Shiu Pok On (pinyin Shao Puan) 邵樸安 (1892-1979)
by Tang Chung Huen (鄧宗煊), 2008
Basic biographical data
Born 1892 in Nanhai, Guangdong, died 1979 in Hong Kong.
Parentage: Father Shiu Fok Hang, and mother Madam Ng.
Siblings: Shiu Pok On was the fifth among twelve children. However, only seven of the siblings, three girls and four boys lived to adulthood. Shiu Sing Ng, his sixth sister was the principal of the nursing school at Nanning SDA Hospital, Guangxi, and Shiu Lan Ng, his youngest sister was married to Pastor Ho Wai Yue.
Marriage: He married Chan Hon Man in 1921.
Children: Shiu Pok On and Chan Hon Man had five children. From eldest to youngest they are: Shiu Lai Wah, Siu Wai Hak, William Shiu, Susan Shiu Lai Fong, and Wilbur Shiu Wai Bong.
Pastor Shiu Pok On taken year?
Pastor Shiu Pok On, a native of Shao Bian Village (邵邊鄉), Nan Hai County (南海縣), Guangdong Province (廣東省), born in 1892，was known as Shiu Kam Hing (邵錦興) when he was a boy. His parents, Shiu Fok Hang (邵福行) and Madam Ng (吳氏), became Christians through the leading of their neighbor, the Reverend Au Fung Chi (區鳳墀), a Methodist minister. Later, Madam Ng became a faithful member in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Shiu Fok Hang fathered altogether twelve children, seven girls and five boys. Seven of them, three girls, and four boys lived to adulthood. Pok On, the fifth son became interested in the truth through the influence of Cheung Siu Ming (張兆明), pastor of the local Adventist church. [Editor’s note: Cheung Siu Ming was the late father of Pastor Jerry Chang Chung Wai (張仲偉).] Later, his other six siblings all joined the Adventist Church. Shiu Sing Ng (邵醒吾), his sixth sister, became principal of the nursing school attached to the Nanning Seventh-day Adventist Hospital at Nanning, Guangxi (廣西南寧小樂園醫院). Shiu Lai Ng (邵勵吾), his youngest sister, was a teacher in our denominational primary school and later she married Pastor Ho Wai Yue (何韋如).
Recommended by Pastor Cheung Siu Ming, Pok On became a student at Yock Chee School (益智男校) in Canton around 1905. Later, Sing Ng and Lai Ng enrolled at Bethel School for Girls (伯特利女校) in Canton so that they too were able to receive Christian education.
In 1915 Pastor A. L. Ham (許華欽) became director of the Cantonese Mission (廣州區會). He reopened Yock Chee Boys’ School and renamed it Sam Yuk School. Personally he was in charge of the ministerial training class with the following twelve students: Paul Chan (陳保羅), Chan Siu Chi (陳兆枝), Chan Wing Hin (陳榮顯), Chan Wui To (陳滙濤), Cheung Yan Guen (張恩眷), Leung Hing Sun (梁慶燊), Lei Tat Ming (李達明), Kan Wai Hing (簡淮興), Shiu Pok On, Tang Lup Pun (鄧立磐), Tam Fung Kei (譚鳳岐), and William Wong (黃威廉). They were dubbed the twelve disciples of Pastor Ham.
In 1921 Pok On married Miss Chan Hon Man (陳翰文), elder daughter Dr. Chan Ai Hin (陳艾軒), a western physician at Dong Guan County (東莞縣).The couple then went north to pursue further studies at our Shanghai Missionary College (上海三育大學). Previously, the following persons were recommended by Pastor Ham to study there: Leung Hing Sun, Lei Tat Ming, Ho Wai Yue, Cheung Yan Guen, Chan Siu Chi, and Tam Fung Kei.
After graduation in 1923, Pok On returned to serve his alma mater, Sam Yuk School at Tungshan (東山), Canton. Several of his fellow teachers were his former schoolmates. In 1927-1928 Principal Lei Tat Ming with several teachers, Shiu Pok On, Chan Han Man (Mrs. Shiu), Wong Mo Sun (黃慕新), found a plot of land at Sham Shui Po (深水埗) in Kowloon and set up Wah On School (華安學校).
In 1928 Shiu Pok On was called to be pastor of Nanning Church in the Guangxi Mission. He was also in charge of the school there. In 1935 he was transferred back to his alma mater, now renamed Canton Training Institute (廣州三育研究社), as a language and history teacher.
On July 7, 1937, Marco Polo Bridge Incident marked the start of the War of Resistance against Japan. Subsequently Canton Training Institute moved to Sha Tin (沙田), Hong Kong, to share the campus with the school there. The institution was then renamed South China Training Institute (華南三育研究社). In 1939 the school moved to its new campus in Clear Water Bay area in Kowloon. All these years, Shiu Pok On remained as a staff member of the school.
During Japanese Occupation
On December 8, 1941, the Pacific War broke out. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories were then in a state of war. Immediately, the school suspended its classes. At that time there were about 300 people, including staff members with their families and boarding students, residing in the campus. Soon a few of them were put in a concentration camp. As food supply became progressively critical, other people in the campus began to leave. Some left Kowloon, and some returned to homeland in China. By June 1942, the last batch of staff members and boarding students, led by Principal Leung Hing Sun, left the campus. Fortunately, the Shiu family, consisted of four members, including the fourth daughter──eleven-year-old Lai Fong (麗芳) and the youngest son──nine-year-old Wilbur (維邦), and twelve school caretakers remained in the campus to protect the denominational property.
Needless to say, there was practical no protection of lives and private property during the Japanese occupation. Hence it was a period of difficult days for those people who remained in the school campus. Relying on the presence of the Lord, Shiu Pok On conducted daily devotional meetings. Hearing the chime of the bell in the early morning, the caretakers would arrive to attend the morning worship. After studying the Bible and asking the Lord for His protection, they then went to work in the school farm till noon. Resting for a short while after lunch, they continued their daily work. They also organized themselves into six patrol units of two people each in order to take turn to keep watch of the campus during the night. Day in, day out, they carried on their activities.
During the Japanese occupation, there was a severe shortage of food. Rice was put on ration. Each person was limited to 320 grams (0.7 lb) of rice per day. On top of it, there had been severe inflation. Though working hard daily, the workers were not able to be self-sufficient. Shiu Pok On’s siblings, Shiu Kam Tsy (邵錦柱) and Shiu Dzi Shung (邵志菘), and his nephew Tang Fu So (鄧賦蘇) all died of starvation.
One day a school caretaker searched for barrels of soybean buried under the ground. He found most were spoiled. Only three barrels of food were still edible. Supplemented with wild herbs and vines, they still did not have enough to feed themselves. To solve the problem of shortage of salt, a caretaker was responsible to carry seawater from the beach to produce salt.
One day a solitary robber intruded into the campus and went straight to Shiu Pok On’s house in the teachers’ quarters. While reading a book, Shiu Pok On asked the intruder who he was. The latter then tried to get his gun from his hip. But the gun was entangled in strings and he was unable to pull it out. At that critical moment, two caretakers earnestly implored the robber for mercy. Eventually the robber left the scene resentfully. Going down the hill, he disappeared in the beach. He was not the only case of such uninvited guest.
Often during the night Shiu Pok On would hide himself on the rooftop of the administrative building, or in the underground chamber of communication office, or in a wooden shed of the school farm. Daily he would pray for the safety of all who remained in the campus. One night a robber came to the campus. Pointing a gun at Shiu Pok On, the robber demanded him to hand over the school funds. Shiu Pok On told the robber the funds were kept in Kowloon and hence he could do nothing. Being angry for not able to get any money, the robber pushed Shiu Pok On down to the floor. Firing a shot into the air, the robber then left the campus.
End of World War II
In August 1945, as the Japanese government surrendered unconditionally, the war ended. The British resumed the control of Hong Kong. The perilous days of three years and eight months were over. The group of people who remained in the campus was able to live freely again. What was more important was that the denominational property was preserved. Thanks to the Lord.
In 1947 the South China Training Institute at Tungshan, Canton moved back to the campus at Clear Water Bay Road. In 1949 the China Training Institute at Qiaotouzhen was again removed to Hong Kong and shared the campus with the South China Training Institute at Clear Water Bay Road. All these years Shiu Pok On was a staff member of the South China Training Institute.
In The People Republic of China
In 1950 Shiu Pok On was called to serve as pastor of Tungshan Church of the Cantonese Mission. Just a few days before the change of government in Canton, leaving their three children, William (維廉), Wilbur (維邦), and Lai Fong (麗芳), to continue their studies at the South China Training Institute, Shiu Pok On and his wife left Hong Kong to Canton to take up the new appointment. At the end of that year Shiu Pok On was ordained to the gospel ministry.
In 1951 Pastor Shiu Pok On was appointed by the South China Union Mission as president of the Guangxi Mission, whose headquarters were at Nanning. The Shius then moved to Nanning. From then onwards, Pastor Shiu had to face many unpleasant situations. Because of his faith he met with severe persecution.
After the change of government, the Christian denominations were not permitted to accept financial assistance from abroad. Hence he received no salary from the mission. In November 1951, the Adventist hospital at Nanning was taken over by the government. In May 1954 the Three-self Patriotic Movement Committee was established. In Nanning, the Sunday churches controlled all activities. Pastor Shiu was accused as a counter-revolutionary. And during the Three-anti and five-anti campaigns in 1958, he was classified as a rightist. As such, he was denounced severely. Then came the Cultural Revolution. His house was ransacked three times. He also suffered much physical abused.
Finally, the Shius were banished to live in a remote village. They had to stay in a one-room house, with no kitchen and toilet. The door was broken and could not be locked. During raining days, the floor would accumulate several inches of muddy water. For several years they lived as farm slaves.
On May 5, 1956, Mrs. Shiu passed away in the Lord on account of her kidney disorder. In 1969 Pastor Shiu, with the family of his son Dr. Siu Wai Hak (邵維克) of six members, was permitted to go back to their home village–—Shao Bian Village where he had been able to get some relief of his physical and mental sufferings. The aging Pastor Shiu was taken care of by his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. In the summer of 1978 his eldest daughter Lai Wah (麗華) alone left Hong Kong to China to pay a visit to her parent. Her eighty-six-year old father then already suffered from some form of dementia or Alzheimer disease. On account of work and housework in Hong Kong, Lai Wah was not able to remain long with her father. Since then the old man would daily muttered to himself, calling “Lai Wah” unceasingly. Daily he told the family members, “I want to go to Hong Kong.” He added, “Lai Wah is waiting for me at the railway station.”
Back to Hong Kong
Meanwhile from time to time his daughter-in-law, Oi Nei (愛妮), would send in a request to the local public security bureau for a permit for him to get out of China. We gave thanks to the Lord. Pastor Shiu Pok On was eventually permitted to leave China. On December 7, 1978 he arrived safely at Hong Kong and stayed at the home of his elder daughter Lai Wah and Son-in-law, Philip Tang, Principal of Hong Kong Sam Yuk Middle School. That year they had a very pleasant Christmas.
The news of Pastor Shiu’s arrival at Hong Kong gradually spread far and near. His former fellow workers and believers in Hong Kong as well as his relatives in the USA, Canada and Australia sent their greetings to him. In 1979 his second son William made a special trip from Australia to visit him. Later Lai Fong and Wilbur sent money from abroad to show their filial duties to him. All these gladdened his heart.
Half a year after his arrival at Hong Kong, he had to be admitted to Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital, as he suffered from a form of heart disorder (weakness of heart muscle) and pulmonary edema. Though he was under the utmost care of the medical staff, his health did not improve as he was advanced in age. By the end of June he lost his appetite. His condition deteriorated. On July 1, 1979, he rested peacefully in the Lord at the age of 88. On the eve before he passed away, my wife and I visited him. Though he could not talk, his mind was still clear. Tightly he held on Lai Wah’s wrist. For a long while he would not let go. It showed how deeply he loved his daughter.
Pastor Shiu Pok On was survived by his elder daughter Lai Wah, music teacher at Hong Kong Sam Yuk Middle School; his son-in-law Philip Tang (鄧宗煊), who was once principal of the same school; his elder son Wai Hak (維克), a surgeon of Nanning First People’s Hospital (formerly Nanning Seventh-day Adventist Hospital), his daughter-in-law Oi Nei (愛妮), a nurse at a hospital in Nan Hai County; his second son William (維廉), once served as a pastor of Hong Kong Pioneer Church, his daughter-in-law Miu Sheung Chung (陳妙嫦), a staff at Adventist Hospital in Sydney, Australia; his youngest daughter Susan Lai Fong (麗芳), an accountant in an insurance company in Florida, USA; his son-in-law Dr. Simon Yip (葉秀山), a physician in a government clinic in Florida, USA; his youngest son Wilbur (維邦), an engineer of an utility company at Toronto, Canada; his daughter-in-law Cheng Wai Ling (鄭偉玲), a registered nurse; and fourteen grandchildren who are all capable students. Before his death the achievements of all his descendants greatly comforted Pastor Shiu Pok On.
Siu Stahl, Sunshine, and Rizzo, Kay (2006), Red Star Rising, Pacific Press Publishing Association: Mountain View, CA.
Last updated by Benjamin Tang 5/9/2013