This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Honorable Chau Siu-ki, a British subject, born in Hongkong in 1863 is, without doubt one of the most active and busiest men in the Colony. He was educated at the old Central School, under the headmastership of the late Dr. Steward, and left the school at the age of nineteen. Shortly after this time, he accepted an appointment as secretary to the Man On Marine Insurance Company; and, from that time on, his name and personality have been familiar to all local business men interested in insurance matters. By his work in connection with the Man On Co., of which he is now manager, and by his general commercial shrewdness, Mr. Chau soon won the confidence of large numbers of Chinese; and, in the course of a few years, he was able to promote the Chun On Fire Insurance Company,—the secretaryship of which he added to his other duties.
Other branches of commerce suggested themselves to him; and, in due time, he started the Hongkong-Kowloon Land and Loan Company, Limited, and the Yuen On & Shiu On Shipping Company. In addition to his being a director of these companies, he became managing partner of the Tai Sun Bank. He is a director of many other important companies, such as: The Hongkong-Canton-Macao Steamboat Company, The Hongkong and Kowloon Taxicab Company, The Hongkong Development Building and Savings Society, and The Tai Tack Land Investment Company. Few men could have as many “irons in the fire” as this without risking disaster, either to themselves or to those associated with them in business,— but Mr. Chau proves the exception. Year after year he has pursued his way smoothly along commercial paths, gaining more and more in the confidence of the public, and incidentally, increasing his wide circle of personal friends.
Mr. Chau has, for years past, enjoyed the respect of the European community; and when, in 1909, a vacancy occurred on the Sanitary Board, the Governor invited him to fill it. Very reluctantly, however, he declined the offer for he felt then that he could not accept any public office that the duties of which would encroach upon the time that he was bound to devote to the affairs of his partners and clients. But, wherever possible, he has given his time ungrudgingly to matters concerning the welfare of the Colony. He has twice been Chairman of the Tung Wah Hospital; and he has a seat on the Advisory Board of that institution. He is also a member of the District Watchmen’s Committee, the Permanent Committee of the Po Leung-Kuk, and the Fire and Marine Association of Hongkong. In addition to this, he has many times served upon flood relief and other committees, including the War Charities Committee; and he has shown a large generosity in assisting dersving causes. He has taken a particularly keen interest in education, no one being more conscious than he of the part that good teaching must play in the future of his race. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that his eldest son, Mr. Chau Tsun-nin, was educated at Oxford University, where he obtained the M.A. degree, with honors; and that he was called to the Bar by the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, in 1914.
Mr. Chau is a Justice of Peace, and a member of the Court of the University of Hongkong and of the Councils of various colleges in the Colony. In all of these institutions he has shown a very practical interest. He took an active part in the formation of the police reserve, during the war, being a member of the Chinese Committee of that body. In many other ways, Mr. Chau has served the public unstintingly; and he has always displayed loyalty to the Empire.
Mr. Chau has a record of some forty years of good services to the Chinese community. He has twice served on the Legislative Council of Hongkong; and he was very highly commented upon, by His Excellency the Governor, for the valuable services he has rendered, at the time when he tendered his resignation.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 81.