiong-lin was a director of the Chinese Manufacturers Association in HK and joined the board of PLK in 1968 and became its chairman in 1970. During his tenure as chairman of PLK, the Kuk completed the development of a building in U Chau Street, a 1000 student secondary school, and a new primary school in Tsz Wan Shan (PLK 4th Primary School, renamed PLK Stanley Ho Sau Nam Primary School when it was moved to San Po Kong, planning started during the tenure of Tarzan Hui), updated the kitchen and water systems of its facilities, saw one of its first orphans going to university and raised over HK$1.6 million. (WKYP, 1971-10-25)

Lim’s son David Lim Man-shan(林文山) studied dyeing and weaving in Germany and business in the UK and afterwards returned to join the family’s garment business. In 1974, he married Ma Ching-mui(馬清梅), the second daughter of Ma Kam-woon, one of the Ma brothers from Chiuchow that started Tai Sang Land and Tai Sang Bank who was also supervisor of the HK Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society. The wedding banquet took place at the Miramar Hotel with Hang Seng Bank chairman Ho Sin-hang as officiant and was attended by over 1000 guests including the Who’s Who in HK and guests from throughout Southeast Asia and Taiwan (KSDN, 1974-8-11) He also joined the board of PLK in 1977 and served as its vice chairman from 1979 to 1982.

This article was first posted on 9th August 2021.

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