Hung Shing Temple, Ap Lei Chau [1773- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hung Shing Temple, Ap Lei Chau [1773- ]

Date Place completed: 

Completion date from book 'Hong Kong Temples' by Ken Raby.


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A notice of the Hung Shing Temple at Ap Lei Chau written by Mr. James Hayes appears in Vol. 7 of this Journal. The date of the bell in the temple is given as 1773. As we have noticed Eitel states the temple was built about 1770. Information on when and by whom it was built is given in a court case reported in The China Mail 17 May 1893. A representative of the Chan clan, which built the temple and claimed title to it as clan property, entered suit against the local Worship Committee of Ap Lei Chau which had tried to get possession of the management of the temple. The action had begun as a civil case when a dispossessed keeper of the temple tried to remove some effects, which he claimed as his own property but the Temple Committee claimed as temple property. Now the court was called upon to decide who was to be the legitimate managing committee for the temple.  


The evidence set forth by the Chan clan claimed that about the year 1780, Chan U-ting, living in Little Hong Kong, having prospered, placed an image of the god Hung Shing on a small island between Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau and erected over it a small covering. He had five sons whose descendants formed the five brances (Jong) of the Chan family. Through the years the family moved away from Little Hong Kong. The majority took up residence on Lamma Island; however, they retained possession of the temple and hired a caretaker. Some member of the Chan clan was intrusted with the oversight of the temple affairs and regularly received the fees collected by the temple keeper from the people who went there to worship. In 1888 there was a major renovation and enlargement of the temple. The costs were met by a public subscription obtained from Victoria, Canton, Macao, Yaumati and the vicinity, and not simply from the people of Ap Lei Chau who were now seeking to dispossess the Chan clan of their rights in the temple. The elder of the clan in 1893 was Chan Lui-hing, and the action against the Worship Committee was brought in his name on behalf of the clan. From time to time the clan hired a man to reside at the temple. From 1883 to 1893 the keeper was Chan A-kwai. He had succeeded his father in the position. 


Source: Notes on Chinese Temples in Hong Kong. Carl T Smith RASHK Vol 13 1973 p136-137