“During this period 1923-1947 the Chinese were subjected to open discrimination and mistreatments. Rev. Leung’s mission was to help those suffering Chinese immigrants in a hostile land.”
~ Sophia Leung
“My sons and daughter-in-laws have been encouraging me to write a memoir so that my descendents can read it and not be ridiculed for not knowing their heritage and where their ancestor came from” and here is how the story began …
Rev. Chuk Ping Leung was born on April 18, 1884 in Kaiping, Guangdong. He began the study of Confucian Classics at age 7 or 8 and soon came up with questions like “why people’s original nature is good” and “where heaven and earth came from in the primordial times, which his teacher did not provide satisfactory answer. Leung was a keen inquirer and hated to be spoon-fed.
“I thought since I was never explained the meanings of the things I studied, why bother spending years just to recite and memorizing them. Even if I commit it all to my memory, it is difficult to digest the material completely.”
Because of his love of reading, Leung came into contact with Christian literature published by the Shanghai Christian Literature Society which helped him to understand life better. He was introduced to the Christian faith through a friend who went to work in Victoria and being converted to Christianity. His friend was criticized by people in the village for their zealousness to the Gospel but Leung said, “in my young heart I could not find anything to criticize about the Christian doctrine and Christian followers.”
When Leung was sixteen, he worked in Dr. and Mrs. Hui-Chao Leung’s pharmacy in Enping and learned how to fill prescriptions. Soon after the Boxer Rebellion erupted, the pharmacy was robbed by bandits with nothing left behind. It happened that an American Congregational pastor and a Canadian Presbyterian Church pastor were visiting that city. Leung found out that there’s an urgent need for Gospel workers and decided to enroll in the School of Theology at Huadi Puiying School with his cousin.
The Canadian Presbyterian Mission set up a station in North Jiangmen Street a church, a dormitory for the Christian workers and a medical clinic. Leung accompanied doctors to provide medical services and preach the Gospel once as week. He would also travel to preach at different Presbyterian churches throughout China. In addition to his church ministry, he opened a boy’s school and a Philosophy Institute to discuss philosophical issues with young scholars.
After Leung graduated from the School of Theology in 1907, he married Kam Fung in the same year through a family arranged marriage. Together they bore three sons, So Man, So Won and So Wah. All three names of his sons carried heavy Christian spiritual meaning: the awakening of the people, awakening of the soul, and awakening of China. Rev. Leung was a “learned, disciplined man who exerted a strong influence on his children instilling the values and traditions of Chinese culture early in their life.” (Celebration of a Splendid Life, p.3) Mrs. Leung was a hardworking and devoted wife and a kind and loving mother. Not only did she raise three outstanding children, she also provided home care to two other homeless youngsters despite their limited resources. (Celebration of a Splendid Life, p.6)
After 15 years of serving churches in China, a rare opportunity came up for Rev. Leung to come to Canada. The missionary from Moose Jaw returned to China and needed someone to replace his position and his name was recommended to take up the mission. He first took his younger son So Won and boarded the “Queen Asia” for Canada in 1922. Upon arrival in Vancouver, he was sent to Victoria to learn English. During his short stay in Victoria, he started the New China Monthly Magazine and helped to establish the New China Press. Then, he was sent onto to Moose Jaw for his ministry. At that time, there were about ten or more local born Chinese children in Moose Jaw and the church opened a Chinese school for them. During his service at Moose Jaw, Leung also traveled to Regina every other week to preach. With his love of reading and literature, he started the publication of Regina and Moose Jaw Monthly.
Leung was transferred to Edmonton, AB, in 1927 while wife and the other two sons arrived in Canada to join him in the same year. In 1930, he was transferred to New Westminster, BC, then to Vancouver in 1932 to open and teach in a Chinese School. In 1938, upon the recommendation of General Director Dr. Ho, Leung was transferred to Montreal to help improve the “estranged relationship” between the Montreal Chinese Church and the Canadian Presbyterian Mission who refused to join the unification. In 1941, Leung was transferred back to Edmonton. After going back to Edmonton, he opened a United Church school and began fund raising for the Edmonton Church for a new building. Because of Rev. Leung’s warm connection with friends all over Canada, the fundraising was very successful. It was a beautifully testimony of how Chinese brothers and sisters united together to support the kingdom work together.
Rev. Leung retired in 1954 and went to be with the Lord in 1965. A loving husband and father, a tireless servant of God, a caring shepherd for God’s people, a peacemaker of the Church, Rev. Leung’s life exemplify the life of Jesus whenever he went and his legacy was carried on by “sons and daughters” around the world.
Rev. C. P. Leung’s unpublished Memoir written in 1965 (translated by Irene Liu).
Oral history with Mrs. Sophia Leung (daughter in-law, wife of Rev. Leung’s youngest son, Dr. Wah Leung)
S. Wah Leung: Celebration of a Splendid Life. Vancouver, BC: Dr. S. Wah Leung Endowment Fund, the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry, 1992.
梁牧師一九零七年神學畢業後結婚。他們共有三個兒子：甦民、甦魂和甦華。每個名字都有基督教屬靈的含意，分別是：甦醒國民；甦醒靈魂以及甦醒中華。梁牧師是個「飽學之士，生活律己甚嚴；從小灌輸三個兒子中國傳統文化價值，對他們影響深遠。」(Celebration of a Splendid Life, 第三頁) 梁師母是位辛勤和忠誠的妻子，一個和藹慈祥、滿有愛心的母親。她不但在有限資源的環境下教養出三位傑出的兒子，還照顧兩名無家可歸的少年人。(Celebration of a Splendid Life, 第六頁)