Born in 1895 in a village in Ann Kway county in Fujian, Lau Goh Tong (刘梧桐) travelled to Rangoon when he was 15. He worked as a hawker before returning to China to get married in 1916. Thereafter, he did very well as a rice miller in Rangoon (Yangon today), catering not only to the local market but also exporting to other places like Swatow, Amoy and Shanghai.
His prosperity did not go unnoticed and unfortunately attracted the attention of bandits who kidnapped his mother in his home village. Due to some delay in getting the ransom across, his mother was killed by the kidnappers. This tragedy reinforced Lau Goh Tong belief that the lawlessness and backwardness in his home village could only be addressed by education. He established a school there with his younger brother. Based originally in the village ancestral hall and his own property, the school provided subsidised education for poor children. A separate building was later constructed for the school. He also started a clinic in the village. He also donated generously towards the setup of the Anxi Clan Association
When the war reached then British Burma, he left his brother in charge of the business in Rangoon while he travelled back to China with war supplies. Throughout the war, he kept the village school running despite the difficult conditions.
|Lau Goh Tong |
source: Anxi News Network
|Tomb of Lau Goh Tong (刘梧桐) in Kopi Sua.|