|About Sam Kiang Huay Kwan|
|“Sam Kiang”(sanjiang) is a special term, there is no such place in China. “Sam Kiang” refers to three provinces in China, namely, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Jiangxi.It is believed that the term “Sam Kiang” first appeared in 1868 (Emperor Tongzhi’s 7th year). Chinese overseas in Japan established a Sam Kiang ancestral hall in the Xing Fu Temple at Nagaski and later formed a Hezhong Sam Kiang office.
The Singapore Sam Kiang Office was formed in 1906 by the pioneers of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Jiangxi such as Mr.Pan Yun Qing, Mr. Cao Yu Chang, Mr. Fu Zhu Xian, Mr. Lu Jin Fa, Mr. Huang zhi Hui and others. Its application for registration was approved in 1908. The founding president was Mr. Fu Zhu Xian.
It changed its name to Sam Kiang Huay Kwan in 1927. The 1945 constitution broadened the definition of the term “Sam Kiang” to include immigrants from provinces along the Yangtze River, Yellow River and Heilongjiang. During the colonial era, emigrants who left China through Shanghai port were all referred to as “Shanghainese”.
Initially, the association bought an office at Jalan Ampas. As many clansmen lived in Tanglin and Orchard Road areas, it later purchased a house as its office at No. 2, Cuppage Road for their convenience.
Before World War II, it had founded Sam Kiang Public School. The exact date of ther school’s founding cannot be established, but what is known is that it was in operation in 1937. When Yang Xing Hua became the association’s president, he bought at his own expense a house next to the office at No.4, Cuppage Road to be used as a school. It was closed during the Japanese Occupation but reopened after the war. There were 345 pupils in 1956. Due to changes in the social environment and the decline of Chinese education, like many other Chinese primary schools, Sam Kiang Public School’s student enrolment dropped drastically, and as a result, it was closed in the 1970s.
The association ceased to function during the Japanese Occupation All archival records were lost. After the war, in 1946, in view of the increase of members, the premises was found in inadequate. Mr. Wang Xiang Xian , Mr. Chen Lai Chang, Mr. yang /xing Hua and Mr. Lu Chun Sheng suggested the purchase of new premises and the suggestion was well supported by members. In the same year, it bought a house as the new premises at No.23, St Thomas Walk. To raise funds for the new building, it held charity shows in the New World Amusement Park sponsored by Show Organization, which waived the rental charges.
To assist unemployed clansmen, in the 1950s it started an employment office in Killiney Road. This was subsequently relocated to the old office premises at Cuppage Road. It was closed down in the 1970s.
In 1956, it set up a benevolent section which was registered in 1960 under the Societies Act. In 1971, the premises underwent renovation. An opening ceremony for the new premises was held on December 2, 1973.
In 1974, it founded the Sam Kiang Charity Medical Center to provide free medical service to all races. With the generous donations made by the Honorary President Runme Shaw (Shao Ren Mei) and other clansmen, the Medical Center was opened on March 1, 1977. Patients of the Center only pay the registration fee; other expenses are borne by the association. For those patients holding assistance cards issued by the Social Welfare Department, free medical services are provided.
In 1975, a Sam Kiang Old Folks’ Home to be set up within the Sam Kiang public cemetery was proposed. This was completed in 1979 and in March 1980 it commenced receiving the destitute old folks to spend their old age in a pleasant environment. Subsequently, the land was acquired by the government and it was closed down in 1982. The resident old folks were transferred to Ang Mo Kio and Henderson Old Folks’ Homes.
Ancestral worship is always a tradition among Chinese. The Sam Kiang clansmen had purchased a plot of land and established the Sam Kiang cemetery as early as 1898 with generous contributions made by Cai Wen Hao, Cai Zhang hao, Cao Yu Chang and Pan Yun Qing. It was later acquired by the government. To find a place to keep ancestors’ ashes, the association bought a plot of land in Depot Road to build a Sam Kiang Ancestral Hall. A two-storeyed Chinese temple-like building on a piece of land with an area of 1,380 sq meters was completed in 1989. Apart from altars, the ancestral hall could keep up to 30,000 urns containing ancestors’ ashes. After its completion, Sam Kiang clansmen would go to the ancestral hall to worship for the Spring and Autumn sacrificial offerings.
In 1989, for the sake of the association’s future development, the then president Mr. Chwee Meng Chong proposed a development plan for the St. Thomas Walk premises. The council approved the proposal in the same year. After much difficulty, the $30 million Sam Kiang Mansion commenced its construction in 1996. The plot of land bought at $40,000 then is now worth $40 million. A 20-storeyed Sam Kiang Mansion was completed in 1999. Two thirds of the residential apartments were sold and one third was rented out. The rental income is used to support the association’s recurrent expenditures and cultural, educational and welfare services.
After the St. Thomas Walk development project, the association purchased No. 41, Wilkie Road as its premises, which the association formally moved into on July 15,1996. The Sam Kiang Charity Medical Clinic now operates behind its premises at No. 60, Sophia Road.
To keep up with the technological age, and with the assistance of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, it went online in 1999. Its website is http://sfcca.org.sg/sanjiangclan.
On September 18, 2001, it held a centenary celebration-cum-First Sam Kiang Clansmen International Convention. It held the largest celebration in its hundred year history. Invited Sam Kiang delegations from China, Malaysia, Australia, United States and Singapore attended the function. It published a souvenir volume entitled One Hundred Years’ Cultural History of the Sam Kiang clansmen. The book documents the migration, settlement and achievements of the Sam Kiang clansmen.
The Sam Kiang Huay Kwan is the parent organization for the Sam Kiang clansmen. Apart from corporate and individual members, it alsohas nine institutional members, namely, Ningpo Guild, Wen Chou Wei Khan, Kiangsi Association, Shanghai Club, Nanyang Hupei Tiemen Association, Lianghu Hui Kuan, Nanyang Hwa Pek Thung Hisiang Hoey, shanghai European Ladies Dress Makers Association and Singapore Chinese Dry-cleaning Owners’ Association.
Compared with the Cantonese and Hokkiens, the Sam Kiang clansmen form a smaller group in Singapore, but they are noted for their active involvement in Singapore’s charity and educational services. Among previous presidents, Mr. Chwee Meng Chong is the longest serving president. Under his leadership, the association founded a charity medical clinic, old folks’ home, ancestral hall and the Sam Kiang Mansion. In recent years, the association is under active action to bring younger members into the association and the committee board and to connect with new emigrants coming from different parts of China. These actions are bringing motive power and vigor to this hundred-year-old association in the new era.
– Lunar New Year Celebration An annual Lunar New year get-together is held on the second day of the Lunar New year. Buffet lunch is provided.
– Spring and Autumn sacrificial offerings During Spring and Autumn festivals to commemorate the dead, members assemble in the Sam Kiang ancestral hall t perform the traditional rituals to worship their ancestors.
– Scholarships and Bursaries
– Financial aid for old folks
Year of Founding: 1906