Chiu Yuen Cemetery is a burial place for the members of the Eurasian community in Hong Kong. Situated in Mount Davis, the land was granted to Sir Robert Ho Tung and his brother Ho Fook, as trustees for the Eurasian Community in 1897. Sir Robert’s mother was amongst the early burials there. In 1915 the boundary of the cemetery was further expanded and Ho Chong was built. Ho Chong is the private burial ground for the exclusive use of Sir Robert’s brother Ho Kom-tong’s family. Ho Kom-tong was a man who believed in Feng Shui and he planned and built his own cemetery, with tomb stones erected for family members as early as 1915. Ho Chong was built on a slope and has four levels. The top level is the graves of himself and his wife, the second level for his concubines, and his sons occupied the third level. He also built a garden and a memorial hall on the fourth or lowest level.
After Ho Fook died in 1926 the cemetery was administered by Sir Robert until his death in 1956. In 1958, Chiu Yuen Cemetery was incorporated and took over from Sir Robert’s estate the ownership and management of the cemetery.
Proper paths and barriers were only built in after 1960, so there are only limited walking paths and visitors have to cross between graves to get from one area to another. Therefore, hiking or walking shoes, preferably with walking sticks are highly recommended. Snake and bees are not uncommon.
Dr. Joseph Ting will explain the historical background of Chiu Yuen Cemetery. Dr. Ting majored in Chinese Literature and Chinese History from HKU and graduated with a BA degree in 1974. He was conferred an MPhil in 1979 and a PhD in 1989, both from HKU. Dr. Ting joined the Hong Kong Museum of Art as an Assistant Curator in 1979 and was appointed Chief Curator of the HK Museum of History in 1995. He retired in 2007 after serving for 28 years. He is currently an Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of Chinese at The University of Hong Kong, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
We are delighted to also have Andrew Tse and David Ho with us, to share some insights into their family on this visit. Before his retirement, Andrew E. Tse was CEO of Macau’s East Asia Airlines, Hong Kong’s Heli Express and founder of Hong Kong Express Airways. He received both his university and post-graduate degrees in Canada.
David Ho is the grandson of Ho Kom-tong. He undertook the renovations of the Ho Chong Memorial Hall several years ago and sits on the Board of Chiu Yuen.