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Published Date:2017-09-18

Kinmen National Park's Chua Kah Cheong Memorial House Opens, Bearing Witness to the Changes in Kinmen's Recent History

On September 27, 2017, at 10am, Kinmen National Park made use of Qionglin Settlement as the setting for the Chua Kah Cheong Memorial House opening ceremonies. Children from Kaixuan Elementary School took the role of performers, welcoming people from the community to take part in the festivities. The opening ceremonies were aimed at establishing a good relationship between the Memorial House and the people of the community, and at bringing greater exposure to the area's experiential tourism and eco-educational opportunities.
Hsieh Wei-sung, Director of Kinmen National Park, stated that in the past 20 years, the Park has done its utmost to promote the restoration, vitalization and utilization of traditional architecture, and that the Park has received the support of the local people in these efforts. Cai Binglin and Cai Xianyang are descendants of Chua Kah Cheong's who settled in Singapore. (All three share the same surname, in different Chinese readings.) In order to preserve the Chua Kah Cheong Memorial House and to restore its magnificence, they donated the House to the National Park. In 2016, the Park outlined a specific budget item for the Memorial, and worked with the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kinmen County to secure funds. Beginning in May, restoration work began and was shown to the public. On September 27, 2017, the Memorial was officially opened. The Chua Kah Cheong Memorial House was built by Mr. Chua Kah Cheong's son, Cai Jingrong, during 1920s when he returned to Kinmen. After restoration, part of the House serves as the Memorial, while there will be bidding to run another section as a shop. In addition, the underground tunnel that runs from the Qionglin Neighborhood Administrative Center to the Memorial has been opened to to the public, to show the links that exist between people returning to Kinmen from abroad and the area's wartime history.
In recent years, people from Kinmen have made their mark throughout southeast Asia. Yet though they may live abroad, their hearts remain in Kinmen. Many have returned their hard-won earnings to Kinmen in order to help care for their relatives. These funds have helped pay for daily expenses. And if they had any surplus, traditional mores inspired them to build homes in Kinmen for their relatives to live in. This phenomenon has occurred many times in Kinmen's past. Many in the Chua/Cai family emigrated from Qionglin. In the 1920s, Chua Kah Cheong had a passion for public service and helping his family members. As a result, many people who had emigrated south worked or lived in Mr. Chua's businesses. He fulfilled his obligations to his homeland majestically.

Mr. Chua lived a simple life, believed in doing the right thing, and was always happy to help resolve disputes. In the Singaporean Chinese community, he kept the peace and upheld righteousness in many matters large and small. And on a daily basis, he helped the poor, orphans, and widows. As a result, overseas Chinese people have respectfully called him "Master Chua". His lofty position was admirable; he could be called one of the paragons of the overseas Chinese community. And not only in Singapore; Mr. Chua gave significant service to the people of Kinmen as well.

The Chua Kah Cheong Memorial House is located in Qionglin Township, opposite the Administrative Center. Kinmen National Park welcomes everyone to Qionglin, to take a relaxing stroll and see the sights. In addition to seeing Qionglin's outstanding clan temples, and experiencing the regal bearing of the Wind Lion God, tourists can now explore a "humble home" (yangzhuolou) of Qionglin: the Chua Kah Cheong Memorial House. Visitors can get a sense of Chua Kah Cheong's influence in both Singapore and Kinmen in the modern era, and see how his family's "humble home" bears witness to the changes in Kinmen's recent history.
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