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Lung Kong Association

Lung Kong Association sign

Headquarters of the Four Fraternal Clans in Canada

The office of the Lung Kong Association and the headquarters of its network across Canada. The building was purchased by the Lung Kong Association in 1905. This photograph was taken in 1961 (City of Victoria Archives, M01355).

The office of the Lung Kong Association and the headquarters of its network across Canada. The building was purchased by the Lung Kong Association in 1905. This photograph was taken in 1961 (City of Victoria Archives, M01355).

The Lung Kong Association is a clan organization of four surnames: Lau (Liu劉), Kwan (Guan關), Cheung (Zhang張), and Chiu (趙Zhao). According to legend, this association can trace its history to the beginning of an unstable period in Chinese history, when the Han Dynasty was losing control at the end of the second century AD. Four men with the four different surnames volunteered to join the imperial army and decided to make a pledge to each other of eternal friendship, brotherhood, and service to the country. The founders of this brotherhood were Lui Bei (劉備), Guan Yu (關羽), Zhang Fei (張飛), and Zhao Yun (趙雲). In 1661, descendents of these families built a Lung Kong Ancient Temple in the city of Hoiping in Guangdong Province.

When descendents of the four families migrated to North America in the late nineteenth century, they established branches of the Lung Kong Association to develop social networks and to assist new arrivals. The first Lung Kong Association was formed in San Francisco in 1875. Men from the four families formed the Ming Yee Tong in Victoria in the 1880s, and in 1902 this association became the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association. By 1905, the association was holding meetings at its current location on Government Street.

The Lung Kong Association continues to celebrate Lung Kong Day with a banquet around April 4 as well as the birthdays of the four ancestors. The association promotes the virtues of loyalty, righteousness, kindness, and courage. Members of the association meet on Saturday and Sunday to have fun, playing mahjong or engaging in other activities on the second floor of the building. The members of the Lung Kong Association include former Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe (Lau) and Member of the Legislative Assembly Ida Chong (Cheung).

Interview

By Chen and Yang

This is the front door of the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association at 1717  Government Street (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

This is the front door of the Lung Kong Tin Yee Association at 1717 Government Street (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

The meeting hall of the Lung Kong Association is decorated with paintings, calligraphy and banners on the wall to the left. The altar table can be seen at the back (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

The meeting hall of the Lung Kong Association is decorated with paintings, calligraphy and banners on the wall to the left. The altar table can be seen at the back (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

Above the altar table of the Lung Kong Association is the association’s signboard, and four flags embroidered with the surnames of the founders: Liu, Guan, Zhang, and Zhao. A painting of the four founders hangs in the middle of the altar (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

Above the altar table of the Lung Kong Association is the association’s signboard, and four flags embroidered with the surnames of the founders: Liu, Guan, Zhang, and Zhao. A painting of the four founders hangs in the middle of the altar (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

The centrepiece of the altar is a painting of the four grand ancestors who pledged their allegiance to one another and their loyalty to the Han Dynasty (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

The centrepiece of the altar is a painting of the four grand ancestors who pledged their allegiance to one another and their loyalty to the Han Dynasty (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

This embroidered altar cloth was donated to the Lung Kong Association by the Cheung family in 2007 (Photo by Robert Amos, 2008).

This embroidered altar cloth was donated to the Lung Kong Association by the Cheung family in 2007 (Photo by Robert Amos, 2008).

These chairs in the Lung Kong Association meeting hall are covered in elaborate Chinese brocade (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

These chairs in the Lung Kong Association meeting hall are covered in elaborate Chinese brocade (Photo by Charles Yang, July 2011).

Declaration of incorporation of the Lung Kong Koong Shaw Association, 1905 (Royal BC Museum, BC Archives, 880056-4493-S166).

Declaration of incorporation of the Lung Kong Koong Shaw Association, 1905 (Royal BC Museum, BC Archives, 880056-4493-S166).

By-laws of the Lung Kong Koong Shaw Association, 1925 (Royal BC Museum, BC Archives, 880056-4493-S166).

By-laws of the Lung Kong Koong Shaw Association, 1925 (Royal BC Museum, BC Archives, 880056-4493-S166).


Sources

Amos, Robert and Kileasa Wong. Inside Chinatown: Ancient Culture in a New World. Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2009.

Jung, James S.L. “A Concise History and Development of the Lung Kong Association,”
http://www.palungkong.org/concise%20lk%20history.htm (accessed 8 November 2012)

Lai, David Chuenyan. Chinese Community Leadership: Case Study of Victoria in Canada. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co., 2010.

Lai, David Chuenyan. The Forbidden City within Victoria: Myth, Symbol and Streetscape of Canada’s Earliest Chinatown. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 1991.