Downloads (in pdf): 純文字版 Memoir without photos (1.2MB) / 完整圖文版 Memoir with photos (5.4MB)
【注】 天仙局，即“天衣無縫”的詐騙佈置，最完美的是被騙者於受害後也不知被佈局欺騙。例如：1. 民國初年的廣東、而直至1960年代至1970年代香港大酒樓晚上宴席之前多設有雀局及牌局，參與者多被蒙騙也不自知。2. 先物色對象，再設睹局行使騙術。現在多以訂購貨物為名，相約於境外見面，稱時間尚早，說有二世祖（好逸惡勞的第二代富家子弟）敗家好賭，但賭術不精，最好給他教訓。爺爺被邀教訓一個“敗家仔”，要把他全部家財贏去，再還給他，到最後才知道自己才是被騙的人，家財盡失。
I enjoy telling my children stories about my late father and grandfather. My father and grandfather lived extraordinary lives, which were dramatic enough to be turned into a novel. So I assume that my children would like these stories. There is another reason why I tell my children stories about my father and grandfather: I adore them. I hope my children will be proud of them too.
I spent the first 15 years of my life living with my grandfather. Grandfather was born in the Qing Dynasty, in the year 1889. He told me that he went to Hong Kong when he was 9 (note that old-fashioned Chinese count from one, so 9 could in fact be 8) with hardly any money in his pocket. He started as a coolie in Hong Kong. With a small amount of capital, he started trading. Gradually he developed the wholesale business which he named "Lok Yuen" (which literally means "Happy Garden"). I am amazed by this young boy who left home at 9 and started a business from nothing. From what I heard from different sources, grandfather lost his fortune a few times in his life, due to swindle, the Second World War and the taking-over of China by the Communist party. My impression of grandfather is that he was very intelligent. He beat everyone in Chinese chess; he was highly competitive and he liked to win. He loved fun. The name "Lok Yuen" fully reflects my grandfather's aspiration. He loved eating out, visiting photo studios and having takeaways delivered -- luxuries at the time. He was also a proud man. He loved telling us his proud experience, including how he helped others generously. I found his stories fascinating. I particularly like his stories about his brother, who was a martial art instructor.
My father was born in 1920. As an outstanding student, he chose to study Educational Psychology in Zhongshan University. He was an active member of the resistance during the Second World War. He was once captured by the Japanese army; he thought that he was doomed. He said a Chinese man spoke to the army officials in Japanese, which he didn't understand. That could have saved him; he was released. Had he been killed then, I wouldn't be here today. My father was a true leader. I am always amazed by how much he took onto his shoulder. He altruistically gave up his beloved studies to help grandfather run his business, which fed a family of 16. He had a hard life, but played the cards that he was dealt positively; his positive attitude remains a legacy to his children. My father has achieved a lot, yet he was extremely modest. He was highly intelligent and competent. He kept an immaculate business account with his graceful handwriting. His English was excellent for his generation. He was innovative. He was the first man in the Central Market of Hong Kong to abandon letters, and use telex to order goods. That gave him an edge over his competitors (by shortening the lead time by over a week).
When I told my children about my father and grandfather, I realised how little I knew about my family history before I was born. Craved to know more, I asked my senior to tell me more. I got more than I expected. Apart from my father and grandfather's stories, this collection records the experience, talents, relations and emotions among my uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters. I thank everyone who contributed to this collection. In particular, I thank Uncle Mooncheung for organising this collection, in addition to writing a large part of it. I hope this collection is only a start. I hope more people will contribute to later editions of this collection.
This collection is a valuable record of our family history. But it is more than a family record. It also provides a valuable record of life in Southern China from the 1930s. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I do.
I understand that some members of the family may not read Chinese. To inform our English-speaking members of this collection, even if they are unable to read it, I am writing this preface in both Chinese and English.
TSANG, Ping Kwan Edward
Colchester, England, 2011.12.31
Link: 曾氏家族 Tsang's Family Group on facebook