LAM-Heritage 2009-Present

14 Jul 2009 – I Am Alive

12days since my return from China, and back to normal life with many thoughts&ideas flooding the mind as to how we can preserve the LAM-Heritage with some dignity. Chinese character for LAM – logo for our family tree.

Grandfather LAM SongKee/Shang-Zhan & granduncle LAM JiChiew/Shang-Qian were humble & generous. After making their fortunes in Sarawak around the mid 1900s, also just discovered (Mon23May2022) that they were known as LIN Shang-Qian&Shang-Zhan in the old documents.

they returned to their village of SunWui 新會 in Jiangmen 江門, Guangdong Province/China where they built 2 houses and an ancestral hall. (see posting Happy Mother’s Day from China for pictures). They also hired teachers using the ancestral hall as classrooms. Coffins for burial were donated to those who could not afford them. In Kuching, Sarawak, they donated a large piece of property to the township on the condition that the road is named after the bank, Jalan Kwong Lee Bank, still existing.

After 2 visits to the village, mass emailed the family to update them about the ancestral houses & hall to get comments, feed backs, ideas etc as to how we can go about this project. No expectations, just hope that the majority will wish to support for keeping the LAM-Heritage like I do. This will show our respect to the ancestors and will provide our descendants with some knowledge about their heritage. We’re all immortal as long as our story is told!

To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility-these are marks of maturity and graciousness – William Ward

12Sep2021: have sort of given up hope about preserving or even trying to talk to anyone in the family about the ancestral hall&homes after the visits in 2009-11. So hearing from Irene gave me some hopes to revive this posting. Thank you Irene.

Sooo excited&thrilled to hear from a long-lost cousin, Irene (sister of the CoconutPostMaster in HI/USA) – no have never met her or him and really hope that we are able to connect&work something for our family’s ancestral village in Jiangmen/Guangdong Province, China so as to be linked to a neighbouring village (1hr away) which is in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This has always been in my dreams&hopes when I first set foot there in 2009, but kinda given up hope as no one in the family showed any interest when I voiced out my thoughts then!

5Sep2021: appreciations to GG-LAM Irene, a cousin from granduncle RG-LAM JiChiew’s branch (Alfred-Linda Tay is the contact person for this branch) for this interesting link that her father BG-LAM YatYin and bro GG-LAM Michael started.

7Sep2021: hoping&praying that the LAM-Heritage is moving forward in the direction of preservation instead of destruction in the name of progress! As granddaughters of LAM JiChiew&SongKee, Irene & I have given our POA to Cangdong East Culture Heritage Conservation&Development Centre 廣東倉東教育基地 KaipingCity/China to mange the family’s property&affairs there. Hope that I have not signed my life away – hahaha (May2022: being updated at present)

15Jan2022: this is probably the most exciting news for my Bday and the year of the Tiger ahead. Work has started at the ancestral hall. Led by Dr TAN JinHua/Selia (see above link), an architect, VP of the VolunteersUnion, and WuYiUniversityConservation&Architecture students who are so generous to volunteer their time.

They have begun to research on our family history&the history of the ancestral hall. Work will be done to the 2 identical houses&water-pavilion house. Eventually the plan is to have a museum about the LAM family. Hopefully will live to see that and able to take some of my flock, if not the whole flock there one day. And even if I do not get to see it, have at least planted the seed to this project.

The exact location&correct address of these buildings: TangbianliVillage, DanzaoTownship, PengjiangDistrict, JiangmenCity, GuangdongProvince, PRC

A plaque has now been installed at the entrance of our LAM ancestral hall, designating it as Jiangmen City Heritage Architecture. After so many years of effort&frustrations, this is indeed a very happy moment – appreciations&tkx to GG-IreneLAM ( RG-LAM JiChiew’s branch).

Tue15Mar2022: tkx to IreneLAM for these architectural drawings produced by the architectural professor and students at Wuyi University. Someone plx help to translate so that I will be able to edit in here before uploading the rest of the pix (22total). There is a sentence saying that the township government will collect rent. That sentence is in error and is being removed.

Fri13May2022: many thanks to cousin IreneL for sharing this video&including me in the ZOOM + a few photos from the groundbreaking restoration ceremony for the LAM-AncestralHall on 29Apr2022.

Thu30Mar2023: appreciations and tkx to GGcousin Irene Lam(RGLAM JeeChiew’s branch, the older bro of our grandfather RG1LAM SongKee)for the images and updates of our AncestralHall. The roof has been completed, which is a great milestone. Restoration of the entire hall will be completed in July.

1.The roof ridges on the front and back of the main hall had to be removed in order to repair the beams. The contractor carefully removed each section and had damaged or missing sections recreated at the kilns LAM JeeChiew commissioned. The ceramics were then hoisted by crane and replaced. Until now, you and I have not been able to see the two fishes in their entirety 2.Panels being carved and painted. I didn’t even know that these existed previously 3.The beautiful roof. Walls have been cleaned. You can see the contrast where the worker is standing.

1.Exquisite hand carved brick sculpture to replace one that was stolen 2.All the door and window frames have been made using joinery, no nails 3.Brick carving created to replace one that was stolen.
A corridor between the main and auxiliary halls – before repaving. Wood carver creating a bracket.
An aerial view from a few days ago. Very sad that the government filled in the pond in front of the hall. That and the road ruined the fengshui. I hope to be able to reclaim the land to the right and left of the hall that was taken over by factories which are now empty. Underneath the corrugated iron buildings are the watchtower and chee tong walls, so I know this land should belong to us – IreneLAM

Tue16May2023: tkx to Irene for these updates:

This is a page from our Jiapu(ancestral records) – our ancestor LinJi who lived during the Tang Dynasty—618 to 907! He was one of the nine sons of LinPi (Lam in Cantonese). The nine sons became governors of nine regions. More information from China about the LAM family to translate and look into.
The original Jiapu is extremely precious and has to be carefully preserved from insects, moisture, heat, etc. It is extremely important since all the ancestral tablets and poetry couplets inside the hall were destroyed.
The Guardian Lion at the AncestralHall entrance+other stone sculptures were replaced
The craftsman is using Amy’s photos to recreate the canopy. It is an extremely difficult and labor intensive work, because each piece is hand carved. Everything is held together by joinery—there is not one nail, and it is huge. The contractor said they were shocked and astounded at the extent to which LAM JeeChiew went to build such a magnificent hall. The skill to create the canopy is almost a lost art

3 thoughts on “LAM-Heritage 2009-Present

  1. Great to read about the 2 houses and the ancestral hall conservation project. So happy to read they will be saved. How exciting ! I hope to be able to go and visit the museum one day 🙂

  2. Pingback: Jiangmen City Heritage Architecture – Here-There-Everywhere – This-That-Everything

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