Otto KONG SING [1871-1917] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Otto KONG SING [1871-1917]

Kong Sing
c.1871-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

He's mentioned on page 178 of Twentieth Century Impressions of ...:

MR. OTTO KONG SING, after receiving an excellent education at Newington College, Sydney, New South Wales, decided upon a legal career, and in due course qualified as a solicitor in Australia. He then proceeded to England for a couple of years, and was admitted to practice in 1903. In the following year he returned to Hongkong, and since that date has been practising as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Colony. In his college days Mr. Otto Kong Sing was a well-known footballer, and played for the first college team during several seasons with considerable success.

And also at :

Otto Kong Sing – First Chinese Australian Lawyer

Otto Kong Sing (1871-1917) was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales on 9 March 1895. To date, no earlier person of Chinese descent has been identified as having been admitted as a solicitor or barrister in NSW or any other Australian colony. After practicing in Sydney for several years, Otto Kong Sing relocated to Hong Kong.

He died on 30 Jan 1917, and his death was reported on page 8 of the next day's Hongkong Telegraph:


Mr. Otto Kong Sing Succumbs After an Operation.

It is with deep regret that we have to record the death of Mr. Otto Kong Sing, which took place suddenly at the Italian Convent Hospital last evening, the news of which has caused a painful surprise to his many friends.

The deceased was apparently in the best of health last week, but on Sunday evening he entered the hospital to undergo what was considered to be a slight operation, for an affection in the throat. The operation was successfully performed soon after nine o'clock on Monday morning, and the deceased seemed to recover well from its effects. Yesterday afternoon, however, matters became critical, and be passed away just after 10 o'clock last night.

The deceased started practice as a solicitor in the Colony about fifteen years ago, coming from Australia, after having studied law at Home. He soon worked up a considerable practice, and, at the time of his death, was one of the beat known solicitors in the Colony, enjoying a large practice in both civil and criminal proceedings. He often figured in prominent Court cases, and his manner in Court invariably reflected his geniality and ability. He was extremely popular among all his colleagues, and by his happy temperament he made many friends. An enthusiastic supporter of all forms of recreation, the deceased was connected with many sporting organisations, and in his younger days he had been a keen participant in most. Latterly he was particularly interested in yachting and shooting. He was a prominent figure at all sports gatherings in the Colony. He was also prominently identified with the Phoenix Club, of which he was a Committee member. As a Freemason he had for many years been a member of Zetland Lodge, the Mother Lodge of the Colony.

Deceased, who was about 42 years of age, leaves a wife, a father (who is at present in the Colony,) a mother, sister and brothers in Australia, and one brother in London. For them much sympathy is felt.

The funeral takes place at Happy Valley this evening, passing the monument at 5.30. p.m.

He is buried in the Hong Kong Cemetery:

16B--/02/01- In / loving memory / of / Otto King Sing / who / died January 30th 1917 / aged 46 years / and of / Eileen his wife / the beloved daughter of Mrs J Benson / and mother of Eric [?] Jordan / died August 12th 1925 / aged 42 years #8205 #8832 CEW & Co. HK


I've changed the spelling of the surname of Otto Kong Sing's wife Eileen, as given by Carl Smith, from 'King Sing' to 'Kong Sing'. The newspaper obituaries of the couple agree with each other, which surely means that they were known in the Colony (and probably Australia) as the Kong Sings. However the gravestone inscription given here gives "King Sing" as the spelling. Given the remarkable flexibilty of Chinese names when transcribed into roman characters, is it possible that the Chinese characters could be rendered by either spelling?