Helen, my stomach upset is now history, thank heavens. My hostel accommodation is OK, for what I paid for.
Last night, I dined out with the family friend from Sydney, who also met me in the next morning of my arrival in HK on Nov. 9.
I tried to find out how expensive things were by buying a serve of the deep fried Shanghai stinky tofu. It cost HK$20 / 2 pcs. Very dear.
Earlier today, I met my aging aunt. She is a daughter of my grandfather's younger brother. It was she, when she was a young woman, who helped us when I arrived in HK with my grandmother and aunt in 1956. Back then I had to curl up and sleep on a Singer sewing machine in the corridor.
Now, the young woman my aunt, is getting on, and needs the help of a live-in Indonesian maid. We went on to have lunch with her daughter and maid.
I am getting ready to meet up with my wife's cousin for a drink or two in Wanchai before setting out for the wedding reception at the Marriott at Admiralty Station.
Last Edit: Dec 11, 2011 6:10:29 GMT -5 by douglaslam
Thank you Douglas for your dedication to my husband's family mystery! The very fact of finding Nam Long old town/village is in itself a big step in the process. I've emailed you separately with more details about what we are making of the mystery now. Thank you again for spending so much time and effort on my part, my family is very appreciative.
Christine, It was a pleasure and a good excuse to eat out each time I went to Nam Long with my village brothers. I also learned much in the process. Ming is just so knowledgeable about Zhongshan. I am waiting for my daughter to spend time helping me to upload photos for my illustrated report.
It sounds like you have returned home - safe and sound -good ! I am so glad you were able to take time and travel in China. I know how hard you work to provide for yourself and for your family. They are most fortunate to have you. Looking forward to your photos.
I am home and resume work today. It is a bit hard to get back into stride again after five weeks off. When you speak of hard work you are speaking for most overseas Chinese. Most of us are not under any delusion of a fast buck. You too worked hard to provide for your retirement. We all belong to the old school of migrant descendants from the Pearl River Delta.
Finally, I get to share some of the photos I have taken with fellow members and guests. I can only ask my child to do so much for me at a time.
A TALE OF TWO VILLAGES
This is the gateway to member Doug's village. It reads Long Jay Wan, and is clearly visible from the main road. LJW comprises of two villages, the bigger and better known of the two is Long Tou Wan where the Chow/ Chau / Joe/ Zhou clan resides.
A PROUD GATEWAY
A stand alone gateway to identify LTW.
GUESS WHAT THIS IS
Ming, he is simply amazing. He stops me and alerts me to this wall. It is made of oyster shells. Oyster shells were recycled in the past as building material. They are rarely seen or used these days.
LOOK AT ME CLOSELY
This is a close up of the wall of oyster shells. I would imagine the shells would be cheaper and in modern jargon carbon neutral as a building material. Very environmentally friendly. Were it not for Ming, I'd have walked straight past without taking notice. Oyster shells would made good insulation against heat, cold and water penetration
...my ancestral home is actually in Sai Ah 西椏 village (was once a part of Cheung Gar Bin district) and not Cheung Gar Bin village proper. Are you able to pay a visit to Sai Ah and find out some info about the Hung 洪 clan for me?
Thanks to Henry and Helen for your encouragement and support. And thanks also to tyuti1668 for additional information.
THREE INTO ONE CAN GO
This is the Hou / Hau / Howe hall. The banner welcomes villagers home from afar. It is a comforting sign for the returnees. I have yet to see a similar banner on display in my own village.
This is the three-stroke Wong hall, it is closed.
This is the principle hall that of the Chou / Joe clan of Long Tau Wan.
Long Jay Wan is an exception. It is by no means a big village yet it accommodates three clans, each with its ancestral hall, comfortably, and apparently in harmony. There are many villages in Longdu that have multiple family names. Most if not all have no village hall because of a lack of cohesiveness.
Ask anyone from LTW who is the village's most famous son, the answer is always one Joe Shoong. It is a reputation well deserved. His generosity earned universal praise and respect. LTW is justifiably proud of their favourite son. This is just one entry from a Google search.
Continue on the Joe Shoong story; he is still a dominant figure fifty years after his death. Here, his photo is on permanent display in the ancestral hall.
The central altar of the ancestral hall is rather spartan. It is painfully obvious Mao's thugs had done a thorough job in destroying the old. We shall see more examples of this mindless destruction of China's heritage every where as we go on.
THE SCHOOL THAT JOE BUILt
Through these portals, generations of Joe / Chou children come to remember him. The school is undergoing a major renovation at the time of our visit.
This is the front gate of a kindergarten or day care centre. I include this photo because together with the school, both signage are in traditional characters in defiance of the trend.
Last Edit: Dec 16, 2011 4:09:50 GMT -5 by douglaslam
Post by mugenpower168 on Dec 15, 2011 7:14:36 GMT -5
I too noticed that the signage are in Traditional Chinese. I'm pretty sure it it "illegal" to use Traditional on the Mainland except on buildings/pailous. I've seen quite a few photos of schools and pailous on the Mainland that use Traditional on its signage. Do you know what the exact rules are in regards to Chinese writing on the Mainland...?
To correctly view Chinese characters please select <View>, <Encoding>, and <Unicode> option from the browser <Menu>.
Thank you for your photos. Below is a 1932 photo of the Zhou Ancestral Hall from LTW. It looks like the facade is the same, some 80 years later!
Below is a photo of the Joe Shoong school, again in 1932.
Joe Shoong was an important businessman in Northern California, and founded the National Dollar Store throughout the Western USA. He was a philanthropist who gave back to the diverse local communities where his stores were located, as well as giving back to his ancestral home.
The elders in my mothers retirement home all have memories of Joe Shoong. People from that era were proud of their connection to Joe Shoong, claiming to be his secretary, or an employee of his store, or having met him. My grandfather was a manager of one of his stores, and therefore he is an important factor in my Chinese family heritage research.
Having previously studied your Joe Shoong link in Asian Week, there is the statement that he was from Dachong village. Using the romanized name (yes, I realize the trouble of using romanized words) I mapped his village further south and west of LTW. However, I have recently learned that Dachong was another word for LungDu. From Douglas’ data it make sense that Joe Shoong was indeed from LTW!
Can anyone else please comment and correct any misperception?
Just as the elders yearn for some connection to Joe Shoong, so am I trying to find a similar relationship. I have a Joe family tree book. However, there are many branches of the Joe book, and I have but one branch (my own) but it has 4 offshoots. Applying the Joe Shoong Chinese name (周崧) used in the USA, I cannot find his name in my jiapu. I know that my grandfather used a different Chinese name in the USA than what was in the jiapu (one of the many nuances of Chinese genealogy).
Douglas, do you know the Chinese characters Joe Shoong used in his portrait posted on the wall of the Ancestral Hall? I would assume the characters were either his Zi (字) or Hao (號) name. Do you know of Joe Shoong's other Chinese names? Then I can renew my search in my own jiapu. Feel free to email me privately or in this thread.
Again, thank you so very much for your postings. Doug
Digital technologies mitigate against the necessity of Chinese literacy for initiating your family history research