28 Feb 2011 – Weekend in Jiangmen
Jiangmen/江門 located in Gungdong province, SE China with a population of app 3.8 mil today. This is where grandfather LAM Song Kwee came from. His older brother, grand-uncle LAM Jee Chiew and he sailed down the Pearl River to seek their fortune. Am not sure of the exact year but gathering from the info that the two brothers built Kwong Lee Mortgage & Remittance in 1905, Kuching, Sarawak/E Malaysia, it would be app 100yrs ago. From there and then, the family business Kwong Lee Bank was thus established. Branches were built along the N Borneo coast and the SIN branch opened in 1926. With the fortune acquired, they built the ancestral house, pond-house and hall in Jiangmen – positing 10 May 2009 for pix.
Sat: took the early boat from China Ferry Terminal/Tsim Sha Tsui heading up the Pearl River Delta passing by Macau and picking up more passenger at Doumen before Jiangmen (HK$500 RT for a VIP room is recommended!). Did this trip 2yrs ago but was not fully aware and focus then. Thoughts of how brave or how desperate for grandfather to venture out from his familiar surroundings. Today it takes less than 3hrs by boat from HKG, how many hours did it take them then? Not forgetting that all these built-ups areas did not exist. Met at the port by cousin LAM Kwowk Wei whose grandfather was my grandfather’s half-brother??
Thanks to the LAM family for a lovely lunch before checking into the hotel, Country Garden Phoenix Hotel near the ancestral village. An hour of photography at family village pond-house, the main house and the hall was enough. After 2yrs everything have so quickly fallen even more apart and it is very disheartening. Will try my best to convince the uncles who still have the authority to these buildings to do something constructive and positive.
Delicious dinner of longan leaf roast goose, wild grass flavoured-soup (the best soup ever), yam and many more fresh organic veggie@Eight Views Villa****
Sun: late morning walk@Cha Ah Park. It is said that astronomers Tang, a monk and his entourage came here to observe and draw maps.
Another yummy lunch at the foothills of the park. The fresh water clam, free-range chicken and salt roast pigeons are just to die for! Appreciations to the cousins and their families for all their time and their kind generous hospitality.
Sun: Back to HKG in time for dinner@Trusty King Congee***tasty chicken congee and the first time to taste cooked fish skin, crunchy and quite nice. The century year old egg, veggie are alright and good soya bean milk. Thank you Henry for being my translator and for keeping me safe in China 🙂
Mon: walked in this glorious weather. Pix have been taken the last couple of years from this area, so no need for any today!
None of us can boast about the morality of our ancestors. The record does not show that Adam and Eve were ever married – Edgar W Howe