95-year-old Hong Kong rice dumpling vendor who donated HK$15m to building 18 school buildings in Zhejiang province during his lifetime passes away

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21st February 2024 – (Hong Kong) The recent passing of Cheung Kit, a Hong Kong resident who once sold rice dumplings from a stall in Tsim Sha Tsui, has garnered significant attention in mainland China. The mainland media, including People’s Daily, published an article titled “Why Did the Departure of This Hong Kong Vendor Move a City?” paying tribute to Cheung Kit’s philanthropic endeavours. It revealed that the late Cheung Kit, who passed away at the age of 95, was a highly respected and discreet philanthropist. Over the past five decades, he lived modestly, sleeping on the floor and saving every penny, eventually donating a generous sum of 15 million Chinese yuan to his hometown of Xingyu in Zhejiang province. This donation helped build 18 educational buildings, 32 classrooms, and a library. Additionally, he established an education fund of over 2 million yuan to support underprivileged children. His remarkable achievements touched the hearts of many in mainland China, and it is said that the majority of students in Xingyu have benefited from Cheung Kit’s generosity.

Cheung Kit once sold rice dumplings from a stall in Tsim Sha Tsui.

According to reports from mainland China, Cheung Kit passed away in the early hours of 18th February due to a heart attack. He was 95 years old. Since the news of his death broke, many fellow villagers from Xingyu in Shaoxing have paid their respects by offering flowers and bowing in front of the old house in Huaguang Community, Lianghu Town.

It turns out that Cheung Kit had been actively contributing to the educational development of his hometown, Xingyu, in Shaoxing for over 40 years. He donated a total of 15 million yuan to build 18 educational buildings, 32 classrooms, and a library. Additionally, he established an education fund of over 2 million yuan to support underprivileged children. Some mainland media even pointed out that more than half of Xingyu’s residents under the age of 50 have received educational assistance from Cheung Kit. Most of them attended classes in the educational buildings he helped construct, creating cherished memories of their school days. It is no wonder that Cheung Kit was deeply loved and respected by his fellow villagers. He was a candidate for the Fifth National Moral Model and was recognised as a model of dedication to his hometown in Zhejiang Province.

Born in Lianghu Town, Xingyu, Cheung Kit faced financial hardship from an early age. He had to seek opportunities outside his hometown before even completing primary school. Eventually, he settled in Hong Kong. According to China.com, Cheung Kit worked as a labourer when he was young. In 1978, he rented a stall in Tsim Sha Tsui and started his journey by selling crabs, tea eggs, and noodles. In order to save money to support education in his hometown, he and his extended family of over ten people lived in a cramped living space of just over 300 square feet. Reports also mentioned that Cheung Kit once jokingly said that people called him “boss,” but in reality, he slept on the floor and ate modest meals, indicating his humble lifestyle.

Despite living away from his hometown in Hong Kong and not being financially affluent, Cheung Kit maintained a deep concern for Xingyu. Having experienced firsthand the difficulties of dropping out of school due to poverty, he was particularly interested in the educational well-being of students in his hometown. In 1979, Cheung Kit donated a colour television worth 3,000 yuan to a secondary school in Xingyu, marking the beginning of his efforts to support education in his hometown. From then on, every time he returned to Xingyu, he made it a point to visit local schools and extend a helping hand to those in need. He funded the construction of school buildings and provided additional equipment, fulfilling virtually every request for assistance.