再探王三龙及其家族

再探王三龙及其家族

2019812 
文/吕世聪, 林建育

19世纪本地富商王三龙在咖啡山的墓园广而精美,但墓碑上只金门二字,究竟这位金门人是哪一乡人?王家何时出洋谋生?

常去咖啡山(武吉布朗)田野的历史爱好者,大概不会错过在这座全冢山最大的墓葬拍上一些相片。无论是墓域占地之广,或是坟前的精美石雕,都足以衬托墓主王三龙生前的巨大财富与社会地位。

早已经记不起来,过去到咖啡山义冢作田野调查时,参观几次王三龙夫妇合葬墓茔?每回站在墓前,望着墓碑上的铭刻金门二字,以及墓联金堆代代发,门振房房兴,就陷入思考这位金门人,究竟是哪一乡人?王家何时出洋谋生?月前金门挚友捎来揭开这位本地著名侨领祖籍之谜的族谱文献,解开心中多年的谜团。

金门东沙村与王氏宗族

东沙村位于金门岛东南沿海,虽然物产贫瘠,却是闽南重要盐产地之一。林焜煌(光绪)《金门志》卷二《港埭》载:金门通潮五港,凡频水处,俱有盐场。一在东沙澳,入潮通东沙村后,沙壅成田。文中说的田,就是盐田。
时光回到五年前,有机会到金门岛访古。这个只要骑着摩托车就可以全岛趴趴走的侨乡,因中国大陆1958年发动八二三炮战而闻名全世界。自国民党政府退守台湾后,金门岛成为战地前线。也因为驻有重兵,小岛与世隔离,历史宛如凝固在时间囊里,中国传统的宗族社会形态,竟然保存得比任何地方完整。记得那一天,骑着摩托车到访岛上的东沙村,站在东沙王氏家庙前,心想这个以王氏族裔为主的金门村落,到底是不是王三龙的祖居地呢?是与不是的矛盾和考量,遂成回途中的懊恼。
族谱中对于王三龙生长在石叻(新加坡)的记录。

原乡族谱揭王三龙原籍之谜

福建会馆出版的《福建先贤录——新加坡篇》与金门会馆出版的《金门先贤录——新加坡篇》,两书内的王三龙传记皆笔者负责撰写,文中苦于对于王三龙父辈事迹与名字完全没有头绪。主要是王三龙墓碑上只刻着金门二字,因此无法从其原籍的族谱着手,追溯其先辈名字。
金门文化局这两年陆陆续续出版金门全县各乡村的村史,去年末东沙村王建成出版《绮丽东乡——怀沙情深话东沙》。挚友台湾学者林建育第一时间告知,书中对王三龙的事迹颇有记述,而且刊载金门东沙乡王氏族谱的图片。现居住于金门的林建育拜访王建成,蒙王建成慷慨分享族谱文献,并透露王三龙家族在原乡的一些事迹。

此部族谱题为《金门东沙太原衍派族谱》,原修于民国四年(1915),民国三十五年(1946)重抄。金门东沙王氏入闽可追溯到唐五代,宋代时移入金门。东沙王氏也是全金门多处王氏村落的原乡。谱中记载,王三龙的父亲文褒公(宇字辈)长子应龙(世字辈),而且还注明龙,出洋英属石叻。简简单单的一小行字,说明王三龙原名王应龙,祖上世居金门东沙村。
过去闽粤地区的族谱对于族人离开家乡,到海外谋生如果没有返乡,或者音讯全无者,通常在修族谱时,会在其名字旁边注明落番出洋,又如果找到离乡者的落脚地,也会注明出洋的地方。例如石叻”“麻六甲之类。查阅东沙王氏家谱,发现除了英属石叻,还有另一个叫捧梨弄的地方,去的人亦不少。捧梨弄即今天新加坡北边柔佛东南部的边佳兰,俗称四湾岛。《叻报》上有时称之为帆下垅,有时又称为帆黎弄





咖啡山王三龙母亲之墓茔

咖啡山王三龙家族墓碑文献

王三龙离世时,其墓地原属王氏太原山地界,日后殖民地政府开辟咖啡山公冢,才征用王氏太原山部分地段。遗憾的是,王三龙父亲王文褒的墓茔至今尚未发现,是否下葬于王氏太原山,暂不得而知。在王三龙夫妇合葬墓附近,见有王三龙母亲的墓葬,墓碑碑文提供王文褒一家成员的名字。其墓碑上清楚刻着王门陈氏(谥)俭娘故于光绪甲午年(1895),七月初七。陈氏育有三子:三龙、三杰、三美;二女:金娘与冰娘;四孙:錬铨、錬镛、平福、平和。另外,王三龙的弟弟王三杰(1939年逝世)与王三美逝(1941年逝世,享年76),墓茔皆在咖啡山。

王三龙母亲陈氏墓碑上裔孙的名字,与王三龙墓碑上所记有些不同。王三龙墓碑上子嗣清楚的刻着孝男文达、平福两位。不见母亲陈氏墓碑上的平和之名。王文达是否就是平和就不晓得。王文达逝世于1941年,享年54,遗下四子二女,儿子王长辉出世于1909年。由此推算,王文达出世于1887年,祖母王氏去世时已经八岁。至于王平福,逝世于1958年,享寿79。平福与文达微差两岁。我们在王三杰的墓碑上发现,其子嗣的名字是王栋铨,而王三美的长子则叫王英和。

王三龙父辈离乡缘由

据东沙村耆老口传,王三龙的父亲王文褒,在东沙村中的祖居前有田亩,附近有一池塘,池塘水源用以灌溉田地。某年大旱,王文褒与族人因争夺水源发生争执,并起殴斗。不幸的是,还误伤前来劝架的长辈。结果耆老开祖厝(即家庙)议事,一致认为王文褒此乃大逆不道,按族规驱逐出东沙乡。王文褒离开家乡时还曾誓言:故里族人弃我身家于不顾,我即永生不认故里(按王建成书中原话)。
著名的史学家萧公权(1897-1981)在其著作《中国乡村——19世纪帝国的控制》(Rural China : Imperial Control in the Nineteenth Century )一书认为,宗族社会为了维持自身的程序与道德,依据儒学的基本原则制定宗规,对宗族事务实施奖励与惩罚。例如行为优良给予赐匾,行为不检则给予驱逐。或许是年轻气盛,王文褒因违规受罚,令人唏嘘。

王三龙与王三龙公司

王三龙出世于1858年,母亲陈氏逝世时,王三龙正值壮年(时38岁)。据宋旺相《新加坡华人百年史》的记述,王三龙21岁便开始从事小规模的代理生意,并经营房地产交易,获利不少。以后他取得马来半岛上彭亨,以及丁加奴(今改登嘉楼)的甘马挽(Kemaman)的木材开采专利。

王三龙的商号英文名称为“Ong Sam Leong & Co”(王三龙公司),火锯厂称为远利火锯厂,后改为远利源。据1911年《海峡时报》刊登的商业启事,王三龙公司的锯木厂位于加冷河岸,办公室在罗敏申路41号。从广告词上理解,王三龙公司除了经营木材业,也承包各类工程(General Contractors)。后来还创立联合火锯公司(United Sawmills Ltd),由王平福担任董事经理。

除了锯木厂生意,王三龙也在乌敏岛拥有采石场,承包殖民地政府的石料供应。1902年,王三龙在乌敏岛的石场,每月提供1200吨的花岗岩予政府的公共建设。此外,王三龙在新加坡南部,印度尼西亚的峇淡岛建有一座叫龙远窑的砖厂,生产砖块供应新加坡的建筑业市场。日后王三龙还登广告宣称,其峇淡砖窑生产的砖块,由英国匠师督造,质量优良,耐火耐水。当时工部局的建造工程,常使用王三龙的峇淡砖。1910年凤山寺建造时,也曾使用峇淡砖窑出产的砖块。今天我们在王三龙墓域,可以看到其使用的砖块也是峇淡岛烧造的。
从王三龙的木材、石料与砖窑业等生意来看,其贸易网络主要围绕在建筑工程。也因为生意网络之特质,1899年他以王三龙公司的名义,取得圣诞岛磷酸有限公司(The Christmas Island Phosphate Co. Ltd)的承包合同,提供劳工及杂货供应权,这些劳工皆来自中国两广地区。1919年,圣诞岛上发生华工骚乱事件,王文达还前去视察业务。

圣诞岛位于印度洋,由于是在1643年的圣诞节,由英国船长威廉·迈纳斯(William Mynors)发现,因此命名为圣诞岛。1888年拼入英国,1945年被日军占领,1946年归新加坡管辖,1957年新加坡自治前,澳大利亚要求英国将主权移交澳大利亚,并补偿292万镑予新加坡。

王氏族谱里关于王三龙及其父亲王文褒的记载。

王三龙与长子王文达

宋旺相曾对王三龙作如是评价:他一生勤劳刻苦,孜孜不倦地工作,虽然教育有限,却靠着坚韧不拔的精神与对商业的灵敏,建立自己的家业。王三龙似乎也没有参与金门会馆事务。1907年,闽帮创办道南学堂,王三龙以远利源商号的名誉,捐献400元。1910年,以王三龙为首的倡修路董(包括王君于、王祈顺,王长顺等)倡议修缮来往闽帮义冢——新恒山亭与王氏太原山之间的道路。此外,我们还可以在龟屿福山宫见到王三龙的捐献。王三龙逝世于1918年,夫人则逝世于1941年。王三龙逝世前,还见其投资树胶种植与房地产的报道,在武吉班让拥有大片的树胶园。

王家到长子王文达(1888-1941)这一代,家族事业不只进一步扩大,而且还一跃成为侨生领袖。1925年王文达被殖民地政府封为太平局绅。王文达虽是侨生,但效忠殖民地政府,例如1918年,以其父亲王三龙之名义,捐赠5200元,建造一座英军营房。191910月还捐5000元予莱佛士书院。可是,对于本地华社及中国局势也依然关心。1920年王文达捐献1000元予爱同学校,作为扩充校舍之用途。中国发生一二八事变、七七卢沟桥事变,王文达昆仲皆有助赈。

落地生根与国家认同

历史总是不断地在重演。19世纪70年代以来,海峡(新加坡)侨生与日后的中国移民关系逐渐走向分裂。随着移民浪潮,新客数量逐渐超越侨生,新移民日后在经济等领域成为主导者,竞争时双方所结下的误解与成见无法轻易解开。侨生还有一个重要的转变,就是教育与思想全盘西化,结果与祖籍的纽带完全分割,这或可以理解为完全融入或扎根移居地。教育全盘西化与缺乏儒家思想,造成日后出现再度移民的现象。

如果将王三龙视为金侨移民新加坡的第二代,那其裔孙王长辉就是第四代。王长辉(1909-1999)毕业于莱佛士书院,然后前往英国修读法律,1934年取得律师资格后返新,1940年被举为工部局议员。他也是一位杰出的律师,与英国律师黎觉合开一家律师楼。建国总理李光耀从英国毕业返新后,曾受王长辉的邀请,在其律师楼任见习律师。王长辉长期任英籍海峡华人公会(Straits Chinese British Association)会长(英籍海峡华人公会创于1900年,受殖民地政府豁免注册)。然而,由于王长辉所处的时代、社会与教育背景,早年他的思想倾向西化和狭义。1954年,他改变思维,公开鼓励侨生学习中文,声称海峡华人公会是本土华人社团。

197411月,王长辉在土生协会(前英籍海峡华人公会)庆祝74周年纪念宴会上致辞时,曾呼吁政府应保留与记录本地一些重要的历史古迹与地标。他阐明,历史与古迹如失去了,是无法以金钱弥补回来的。他举好几个例子:福康宁山基督教坟场,马来军团在马利那山的抗日据点,武吉巴督的一所日本祠庙。此外,他还建议设立一座美术馆,陈列新加坡不同时期的艺术作品及文物。这位移民自金门岛的富商后裔,除了关怀这个多元的移民社会,也关注建国后的文化建设。建国50年后,这些想法与建议,国家相关部门也逐一实现了。

情牵故乡东沙村
其实无论是什么时期南来的金侨,其第一代绝大多数,一定是将新加坡视为他乡,在此奋斗为了有朝一日能衣锦荣归。东沙乡还有一座广济庙,庙里有一梁签,记录着1967年小庙修缮时,新加坡的东沙金侨及王氏同乡会捐助家乡。说明金侨与家乡纽带不断。
移民到了第二代与第三代,他乡的观念转弱,逐渐将侨居地视为家乡。都说中华文化落叶归根是华侨最初的文化认同及价值取向。假设落叶归根是建立在衣锦还乡的基础上,可又有多少南来谋生者衣锦还乡?又或许因远离他乡,金侨逐渐遗忘金门二字其实并非金堆与门第之意,而是明代文人形容浯岛地理位置险要,有固若金汤,雄镇海门美称,所取的地名简称。

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Brief translation by Ng Kwok Hua

Basically,  the writer of this article uncovered the mystery of where Ong Sam Leong's ancestry originated from.   The tombstone of Mr Ong did indicate Kinmen (金门), but not the village that Ong and his father had come from. 
It was only a few months ago that a good friend of the writer from Kinmen helped the author to unravel the mystery.  What happened is that in recent years, the Cultural Department of Kinmen Island has been publishing the histories of the various villages in Kinmen.   This Taiwanese friend got wind of the mention of the history of Mr Ong Sam Leong and his family in Kinmen in Dong Sha Village through a book featuring Dong Sha Village.  This Taiwanese friend even contacted the author of the book,  Wang Jian Cheng, and arranged for a meeting with him at Kinmen.   During the meeting, the author,Wang Jian Cheng,  shared with this Taiwanese friend,  precious historical records of the life of Mr Ong Sam Leong and his family in Dong Sha Village.   The mystery of the ancestry of Mr Ong Sam was finally solved.  Mr Ong Sam Leong's ancestral lineage was indeed from Dong Sha Village (东沙村), Kinmen Island.
Dong Sha Village is a coastal village located in the Southeast of Kinmen island.   Historically, it is a area lacking in natural resources.  However, it was known as one of the most important salt-producing coastal areas in the Fujian Minnan region, China. 
In the Genealogy Book of the Ong Clan,  it was recorded that Ong Sam Leong was the eldest son and had ventured to the British-owned Singapore (出洋英属石叻).   Through the Ong Clan Genealogy Book, it was also mentioned that the original name of Ong Sam Leong was Ong Eng Leong or 王应龙 (Hope that my translation of the Chinese characters into the Minnan dialect is correct). 
This newspaper article mentioned that when Ong Sam Leong passed on, the land that he was buried in belonged to the Ong Taiyuan 太原 Clan (the Ongs are very proud of the fact that they originate from Taiyuan in Shaanxi Province, China).  It was only later that the Municipal Government acquired a part of the land from the Ong Clan to incorporate it into the Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery. 
The writer mentioned that although the tomb of Ong Sam Leong has been discovered at Bukit Brown,  it is a pity that no one has yet to locate the tomb of his father.   No one actually knows if Ong Sam Leong's father was actually buried in Bukit Brown, even though his Mother's tomb was located just nearby to the tomb of Mr Ong Sam Leong. 
The maiden surname of Ong Sam Leong' mother was Tan.   According to what was inscribed on her tombstone, Ong Sam Leong's mum passed away on the 7th Day of the seventh month of the Lunar Calendar, 1895 ; and she left behind 3 sons and 2 daughters,  of which Ong Sam Leong was the eldest.  She also had 4 grandchildren.  Her eldest son, Mr Ong Sam Leong passed away in 1918.  The second son,  Mr Ong Sam Jie 王三杰 (there may be a error in translation to the Minnan dialect) passed on in 1939 and the third son, Ong Sam Bee 王三美 (I translated "美” to "Bee" because my father has a ”美”  or "Bee" in this name as well and our ancestry village is also at Kinmen) passed away in 1941.  
The writer mentioned that there is a discrepancy of the names of the descendants listed on Ong Sam Leong's tomb and that of his mother's.   On his Mother's tomb,  there was a grandchild by the name of the Ong Peng Ho but there was no sight of the name of Ong Boon Tat (the eldest son of Ong Sam Leong), whereas on the tomb of Ong Sam Leong,  Ong Peng Ho was not inscribed on it but the name of Ong Boon Tat was.   The writer deduced that Ong Peng Ho could be Ong Boon Tat because when Granny Ong passed on in 1895, Grandson Ong Boon Tat was already 8 years of age.   There was no reason for the omission of his name on her tombstone. 
In the article,  there was also a little anecdote mentioned of Mr Ong Sam Leong's father.   This little chapter was actually passed down through word of mouth over the generations. The Senior Ong actually owned an acre of farm land in his village.   However, a dispute arose between him and a fellow Ong Clansman in the village over the rights to a source of water, and when a Senior Clansman came to mediate, Ong Sam Leong's father accidentally caused injury to the mediator (it was not mentioned how he caused the injury).  He was given a trial at the ancestral temple by a group of "Respected Elderlies" and the verdict arrived at was to banish the Senior Ong from the village (it was not mentioned if this implicated his entire family).  It was mentioned in the article that when the Senior Ong left the village,  he swore not to return because his clansmen had forsaken him.   
Next, the article moved its focus back to Ong Sam Leong.   Ong Sam Leong was born in 1858.  When his mother passed on in 1895, he was only 38 years of age.  
Ong Sam Leong started his business ventures when he was only 21.  He also dabbled in real estate transactions (房地产交易)and made quite a pile.  A few years later, he managed to secure the exclusive extraction rights to the Kernaman Wood (a valuable timber in the construction industry) in the states of Pahang and Trengganu.
According to a business notification or ad published in the Straits Times in 1911, Ong's company - Ong Sam Leong and Company had its sawmill (Yuan Li Yuan or 远利源) located at the banks of the Kallang River.   The office was located at 41 Robinson Road.   According to the same ad,  besides being involved in the timber industry,  Ong Sam Leong and Company also served as General Contractors for the construction industry.   Subsequently,  the company set up the United Sawmills Ltd and the Second Son of Ong Sam Leong - Ong Peng Hock 王平福 (once again,  I am trying my best to translate to the Minnan or Hokkien pronounciation) was made the Managing Director. 
Ong Sam Leong also owned a granite quarry on Pulau Ubin and the quarry was able to supply 1200 tons of granite daily to the Municipal Government for general construction work by 1902.  
In addition, Mr Ong Sam Leong also owned a Brickworks on Batam Island known as Long Yuan Yao (龙远窑).Subsequently, Ong Sam Leong even proclaimed in a newspaper ad that the entire production process of the bricks at his Brickworks was strictly supervised by British craftsmen, and these bricks could withstand fire and are water resistant, and definitely of the finest quality.
According to the newspaper article, the bricks produced by Long Yuan Yao were widely used by the construction industry back then.  Feng Shan Temple was one of the building structures that utilised the bricks.   Today,  if you visit the tomb of Ong Sam Leong and his wife, the bricks produced by his Brickworks could be clearly seen as well. 
Through Mr Ong Sam Leong's dominance and extensive network in the construction industry, he also managed to secure the contract for The Christmas Island Phosphate Co. Ltd to supply labour and provisions to the island.  The source of workers or coolies on the island was chiefly from the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi.   In 1919, there was a riot amongst the coolies on Christmas Island and Mr Ong Boon Tat actually went over to the island to survey the situation.   By then, Mr Ong Sam Leong was no longer around.
According to the article, Sir Song Ong Siang in his book "A Hundred Years History of the Chinese in Singapore", described Mr Ong Sam Leong as a hardworking man.  Mr Ong also possessed strong fortitude, and had keen and astute business acumen despite his limited education.   As a result,  he was able to build a vast business empire. 
According to Sir Song Ong Siang in his book, Mr Ong Sam Leong was not actively involved  in matters related to the Kinmen Clan Association.   In 1907, together with the Hokkien Bang or Min Bang (闽帮), Mr Ong contributed 400 Straits Dollars in the name of his business, Yuan Li Yuan, to the construction of Tao Nan school.  In 1910, under the Leadership of Mr Ong Sam Leong,  a group of businessmen  surnamed Ong,  proposed the improvement of a road connecting the New Heng Shan Hokkien Cemetery and the Seh Ong Clan Cemetery.   In the Kusu Island Temple Fu Shan Gong 福山宫,  one can also see the donations made by Mr Ong Sam Leong documented and inscribed on its walls.   Mr Ong Sam Leong passed away in 1918 and his wife passed on in 1941.  Before his passing,  there were also reports of Mr Ong Sam Leong's investments in the Rubber Industry and also in Real Estate.   He also owned a large tract of rubber plantation in Bukit Panjang. 

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I would like to offer my opinion on some of the incorrect information from this Chinese article written on Ong Sam Leong ancestry ..

1)  First error -  Ong Sam Leong was the second of 3 sons, and not the eldest. His name Sam Leong also does not tally with the genealogy book Ong Eng Leong/Ong Leong

The genealogy book which the writer referenced is Ong Eng Leong / Ong Leong - only one son mentioned in the genealogy.... this is different from the tomb of Ong Sam Leong mother such mentioned 3 sons. Also the writer read the sequence of the sons wrongly , he read from right to left , naming Sam Leong as the oldest, whereas we read the son in the middle as the eldest that is Sam Kiat (b 1854), Sam Leong (b 1857) and Sam Bee (b 1865) , which corresponds to the tombs and tomb records in Bukit Brown.  Ong Sam Leong also has 2 sisters Kim Neo (b 1869)  and Ping Neo 



2)     This Ong Leong txt 出洋英属石叻 meaning ventured to the British-owned Singapore.  


However,  Song Ong Siang book mentioned he was born in Singapore.     If Ong Leong was an immigrant, when did he came over to Singapore?  He has an elder brother Sam Kiat 3 years older and him , and a younger brother Sam Bee 8 years younger and a younger sister Kim Neo 12 years younger than him.  All his brothers were prominent merchants as well.



Ong Kim Neo (photo courtesy of Evelyn Ong)

This is the photograph of Ong Kim Neo, his younger sister.  It is hard to imagine that this Bibik has an older brother who immigrate from Kinmen . She was married to Soh Siew Whatt and died in 1931 at the age of 62



Photograph of Ong Sam Leong's family at Bukit Rose, exhibited at the Bukit Brown exhibition in July 2014 at the National Library



3)  There is a tomb of Ong Leong found in Seh Ong hill which fit the description given by the genealogy book 


Ong Leong tomb dated to 1875 (photo from bukitbrown.info, tag 0578)

Here is an example that match the genealogy record given by the writer - Ong Leong from Kinmen Dongsha, tomb date 1875, found in Ong Clan cemetery.
Unfortunately no date can be found in the genealogy record given by the author, so we cannot be sure that this is the same Ong Leong that venture out to SINGAPORE.

Further reading :
https://tombs.bukitbrown.org/2020/07/family-of-ong-sam-leong.html



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