This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Mr. Lo Shut-po, a native of Canton, was born in 1884. Although quiet and unassuming, as a boy, he was very ambitious. When he was twenty years of age, he was registered in the literary institution of the district, an academy of higher study which admitted only those who had successfully passed the examination for classics. A short time later, reform movements took place, and China did away with the system of classical examination.
A short time later, Mr. Lo became a student of St. Stephen’s School, where he took a course in English; and, after diligently applying himself there, he graduated with honors.
In order to broaden his knowledge of the world, he travelled through Russia, France, Great Britain, the United States, and Japan,—where he learned a great deal about foreign politics and commerce. Upon his return, he decided to become a merchant, and so settled in Hongkong. He was there elected Vice-President of the Tung Wah Hospital, and was one of the founders of a home for the poor, and a new hospital.
Dr. Wu Ting-fang proposed the erection of a bridge to span the Pearl River, in the province of Hunan; and Mr. Lo was engaged to take charge of the enterprise. The Central Government did not, however, approve of the plan; and Dr. Wu Ting-fang was sent to Washington as Minister to the United States of America. The bridge undertaking therefore failed to materialize.
Mr. Lo is the eldest of five brothers, all of whom were intent upon improving their education, and proved to be good scholars. His younger brother, His Excellency Lo Wen-kan, after studying for several years in France and England, and graduating from a law university, became a cabinet member in the Central Government, and was alter appointed special envoy to the Pacific Conference. Another borther, Lo Wen-pei graduated from an American mining college,—while still another brother, Lo Wen-chuan, accompanied Dr. Wu Ting-fang, during his tenure of office, as Minister to the United States.
While his brothers were abroad, Mr. Lo was obliged to remain in Canton to look after the family’s business interests. He spent his evenings studying in the Canton Law College. After graduation, he took an active interest in, and was one of the organizers of, the Volunteer Corps, an organization planned to maintain peace and order in the city, and to protect the merchants. He took such a keen interest in this work, that he was promoted from the rank of sergeant to that of Chief Commander of the Corps, in which latter position he served for more than ten years.
During the political turmoil at Canton, in 1924, he had command of a section of the corps, that daily patrolled the city to maintain peace and order. Mr. Lo was then elected President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce at Canton. With the assistance of Mr. Chan Lim-pak, he organized a foreign-style fire brigade in Canton. This city, at that time, was one of the most unusual cities in the world, containing sixty miles of narrow streets (from six to twelve feet wide), resembling a huge bazaar. In the past, before a fire could be extinguished often as many as a thousand houses would be destroyed. Since then, the ancient wall has been removed, and wide public streets have been cut through the city.
Mr. Lo serves as principal of the Public Charity Association, and as Director of the Public Hospital, the Naw Wu School, and the Medical School. With the exception of being elected as a member of the Provincial Assembly, he has never entered official life, preferring to devote his time and energy to business enterprises. He is interested in importing, exporting, mining, banking, and insurance. He believes that, as soon as possible, the native Chinese should use goods which are produced and manufactured in their country; and he is doing everything in his power to encourage home production. Mr. Lo is a highly esteemed businessman, operating in Canton and in Hongkong. He has hosts of foreign as well as Chinese friends.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 82.