The Tsang Family of Sui Heong Yuen (瑞香園)

York Lo: The Tsang Family of Sui Heong Yuen (瑞香園)

Founded by Tsang Yuet-chee (曾月池, also known as T.Y. Chee) in the early 20th century, Sui Heong Yuen is one of the oldest Chinese business groups in HK with interests in trading, godowns, logistics, financial services and property development. At the 100th anniversary celebration of the HK General Chamber of Commerce in 1961, Sui Heong Yuen was listed as one of the four oldest Chinese member firms of the chamber up to that point alongside Bank of East Asia, Bunnan Tong & Co (to be covered) and The Sun Co, having been a member since 1929. (WKYP, 1961-5-30) The family is also known for its philanthropy with threeSheng Kung Hui schools and buildings and centersat HKBU and HKUSTnamed after its second-generation leader Tsang Shiu-tim (曾肇添, 1902-1972).

The First and Second Generation: T.Y. Chee and his sons Tsang Shiu-Tim and Hung-tim and daughter in law Chan Sik-yu

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Left: Tsang Shiu-tim (HKBU); Sui Heong Yuen Godown on Nelson Street on the right in 1974. (HKPL);

A native of Panyu in Guangdong province, T. Y. Chee established Sui Heong Yuen sometime in the early 20th century and it was first primarily involved in the dealing of matting. In 1918, Sui Heong Yuen hit the news when police arrested two individuals by the name of Chan Loi and Cheng Shing who took 16 mats worth $128 from Sui Heong Yuen at 6-8 Hing Lung Street and tried to sell the stolen goods in Yaumatei.  (Wah Tsz Yat Po, 1918-11-26) The same year. T.Y. Chee was listed as trustee of the estate of the firm of Kung Wo Shing, a matting dealer which operated out of 78 Ko Shing Street that went bankrupt that year. (HK Government Gazette).

In the 1920s, Sui Heong Yuen’s address was already listed at 34-36 Hing Lung Street where it would remain for the next six decadesand T.Y. Chee was listed as manager. (XianggangYinghuaRenminglu, 1923; Comacrib Directory and Meier’s Import Export Directory, 1925) In May 1927, several hundred dollars’ worth of fabric was stolen from Sui Heung Yuen’s location in Yaumatei and the police later found the fabric in the possession of the firm of Kung Cheung at 37 Shanghai Street. (Wah Tsz Yat Po, 1927-6-25)

T.Y. Chee had multiple wives who gave him two sons – Tsang Shiu-tim and Tsang Hung-tim(曾雄添, 1904-1962) and four daughters and his concubine Wong Po-kui (王寶琚) outlived both of his sons and his eldest daughter and died in 1979 at the age of 87.By the 1930s, Tsang Shiu-tim and Tsang Hung-tim(曾雄添, 1904-1962) had joined the family business and the 1931 HK Jurors list contained three individuals associated with T.Y. Chee & Co at 34 Hing Lung Street – Tsang Hung-tim (signs per pro), Frederick John Medina (assistant clerk) and Kwok Yuk-lun (assistant clerk) while Shiu-tim and Hung-tim were both listed on the 1940 Jurors List attached to Sui Heong Yuen.

With their profits from trading, the Tsang family built godowns and acquired a large portfolio of real estate. The Sui Heong Yuen godown located at K.M.L. 57 on Nelson Street in Mongkokwas already around by the late 1930s (Directory & Chronicle for China, 1938).In 1938, Tsang Hung-tim started Shiu Hang Enterprises (紹恒企業, although as a firm it was not incorporated until 1970) to engage in property development. Over time, the family built up substantial real estate holdings in districts such as Shatin (including a parcel of land in Tai Wai sold to three companies for $250 million in 2004 and acquired by SHK Properties for $405 million in 2008), Cheung Sha Wan and Sham Shui Po.

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Mrs. Tsang Shiu-tim (Chan Sik-yue) presenting trophies at the sports meet of the SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School in Shatin in 1981 (WKYP, 1981-5-11) 

Tsang Hung-tim was an active member of the HK General Chamber of Commerce before he died in 1962. His grave featured calligraphy by his friend Tse Ka-po, the shipping comprador and son in law of Ho Kom-tong. Tsang Shiu-tim’s wife Chan Sik-yue(陳式如, 1904-1995) was a generous philanthropist with an emphasis on education, having started a primary school for girls in Yaumatei back in the 1930s when schooling was generally denied for women in HK. After Tsang Shiu-timdied in 1972, Chan Sik-yueand their children donated HK$500,000 from his estate in 1973 to the United College at Chinese University to promote Chinese higher education. As a result, the liberal arts and administration building was renamed the Tsang Shiu Tim Building and 11 scholarships were also established in his name. (WKYP, 1973-12-11). Winston W.S. Tsang, the son of Tsang Hung-tim, also established the Tsang Hung Tim Scholarships at CUHK in the 1970s which sponsored 10 outstanding students with scholarship ofHK$1000 each annually. Chan Sik-yue also sponsored the creation of the SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School (聖公會曾肇添中學) in Shatin in 1978 and the SKH Holy Trinity Tsang Shiu Tim Kindergarten (聖公會聖三一堂曾肇添幼稚園) in 1989 before her death in 1995.

Third Generation: Tsang Wing-hong, Tsang Wing-wah, Tsang Wing-kong, Tsang Wing-sum and others

Tsang Shiu-tim had 5 sons – Tsang Wing-on (曾永安), Tsang Wing-ning (曾永寧), Tsang Wing-hong (曾永康), Tsang Wing-wah (曾永華) and Tsang Wing-lok (曾永樂) and3 daughters – Tsang Wing-yee (曾永儀), Tsang Wing-hing (曾永馨) and Tsang Wing-fun (曾永芬).

His descendants incorporated Shiu Tim Ltd (肇添有限公司) and TST Finance (肇如財務) in 1973 to manage the family fortune.TST Finance was renamed TST Property Ltd (肇如置業) in 2010 andthe firm developed the 30-story Tower 388 (肇如大廈, the Chinese name of Shiu Yu being an acronym of Tsang Shiu-tim and his wife Chan Sik-yu) at 388 Un Chau Street in 2014. (The family also owned 390 Un Chau Street as early as 1960 when a lawsuit was filed by the Tsang Shiu-tim and Hung-tim)

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Tsang Wing-hong (second from left) with executives of Wing Hang Bank at the opening of its Central branch in 1974. Left to right: 史經綸, Tsang, Fung Yiu-king, Wing Hang’s Central branch Chan Kwok-chau (陳國周). (KSEN, 1974-6-6)

Born in 1926, Tsang Wing-hang joined Wing Hang Bank (founded in 1937) in 1957 where he started its overseas and trade finance business. He joined the board of the bank in 1963 and was promoted to deputy general manager in 1976 and general manager in 1981. When the bank’s founder Fung Yiu-king (馮堯敬) died in 1985, vice chairman Robert O.P. Yu (余鄂賓,a longtime Bank of China executive who served as president of Bank of Canton in Califonia from 1978 to 1981 and was vice president of Wing Hang shareholder Irving Trust from 1969 to 1978) succeeded him as chairman and Tsang Wing-hong added vice chairman to his title. (KSDN, 1976-1-3; WKYP, 1981-1-29, 1985-3-5) In 1987, he became the Bank’s CEO and held that position until 1992 when he stepped down in favor of Fung Yiu-king’s son Patrick Fung Yuk-bun and became the Bank’s chairman until 1996. He served as non-executive director of Aeon Credit from 1995 to 2008.

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Left: Tsang Wing-hong presenting a plate to Ronald Leung Ding-bong (second from right) when he and a group of other bankers including Robin Chan (first from left) visited the Urban Council in 1991 (WKYP, 1991-10-5)  Right: Tsang Wing-hong (center) with Russell Howe (何厚義) of Dodwell Insurance Brokers (right) and Dutch insurer at the signing ceremony for Wing Hang Bank entering into bancsurance partnership in 1981. (KSEN, 1981-11-5) 

Tsang Wing-wah worked as an articled clerk after graduation from St Paul’s Co-ed in the late 1950s and was admitted as a HK solicitor in 1967. In 1971, he formed the law firm of Yu, Tsang & Loong in partnership with two scions of leading Chinese business families – Yu Yui-chiu (余銳超), a grandson of Yu To-sang (see article on taxis) and Anthony Loong Pak-kit (龍百杰), a grandson of rattan firm Hang Cheung Sing founder Loong Sui-chor (see article on rattan). He worked in commercial law until his retirement in 2013 and ran Winland Stock & Shares (established in 1970) and Winland Wealth Management with other family members such as his sister Wing-fun.

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Left: Article and picture about the wedding of Tsang Wing-kong in 1963 (KSDN, 1963-3-30); Right: ad for Hung Shuk Chun Building in Sham Shui Po in 1973 (WKYP, 1973-6-30)

Tsang Hung-tim had four sons – Tsang Wing-kong (曾永剛), Tsang Wing-keung, Tsang Wing-mang and Winston W.S. Tsang (曾永森) and four daughters. Born in 1932, Tsang Wing-kong was managing director of Sui Heong Yuen & Co (incorporated in 1975), Sui Heong Yuen Godown(incorporated in 1975, operated out of Texaco Road in Tsuen Wan by the 1990s and dissolved in 2006) and Sung Ching Construction(崇正建築有限公司).  A graduate of Pui Ying Secondary School, he married Lam Po-tin (林寶鈿), the niece of banker Robert Ling Hsien, advisor of Canton Bank in HK in 1963. The same year, he formed Wing Kong & Co (永剛洋行) to engage in the trading of rattanware.

In 1974, Tsang Wing-kong developed the 6-story Hung Shuk Chun Building (孔淑珍) at 520-530 FukWa Street in Cheung Sha Wan in memory of his mother with the first three floors being retail space (the ground floor with the exception of 750 sq ft was leased to Wellcome supermarket as its first tenant) and top three floors as residential flats. (KSDN, 1974-4-4) This was followed by the 12-story Shiu Hang Building (紹恆大廈) at 477-483 Un Chau Street in Cheung Sha Wan. In the late 1970s, the family incorporated Sui Heong Yuen Cargo Delivery and Sui Heong Yuen Container Service to complement its godown business.Outside of business, Wing-kong was director of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals in 1977-78 and member of the Victoria Lions Club. (WKYP, 1977-4-1) His younger brother Winston (1945-), who was involved with the various family businesses,also served as vice chairman of Tung Wah in 1979 and was president of the Rotary Club of Kowloon East in 1988.

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The Tsang brothers at the opening of the Hing Wah Senior Dormitory (興華老人宿舍)in 1979. Right to left:Eric P. Ho (何鴻鑾), Ma Ching-wai (馬清偉), Stephen Yow (邱木城), Yiu Chung-lap (姚中立), Tsang Wing-kong, Winston Tsang. (KSEN, 1979-3-14)

In 2007, the family of Tsang Shiu-tim established the Tsang Shiu Tim Charitable Foundation which ramped up the family’s philanthropic efforts. In 2008, the foundation made a $30 million donation to HKUST and the Tsang Shiu Tim Arts Hall was named on campus in 2010. In 2010, the foundation sponsored the launch of the HK Society for Rehabilitation Tsang Shiu Tim Home for the Elderly (曾肇添護老院). The same year, the Foundation made a generous donation to HK Baptist University and the auditorium of its academic and Administration Building was named after Chan Sik-yue. This was followed by the endowment of the Tsang Shiu Tim Endowed Chair of Chinese Medical Clinical Studies at HKBU in 2016.

In 2017, the family sponsored the construction of the SKH St John’s Tsang Shiu Tim Primary School (聖公會聖約翰曾肇添小學) in Kwun Tong near the Anderson Quarry, which opened in 2019. In 2019, the family made another $30 million donation to HKUST for the establishment of the Tsang Shiu Tim Sports Centerand also endowed the Yeung Tsang Wing-yee and Tsang Wing Hing Professorship of Neuropsychology at HK Polytechnic in memory of the two late daughters of Tsang Shiu-tim. The Foundation is led by Tsang Wing-wah and his siblings and fourth generation family members such as-Tsang Kai-yuen (曾啟元), Tsang Kai-fat (曾啟發), Tsang Kai-ching (曾啟政) and Dr. Eddie Yeung Shiu-kin (楊兆堅,civil engineer, director of Chun Wo Foundations)are also involved in the Foundation.

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Opening of the Tsang Shiu Tim Sports Center at HKUST in 2019. Left to right: Mrs & Mr Tsang Wing-Lok (second and first left), HKUST President Wei Shyy, HKUST Acting Provost Pong Ting-Chuen, HKUST Vice-President for Administration and Business Mark Hodgson

Sources (other than those cited above):

https://foundation.hkbu.edu.hk/endowedchair/zh/our-supporters/tsang-shiu-tim-charitable-foundation

https://www.hkbu.edu.hk/eng/about/honlist/2018_HUF_TsangWingwah.jsp

https://www.ust.hk/news/institutional-advancement/opening-tsang-shiu-tim-sports-center-promotes-holistic-education

https://www.polyu.edu.hk/en/giving/thanks-to-supporters/news/2019/1021-yeung-tsang-wing-yee-and-tsang-wing-hing-professorship-in-neuropsychology/

This article was first posted on 14th December 2020.

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