Yue Kwan Trading Company (怡群行)
York Lo: Yue Kwan Trading Company (怡群行)
Chinese ad for Chujoto in HK by Yue Kwan Trading in 1967 (WKYP, 1967-12-11)
Founded in 1952 by Whang E.Wun (黃怡文), Yue Kwan Trading was an import export firm in HK exporting Hong Kong’s industrial outputs to the world while introducing products from Taiwan and Japan to the HK consumers.
Yue Kwan’s Whang E. Wun with Peter H. Sin and his son Charles and others welcoming the head of Tsumura Juntendo at the HK Country Club in 1966 (WKYP, 1966-10-26)
In the 1950s, the firm operated out of 21 Sai Wan Ho Street in Shaukiwan. (A Handbook of HK Industry, 1958). By the 1960s, the firm was operating out of at 219 Wing Lok Street – now Wallock Mansion (和樂大廈). (Universal Chinese Overseas Directory, 1969) The products exported by the firm in the 1960s include kerosene lamps, photo films, flour and canned goods while it imported fruits and vegetables from Taiwan but the firm was perhaps best known for being the sole agent in HK forproducts manufactured by Japanese pharmaceutical firm Tsumura Juntendo (津村順天堂株式會社, founded in 1893)such as Chujoto (中將湯), L’Amour and Beta Bath.
Aside from Yue Kwan, Whang (who lived in 2 Leighton Road) was also the proprietor of shipbroker Universal Navigation (宇宙航業, incorporated in 1957, dissolved in 1965)in partnership with Tsang Shek-kok (FEER, 1958), followed by Eastern Overseas Navigation (HK) Ltd (東海航業), which was incorporated in 1962 and dissolved in 1995 and operated out of the same office as Yue Kwan.
By the 1980s, Yue Kwan and Eastern Overseas were operating out of Goldfield Building at 42 Connaught Road West (Business Directory of HK, 1987)
In 1983, Whang’s wife Ngo Sau-tak (吳秀德) passed away at Queen Mary Hospital at the age of 62. According to his obituary above, she was the daughter of Indonesian Chinese merchant Ngo Ki-wo (吳其和) and was active in Church and charitable affairs. The couple had three sons (two of them predeceased them) and two daughters. Their younger daughter Wong Kar-sue (黃嘉穗) is a senior executive at Eastech Holding, a Taiwan listed manufacturer of speakers and earphones. (WKYP, 1983-5-5)
Obituary of Yue Kwan founder Whang E. Wun’s wife Ngo Sau-tak in 1983 (WKYP, 1983-5-4)
As a firm, Yue Kwan Trading was never incorporated. In 1990, Yue Kwan Hong Investment was incorporated and shared the same address as the trading firm.
In 2004, the Whang E. Wun and Ngo Sau Tak Foundation was established.
This article was first posted on 4th December 2020.
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