英國西南區華人聯誼會的歷史回顧 / History of OCA (SW Region)

由黃運來先生及嚴城先生敘述

故事開始於一九六零年初,當年聚居在布里斯托市的華人並不多。而第一間中式餐館〝筷子樓〞的東主是黃偉文先生,他亦正是華聯會第一任會長。當時,華人大部份時間都會在此餐館聚會及交流。

黃運來先生於一九六三年重回布里斯托後,就開始經營自己的餐館[龍珠樓] 。黃先生是一個善於交際的人,所以他經常與其他酒樓東主見面和聯絡,黃先生便建議成立一個華人組織,這樣可以令同胞們互相照應。而這個建議亦得到華人社區們的支持,後來將這個組織命名為[英國西南區華人聯誼會],組織服務地區包括:Bath, Gloucester, Somerset , Devon 及 Dorset。

華聯會是於一九七四年開始籌備,在一九七五年正式成立。

華聯會的創辦人認為需要有一個永久的會址,因此他們開始逐家逐户叩門籌款。所籌得的款項,加上向銀行貸款,華聯會成功購買了第一個位於布里斯托市 King Square 的自置物業,此物業有住宅、戲院、酒樓及社區中心。

黃偉文先生擔任了第一任會長,並在此職超過十五年。黃先生榮休後,就由偉義行的周韋名先生接任會長。之後,由黃運新先生 MBE,黃華坤先生及李錦全先生,繼任會長之職。在二零一三年選舉中,關子斌先生當選為現任會長。

由於人在異鄉,創辦人感到有需要將中國語言和文化教育下一代。所以就開始了識字班,最初是在一間餐館內授課,後來正式成立了現在的[英國西南區華人聯誼會中文學校],逢星期日上課。

前任香港特首梁振英先生在布里斯托市讀書的期間,亦義務擔任我們中文學校的老師。

當華聯會已有了自置會所後,嚴城先生就計劃籌辦一個能照顧及提供服務給長者的組織。嚴先生與當時的會長周韋名先生商量後,成立了耆康社。嚴先生更不畏勞苦, 擔任了首屆耆康社的會長。

 

Narrated by Mr Wan Loi Wong and Mr Shing Yim

Our story started in the early 1960’s when there were not many Chinese in Bristol. The first Chinese restaurant opened by our first Chairman, Mr Wai Man Wong, was called the “Chopstick” and it was where the Chinese community liked to meet and exchange.

Mr Wan Loi Wong came to Bristol for the second time in 1963 and started his own restaurant business, namely Dragon Pearl; being a social person, he communicated with other fellow Chinese to promote the idea of starting a support group in order that they can help look after each other. This idea was seen to be well supported by the Chinese community, Mr Wong then suggested founding a Chinese group, which was named later The Overseas Chinese Association (South West Region), which covered areas such as Bath, Gloucester, Somerset, Devon and Dorset.

In 1974, the founder members started to form the Association and subsequently established in 1975.

The founders identified the need of having a permanent venue for OCA, hence they instigated and carried various fundraising activities including cold calls. With the help of a bank mortgage, OCA succeeded in acquiring the first property at King Square, Stokes Croft, Bristol; the venue consisted of a residential area, a cinema, a restaurant and a community centre.

Mr Wai Man Wong became the first chairman who took on the role for some fifteen years. After he retired from the role, Mr Raymond Chow of Wai Yee Hong, succeeded as the next Chairman; followed by Mr Raymond Wong MBE, Mr Wah Kwan Wong and Mr Kam Chuen Lee, and our current Chairman, Mr Anthony Kwan, was elected back in 2013.

Being resided in a foreign country, the founders realised the need for educating the future generation in learning their native language and culture. Initially, the founders started the literacy classes for the purpose in one of the restaurants, and when OCA acquired the association centre, the Sunday Chinese Language School was then officially established.

The former chief executive of Hong Kong, Mr Chun Ying Leung, was one of the volunteer teachers at our school whilst he was furthering his education in Bristol.

Following the acquisition of the association centre, Mr Shing Yim instigated the idea of having a group specifically looking after the elderlies, by discussing with Mr Raymond Chow (Chairman at the time), the Elderly People’s Club was set up. Mr Shing Yim became the first Chairman of the Club.