Updated: Nov 17
If you’re ever in Shenzhen in Guangdong province one tourist destination, you won’t want to skip is Longgang Hakka Folk Culture Museum. It’s housed in the walled compound of Lowe Shui Hap(pinyin: Luo Rui He), the ancestral village of the Lowe(pinyin: Luo) family.
When you enter the main courtyard, you notice large portraits of dignitaries lining the walls. Among the army generals, politicians, scholars,there is one striking photograph of a gentleman whose sharp expression and patrician features stand out. It’s of Alexander Tie Ten Quee(pinyin: Dai Dinggui) whose family is originally from HaChun (pinyin: Shawan)village in Bao On district(pinyin: Bao An).
He is the only Hakka who immigrated to Jamaica to be honoured in this manner at the museum. He was selected for his fundraising efforts during the Japanese invasion of China and his business and community leadership.
In Jamaica, he established Caribbean Products Co Ltd, which manufactured “coconutoil, soaps, chicken feed etc.”(from Walton Look Lai’s The Chinese in the West Indies,1806-1995: A Documentary History). He also served as Chinese Benevolent Association President in 1944 and 1950.
Initially the museum’s director Sun Qian had trouble locating a picture of Mr. Tie Ten Quee and needed his birth and death dates. She contacted Luo Minjun for his assistance. Luo Minjun is featured in the documentary Finding Samuel Lowe, the story about Paula Madison’s search for her grandfather,which I directed and produced.He inquired whether I knew any of Mr. Tie Ten Quee’s relatives who could help. Simone Tai came through with the photo from Patrick Lee’s father Lee Tom Yin's book and I was able to confirm his birth and death dates through research.
Last October when I was in Shenzhen for a Hakka Forum, I had the opportunity to see the museum’s tribute to Mr. Tie Ten Quee firsthand.
Lowe Shui Hap is the ancestral village of many Lowes from Jamaica including Keith Lowe, Arthur G. Lowe, Granville Lowe and Winston Lowe. It is one of the largest Hakka museums in the country.This year marks the 200th anniversary of its founding.
Longgang Hakka Folk Culture Museum website: www.szlgkjbwg.com