James CHOY HING [1869-1957] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

James CHOY HING [1869-1957]

Choy Hing
c.1869-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Ngoi Sha village, Heung Shan district (now Chung Shan) near Macao
Birthplace (country): 

Henry Ching writes:

James Choy Hing arrived in HK from Australia and lived at No.2 Park Road (there is a post about this house on Gwulo, http://gwulo.com/node/23308).  The father was a co-founder of the Sun Company department store in Hong Kong. Gwulo also has a photo of the hearse at his funeral, near the Hop Yat Church at which, I think, he was an Elder (if that is the correct term).
Perhaps of some interest also, James the father adopted a daughter in Australia, named Pauline Ah Hee.  Pauline married a David Yee, and their daughter was Gloria Joyce Yee who married H.O.Kees in Hong Kong.  Kees fought in the battle in December, 1941 as a member of the HKVDC, and became a POW in Shum Shui Po.  There is a reference in Harry Ching’s diary to Gloria who was arrested by the Japanese gendarmes in November, 1943 and imprisoned, suspected of being a spy.


Photos that show this person



His death was reported on page 7 of the SCMP for Wednesday, April 17, 1957:

Choy Hing Chairman of Sincere's Dead at 88

Founded H.K. Dept. Stores

    An old and highly respected Chinese resident of Hongkong passed away yesterday - Mr Choy Hing, Chairman of Directors of the well-known Sincere Company Ltd., and its associated enterprises.  He was one of the founders of Hongkong's department stores and made substantial contributions to the Colony's development and welfare.  He died at his residence, No 2 Park Road, in his 88th year, after a month's illness.  He leaves a large family, including several members prominent in Hongkong affairs.

    Mr Choy Hing was born in 1869 in Ngoi Sha village, Heung Shan district (now Chung Shan) near Macao.  He attended the same primary school as the first Madame Sun Yat-sen and was a close friend of the Republican leader's family.  His father came to Hongkong and established a business, and at the age of 16 the son came here, then was sent to Shanghai to complete his education.

    In his early twenties, Mr Choy Hing returned to Hongkong and went from here with a maternal uncle to Australia, where he had business training.  In 1890 he established in the Haymarket, Sydney, the firm of Wing Sang, well known to many Sydney residents and still flourishing in import and export.  He returned to his native village in 1896 to marry, and took his bride back to Australia.  Three of his children were born there.

Department Stores

    In 1900 Mr Choy Hing inspired by the famous Anthony Hordern enterprise in Sydney, joined with some other Sydney Chinese business men to establish in Hongkong the Sincere Company Ltd., first of the modern department stores in Hongkong and China.  The original shop was in Queen's Road, Central, near the old No 5 Police Station at the Bonham Strand junction (later Ho Tung Building).  In a few years the business was moved to larger premises in Des Voeux Road, Central, where the Wing On Company department store is now.  Then in 1915 the present Sincere building was erected, and was occupied early in 1916.

    In 1906 Mr Choy Hing returned to Hongkong for a visit, and in 1912 came back from Sydney to live here permanently.  The head office of Wing Sang's were transferred here, and in 1912 Mr Choy Hing, with his brother, the late Mr Choy Chong, and others, also founded the well-known Sun Company store, now in its own building opposite Sincere's in Des Voeux Road.  Mr Choy Hing was Chairman of the Board of Sincere's from its beginning and became Managing Director in 1937.  He was also head of the associated enterprises, life, fire and marine insurance companies, and perfumery manufactory.  He was Chairman also of the Wing Sang Company, the Sun Co., Ltd., and the Heung On Investment Company.  Under his wise guidance, all of these businesses have prospered.

    A man of modest disposition, Mr Choy Hing took no prominent part in Hongkong's public affairs, but he was keenly interested in the Colony's development and its people's welfare.  He was in earlier years a member of the District Watch Committee, a Director of the Po Leung Kuk, and Vice-Chairman of the Tung Wah Hospital.  Latterly he had been a member of the General Committee of the Alice Ho Mui Ling Nethersole Hospital.  He was also Chairman of the Chung Shan Commercial Association.  He gave generously to charities and was a frequent donor to flag days, bazaars and other fund raising efforts.  In spite of his advanced years he was very active up to his last illness.  Of very kind disposition, he made many friends.

    Mrs Choy Hing died in 1922.  Four sons and six daughters are left to mourn their father; and there are 33 grand-children and many great-grand-children.

    The sons are Mr James T. Choy (sub-manager of the Sun Company); Mr Arthur Choy (sub-manager of the Sincere Perfumery Company); Mr George Choy (Accountant of the Sun Company) and Mr Paul Choy (of the Lap Heng Company, watch dealers).

    The daughters are Mrs Pauline Yee; Mrs May Woo (wife of the well-known Dr. Arthur W. Woo, and Vice-President of the Girl Guides Association and member of the committees of Helena May and Women's International Club); Mrs Ruby Cheung (wife of Mr K. Y. Cheung, Director of the Lap Heng Company); Misses Amy and Queenie Choy; and Mrs Easter Yu (wife of Mr Henry Yu of the staff of St Peter's College).

    It is announced that the en-coffining ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. today at the family residence in Park Road.  Mr Choy Hing will be interred to-morrow at the Chinese Christian Cemetery at Pokfulam, the funeral leaving the residence at 2:15 p.m.