Leung Hing Sun (Pinyin Liang Qingshen) 梁慶燊 (1899 - 1999)
Bruce W. Lo, 2013
Basic Biographical Information
Born December 28, 1899 in Foshan, Guangdong, China; died February 11, 1999 in Loma Linda, CA, USA.
Parentage: Father's name Liang Renzhao; mother's name madam Fok (pinyin Huo).
Siblings: Younger brother, Leung Hing Lun.
Marriage: Leung Hing Sun married Miao Bik Gwun (pinyin Liao Biyun) in 1931 in Guangzhou.
Children: They have three children, Dorothy Leung Zane, John Leung, and Doreen Leung Liem.
Education: Leung Hing Sun was educated at the Adventist schools in Guangzhou and the SDA College in Shanghai.
Summary of service: Leung Hing Sun taught at the Bethel Girls' School in Guangzhou. In 1931 he became the principal of South China Training Institute, which later became Hong Kong Adventist College. He guided the school through the difficult years during WWII.
Leung Hing Sun (pinyin Liang Qingshen) 梁慶燊, alias Keyi 可儀, was born on December 28, 1899 in the city of Foshan 佛山, Guangdong province in Southern China. His ancestors were from Panyu 番禺 originally, but had migrated to Foshan earlier. His father Liang Renzhao 梁壬昭, was the manager of a pharmacy store in Foshan for many years.
His mother, madam Fok (pinyin Huo) 霍 from Wuhaua, believing in fortune telling, did not allow him to start formal schooling until he was eight years old. On the day he began his formal schooling, an initiation ceremony was held at his home. Leung Hing Sun put on a Manchurian robe and paid homage to Heaven and Earth, to Confucius, to his Ancestors, to his new teacher-tutor, and to his parents. After that, a school room was established at one of the family friends, Mr. Ng's home. It was customary for the parents of the students to take turn to provide accommodation for the tutors and the teaching classrooms. So the actual school location changed several times during those years.
In the autumn of 1911, his father passed away when Leung Hing Sun was just 11 years old. The family returned to their old residence, while Leung Hing Sun went to stay with his cousin and fellow student, Zhou Louxian 周洛賢. The idea was that the two young persons can do their homework together and learn from each other. A few years later in 1914, his mother thought it was time for her son to go out to work. She sent Leung Hing Sun to Guangzhou and Hong Kong to look for possibilities.
Conversion to Adventism
At about that time, one of Leung's long time friend, Guo Zhuoming 郭卓明, got interested in Christianity and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Keen to share his new found faith, Guo visited Leung many times and invited him to attend church services on Sabbath. That winter, there was a special regional meeting in Guangzhou. Leung Hing Sun got to meet many Adventist workers of the church as well as several foreign missionaries, who encouraged him to go to study at the Shanghai San Yu School.
In 1915, upon taking over as the superintendent of the Guangzhou Mission, Elder A.L. Ham established a ministerial training school in Nanguan 南関, Guangzhou. Leung Hing Sun and eleven other youths (twelve in total) became the first group of students who attended the school. They were nicknamed, the "Twelve Disciples". Figure 4 shows a photo of the "Twelve Disciples" with Elder Ham.
In the same year, a mission annual meeting was held in Foshan, on the campus of the Adventist Hospital, called the Xiaoleyuan小樂園 Hospital, literally translated as "Little Paradise" Hospital. It was in the newly built baptismal font, that Leung Hing Sun took the formal step, and was baptized into the Adventist faith by Elder John P. Anderson.
Entering Denominational Work
The building program at Dongshan 東山, Guangzhou, was completed in 1918. The ministerial training school moved from Nanguan to Dongshan. It was in Dongshan that Leung Hing Sun graduated from the training school. In 1919, Elder S.L. Frost started the Shanghai San Yu College. Leung and one of his classmate, Li Daming 李達明 went to Shanghai to study at the college for two years. After graduation, both returned to Guangzhou to enter into church service. Leung Hing Sin became a teacher at the Bethel Girls' School. Ms. Ida Thompson, the pioneer who started the school in 1903, was the principal at that time. Officially Mr. Leung may be regarded as the last teacher to be employed by that school, because in 1922, Bethel Girls' School was merged with the Yick Chi Boys' School to become the Sam Yuk Middle School, a co-ed school.
Leung's friend, Guo Zhuoming was also employed by the church as a minister. Guo particularly took time to visit Leung's mother, madam Fok, taking her to attend Sabbath church services. Soon after, madam Fok was baptized and joined the church. Unfortunately, her health started to fail her, and in August, 1924, she passed away. At the time of her death, Leung Hing Sun was attending Summer School in Shanghai, and was not able to be by her side. When he returned, a memorial service was held. Leung wrote a poem to express his sorrow and his fond memory of his mother. The original text of the poem is recorded in his own memoir "Story of My Life"2.
As mentioned above, the Bethel Girls' School and the Yick Chi Boys' School were merged in 1922 in Dongshan to become a co-ed school. It was called Sam Yuk Middle School. In 1928, it was renamed South China Theology Training Institute 神道訓綀院. The prefix "South China" was added to distinguish it from the one near Shanghai. In 1931, Leung Hing Sun was promoted to be the principal of the Institute. At the end of that year, he married Ms Miao Bik Gwun (pinyin Liao Biyun) 缪碧筠, who was a Nursing Matron at the Guangzhou Sanitarium and Hospital.
Ms Miao was born on April 3, 1906 into a family with 8 siblings in the town of Wuhua 五華, Guangdong. In 1913, her father moved the whole family to North Borneo to conduct business and start a rubber tree plantation. Unfortunately, within a few years, he passed away, leaving his wife and 8 children. Mrs Miao senior was a devout Christian and a capable woman. She had Bible studies with some of the Adventist evangelists, and soon six members of her household were baptized into the Adventist Church.
The daughter, Ms Miao Bik Gwun attended the Singapore Adventist Bible College, as well as both the Sam Yuk Middle School and the Chiaotaotseng College. Leung Hing Sun was her teacher at Sam Yuk Middle School. He recommended her to take up nursing training at the Shanghai Sanitarium and Hospital, which she did. After graduation, she returned to Guangzhou to join the nursing staff of Guangzhou Sanitarium and Hospital in 1931. She was soon promoted as the matron in that hospital. At the end of that year Miao Bik Gwun and Leung Hing Sun were married in Guangzhou.
In 1935, the Theological Training Institute was again renamed Canton Training Institute 廣州三育研究社, and moved to Sam Yuk Road in Dongshan. During the Sino-Japanese War, the school moved to Shatin, Hong Kong for two years, 1937-1939. Leung Hing Sun was nominally released from the position of the principal so that he can stay in Hong Kong to supervise the construction of the new campus at Clear Water Bay, Sai Kung. It was there that the school was renamed South China Training Institute 華南三育研究社.
In 1939, the school moved to its permanent address at Clear Water Bay Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong. Once again, Leung Hing Sun took up the principalship of the school. But within a few years, the Pacific War broke, and once again , the school had to disband in 1941, the year in which Leung Hing Sun was formally ordained to the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Under Leung Hing Sun's leadership, the school re-opened in 1942 in Laolung 老隆, Guangdong, a town along the eastern stream of the Pearl River 東江. To begin with, an old wooden house was rented for the school. Leung then led out in an extensive building and recruitment program to rebuild the school. A new boys' dormitory and several teachers' living quarters were completed on the nearby hill, which they called the "Gospel Hill". Additional teachers were recruited, so the teaching staff were strengthened even though it was during the war years.
In the height of the war, at one stage, the school campus served as the refuge for four different organizational units of the Seventh-day Adventist Church: the South China Training Institute, South China Union Mission, Wei On Hospital (from Wai Chow, Guangdong), and Hakka Mission, all stayed at the school campus in an effort to escape the military rampage.
The following story which occurred during the war, shows the bravery of Principal Leung. To counter the advances of the Japanese army, a commander of the Chinese resistance army demanded the use of the school chapel as a military base, as the building was situated in a strategic location. But Leung Hing Sun risked his own life by standing up against the commander, and would not allow the military to defile the church. The Lord must have heard Leung's prayer, the normally stubborn commander, ceased to insist on his demand, and the church building was preserved.
After the war, Leung Hing Sun brought the school back to Dongshan, Guangzhou for a year, to allow the campus at Clear Water Bay to be rebuilt after it had been damaged by the Japanese military and various local bandits. During the academic year 1946 - 1947, in addition to regular school duties in Guangzhou, Leung traveled frequently to Hong Kong to supervise the reconstruction of the Clear Water Bay campus. In the summer of 1947, South China Training Institute officially moved back to its permanent home at 1000 Clear Water Bay Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong.
Pastor Leung, or Institute Principal Leung (梁社長), as he was often affectionately known, will always be remembered as the one who led the South China Training Institute (華南三育研究社) through those difficult war years. It was under his leadership that the institution continued to grow and prosper.
He was both loved and revered by his students and the staff who worked under him. Pastor Leung always attired in formal tradition Chinese robe, and to many of his students, he is often remembered as a solemn leader as shown in Figure 3. However, for those who knew him well and were close to him, they know that he was also a kind, loving and caring leader. Once a certain student from a poor family could not afford to buy his own shoes. Pastor Leung took him into town, and used his own money to purchase a pair of new shoes for that student.
Pastor Leung continued in the principal position until 1952, rendering a total of over thirty years of valuable service to the primary Adventist training institution in Southern China. His students are found all over the world including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and USA, holding or had held many important responsibilities both within and outside the Adventist Church.
Ministry in Southeast Asia
In 1952, Pastor and Mrs. Leung were called to serve in evangelistic ministry in the Southeast Asia mission. They began their ministry at the Chinese Jesselton/Api (亜庇) SDA Church. Jesselton, which was the administrative center of North Borneo, is now known as Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah, Malaysia. They remained there for about ten years. In 1962 they moved to the Kuching Church in Sarawak, Malaysia and pastored the church for two years. In total the Leungs ministered to the church folks in Southeast Asia for 12 years.
Pastor Leung formally retired from denominational work in 1964. He and his wife went to Australia to attend the graduation of their son, Dr. John Leung, who completed his study from the Sydney University Medical School. They decided to remain in Australia for about one year.
In 1966, Pastor and Mrs. Leung migrated to the United States and chose to made their home in the Loma Linda area to be close to their two daughters. Even in his retirement years, Pastor Leung continued to do research and authored a number of articles which were published in the church magazine, Last Day Shepherd's Call.
In 1987, Pastor and Mrs. Leung, accompanied by their son and daughters, returned to Hong Kong and Canton, to visit his former places of service in China. They also visited Pastor Leung's home town Foshan and Wuhua, his mother's birthplace. Pastor Leung returned to Hong Kong two years later in 1989. He was one of the honored guests at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the South China Training Institute (now known as Hong Kong Adventist College). Pastor Leung then proceeded to Guangzhou to meet up with former friends to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Mrs. Leung was called to rest on January 4, 1992 at the age of 86 in Loma Linda, CA, USA. Pastor Leung also rested in the Lord on February 11, 1999 in Loma Linda.
Pastor and Mrs. Leung were survived by:
Elder daughter, Dorothy Leung Zane, retired medical secretary and son-in-law Dr Ernest S. Zane, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, who was interim Chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Loma Linda University.
Son, Dr. John Leung, retired emergency room physician and daughter-in-law, Enid O'young Leung, retired dietician.
Younger daughter, Doreen Leung Liem, retired registered nurse, and son-in-law Dr. Caleb Liem, obstetrician/gynecologist.
Figure 1: Pastor Leung Hing Sun When and where taken?
Figure 2: Mrs Leung, nee Miao Bik Gwun When and where taken?
Figure 3: Pastor Leung Hing Sun, Principal of South China Training Institute When and where?
Figure 4: The so called "Twelve Disciples" under Pastor A.L. Ham at the Canton San Yu School in 1915. Leung Hing Sun was the first person standing at the right on the back row. When taken?
Figure 5: The 1930 graduation class of South China Theology Training Institute, Dongshan, Guangzhou, China. Principal Leung Hing Sun is seated at the center in the front row.
Figure 6: Pastor and Mrs Leung with their three children, Dorothy (standing), John (standing in front), and Doreen (on Mrs Leung's lap) When and where?
Figure 7: Pastor Leung delivering an address during school commencement service When & where?
Figure 8: Pastor Leung, principal of the school, with treasurer, Mr. Henry Luke. When and where?
Figure 9: South China Mission and Canton School staff. Pastor Leung was third from right standing on the back row. When & where taken? Can you identify the name of other people?
Figure 10: Seventh graduation class of the Wei On Hospital Nursing School
with their school and hospital staff, taken in Lao Lung in 1947. Please help to identify the names of people in this photo?
Figure 11: Staff of the Canton San Yu Middle School. When and where taken? Name the people as much as possible.
Figure 12: Graduation class of San Yu School. When and where taken? Is Pastor Leung in this photo?
Figure 13: What is this photo about? Where and when taken? What are the names of some of the people?
Figure 14: The baptismal candidates of the Clear Water Bay Church, Hong Kong, in 1948. The three member of the staff standing in the back row were: Pastors P.O. Shui, T.C. Chan, and H.S. Leung. Can you name some of the other people in this photo?
Figure 15: Faculty and students of South China Training Institute, photographed in front the Administrative Building in 1951. Principal Leung Hing Sun is seated near the center in the second row.
Figure 16: Jessellton Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Figure 17: Pastor and Mrs Leung with children and gradnchildren taken in California When and where? Names of all people in this photo....
1. Ho, Charlotte (2002), Biography of Leung Hing Sun, in Chinese SDA History, Young, Samuel (Editor), China Union Mission, Hong Kong.
2. Leung, Hing Sun (1970), Story of My Life, as recorded by Henry Luke in the 1970s at Loma Linda, California, USA.
3. Zane, Dorothy (1990), A Lifetime of Memories, in South China Reflections, edited by Dorothy Zane & Bert Chow, Loma Linda, California, USA.