Lomond Road [????- ]

Submitted by Hoyin on Sat, 11/06/2021 - 00:57

Named after: Loch Lomond, the lake located at the northwest of GlasgowLoch Lomond, the lake located at the northwest of Glasgow.

Timeline: <Gives dates of significant events in the life of this street>

  • 1930s: street erected as Leven Road
  • 1953: street renamed as Lomond Road

Other points of interest

Scottish town’s “bad” fungshui affect Kowloon? The story of Lomond Road

Lomond Road (露明路) at Kowloon City isn’t eye catching. We know it probably because we visit the adjacent St. Teresa’s Hospital, or the stone gate remnant of Sheung Tai Temple. It’s even scarce that you know the story behind why it was so named.

Lomond Road was erected in 1930s together with the Forfar Road and Stirling Road nearby, all going south-north. With the help of Google Map nowadays it’s easier to check the United Kingdom’s geographical origin of many Hong Kong places’ names. Both “Forfar” and “Stirling” are at Scotland. Forfar is from Angus county while Stirling is within Stirlingshire. Therefore it’s logical when knowing that “Lomond” comes from Loch Lomond, the lake located at the northwest of Glasgow. Nothing special…

In fact Lomond Road wasn’t Lomond Road at day one, instead it was Leven Road (梨雲道) at the beginning. “Leven” is a seaside town at Fife county in Scotland. Yes, Leven, Forfar and Stirling Roads all took their names from towns at Scotland.

Then why was Leven Road no longer Leven Road? There is a Public Works Department notice at South China Morning Post on 5 November 1952, titled “Leven Road, Kowloon”, which states that “It is government’s intention to change the name of ‘Leven Road’ to ‘Lomond Road’.” Another report at SCMP on 6 November 1952 unveiled the answer. It says that although the two Chinese characters of “Leven” mean “Pear and Cloud”, the phonetic sound of them can also be taken to mean “Departed Spirits”. Property owners and real estate agents found it difficult of selling owing to the superstition attached to the bad omen and approached the government for a name change.

For those who know Chinese and Cantonese, we can comprehend that the “departed spirits” refers to “離魂”, meaning the soul leaving the body, i.e. death.

I can only say I feel sorry for such “creative” association at that time, that such a charming name of a seaside town together with its poetic translation got ruined by the typical superstitious slander. Although awkward and unsensible, the government acknowledged the locals’ sentiment, and agreed to pick up another Scottish place “Lomond” to replace “Leven”. Firstly translated as “樂民道” (“Lok Man Do”, road of merry people) in Chinese, another three characters “露明道” (“Lo Ming Do”) which means “road of bright dew” were adopted when the renaming was implemented in March 1953.

It is interesting to find out that behind the road name from a Scottish place, there is a story related to Chinese superstition.

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I wonder if perhaps the connection between Leven and Lomond came from the River Leven that flows out of Loch Lomond, through the Vale of Leven (main town is Alexandria) then on to the town of Dumbarton and out in to the River Clyde....?

Hi Morvencs, thanks for your information. So there are both town of Leven and Leven River in Scotland that were probably the origin of Leven Road. I don't know about this as my attention was on the story how Leven Road was changed into Lomond Road. And when searching "Leven" at Google Map, the town Leven popped up. There I took this as the origin of the road's name. And your suggestion seems more sensible.

If you and others have other information about Lomond Road, hope you can share with us. Thank you.

Thank you for providing some interesting background to this road's name. Incidentally, there is also a Loch Leven in Scotland (in Kinross-shire).