CHOIE KUM YOK
1855 - 1932
Born : 1855
In : Sha Kong
Father : Choie Sew Hoy
Mother : Young Soy May
Born in Sha Kong village in 1855, Choie Kum Yok came to New Zealand as a young man to join his father Choie Sew Hoy and help with the family business. He held shares in the Sew Hoy dredging operations. In 1897 he returned to China, and in the city of Guangzhou [Canton] he ran the Chinese part of the Sew Hoy family business.
The general merchandise company in Guangzhou was called Cheong On, with interests in warehouses, finance, general merchandise, timber trading, firewood, and cinemas. Cheong On also marketed salt in bulk, shipping to large parts of Guangdong [Kwangtung] Province using chartered boats. Kum Yok also managed the Wui On Company in Hong Kong, a financial and trading service for migrants from Upper Panyu, many of them men going to work as miners or market gardeners in New Zealand.
At that time, people could not remit money overseas through banks; the only way was through financial companies like Wui On. Wui On also acted as Buying Agents and Exporters for the family General Merchant business in New Zealand.
Choie Kum Yok had three wives, nine sons and five daughters. His first wife had one son, Kang Lem. Then she died and he remarried. His second wife had six sons and two daughters. When she died Kum Yok married again and his third wife had two sons and three daughters.
When Choie Kum Yok died at his home in Guangzhou in 1932, his body lay in state for 49 days, as a mark of the respect in which he was held. The family chartered a train to take his large coffin, as well as family members, relatives and friends from Guangzhou, to his home village of Sha Kong, for a huge funeral service and burial. This was followed by seven days of free banquets for everyone in the nearby area.
Choie Kum-Yok's grave
徐金玉 (Choie Kum Yok) 字麗山 (1855-1932)， 父徐肇開、母楊氏，生於上番禺社崗村。年青時遠赴紐西蘭助父 營商及為礦場股東，幫助打理礦務。 1897 年回歸廣州打理長安公司、經營祖業。
1932年，金玉、在家病逝。其遺體安頓廣州、西關叢桂西街 44 號大屋，家中放四十九天供子孫及摯友親朋憑吊。其後包火車運載靈棺回故鄉安葬。葬禮盛極一時，親朋好友鄰村鄉生紛湧至拜祭，解慰酒連開七天，免費為拜祭人士提供膳食。
This family portrait was taken in the hall of Choie Kum Yok's house to mark his 70th birthday in 1926.徐金玉七十大壽全家福. 于一九二六年.
(Reading from right to left, back row, then front row)
1. Choie Jun Leong (Kang Lem's son) 徐鎮良
2. Choie Hok Poon (Kum Yok's son) 徐學泮
3. Chui Jun Mum (Hok Poon's son) 徐鎮敏
4. Choie Jun Kwai (Kang Lem's son) 徐鎮規
5. Choie Hok Yao /Hugh Sew Hoy (Kum Yok's son) 徐學友
6 Chu Lin (Kum Yok third wife) 朱蓮
7 Kong Ching Laun (Kang Niel's wife) 江清蘭
8 Fanny Kong (Hok Yao's wife) 江友容
9 Ho Poo Jun (Hok Boon's wife) 何葆真
10. Chow Wei Ching (Hok Poon's wife) 周惠貞
11. Pink Kum Kong (Hok Yan's wife) 江聘金
12. Choie Shew Tong (Kum Yok's daughter) 徐少棠
13. Choie Jun Kow (Hok Yan's son, being held by his mother, Pink Kum) 徐鎮球
14. Choie Hok Boon (Kum Yok's son) 徐學本
15. Lo Yuen Ngan (Jun Leong's wife) 勞婉顏
16. Choie Kang Niel (Kum Poy's son) 徐鏡遼
17. Choie Jun Chong (Hok Ngai's son) 徐鎮昶
18. Choie Hok Ngai (Kum Yok's son, holding his own son Jun Chong) 徐學藝
19. Choie Wai Feng (daughter of Jun Tim Sew Hoy) 徐惠芳
20. Choie Wing Sen (Jun Leong's son) 徐穎純
21. Virginia Sew Hoy (Hok Yao's daughter) 徐慧卿
22 Chui Wai Shiu (Hok Poon's daughter) 徐慧韶
23. Choie Wing Yui (Jun Leong's son) 徐穎儒
24. Chui Wei Unng (Kang Niel's daughter) 徐慧憲
25. Choie Sae Low (Kum Yok's daughter) 徐秀慈
26. Choie Kum Yok (Choie Sew Hoy's son) 徐金玉
27. Tsui Wei Foo (Hok Ngai's daughter) 徐慧芙
28. Choie Wai Jeun (Jun Leong's daughter) 徐惠珍
29. Xu Yan Heng (Kum Yok's daughter) 徐衍珩
30. Tsui Wei Ngan (Hok Yan's daughter, holding Jun Yip) 徐慧雁
31. Choie Jun Yip (Hok Yan's son) 徐鎮業