Shipbuilding in Hong Kong - W. S. Bailey & Company
On 29th. October 1928 two fast gunboats for the Canton Government were launched at the W.S. Bailey & Company’s shipyard at To Kwa Wan. The vessels were named respectively the “Chung Yuen” and “Chung Kai “ in memory of members of Kuomintang party who lost their lives serving the party. The former had been named in honour of General Tang Heng , alias Tang Chung-yuen and the latter in honour of Liao Chung-kai (廖仲愷) who had served as the KMT Finance Minister. Liao, who as student had attended Queen’s College Hong Kong, was assassinated in 1925 for being suspected as a “Communist”.
The gunboats were 84 ft in length with a beam of 14 ft. They were powered by two Sterling eight-cylinder gasoline engines, giving them a speed of 15 mph. They were to be equipped with four 2-pounder guns and had bullet-proof plating extending from the water line.
Mr. Bailey, owner of the shipyard gave a speech expressing his pleasure in providing two further vessels for the Canton Government for the enforcement of law and order. He then handed over the proceedings to Admiral Chan ( probably Chen Shaokuan 陳紹寬 [1889-1969] ) who made a short speech, explaining the necessity for the boats for the suppression or piracy and to protect trade for the mutual benefit of Canton and Hong Kong.
Standing on the steps must surely be W. S. Bailey, owner of the shipyard when comparison is made with this Obituary photograph which is posted on the Industrial History of HK Group’s website.
Standing below him is probably Admiral Chen Shaokuan
Bailey’s Shipyard was located in To Kwan Wan east of where To Kwa Kwan Road meets Ma Tau Wei Road .
There is more background information about W.S Bailey & Co. on the Industrial History of Hong Kong Group’s website: