Mr Yew Chang 張耀先生

Information

Date 11th September 2012 Interviewed by Jingxiang Shi
Language Cantonese Audio Edited by Jingxiang Shi
Venue Chinese Association of Tower Hamlets, London Translated by James Golby

Yew Chang (1919-2012), died aged 93 years old. He was from Mong Tseng Tsuen, Yuen Long in Hong Kong. He embarked on a career as a sailor aged 19 when he joined a Dutch shipping company. He visited the UK for the first time in 1941. During the Second World War, large fleets of ships transported arms, food, fuel and other supplies around the clock. Yew Chang helped to refill the charcoal and oil in the engine room of a transport ship, working four hours a shift and two shifts a day. He visited many places during his time including India, the Netherlands and the United States. After the war, Yew Chang received a written recommendation from a colonial minister which helped him became a British citizen in 1953. He settled in Poplar in East London. Yew Chang later had jobs in restaurants and as a chef in a take-away. After retirement, he became an active member of several Chinese Community Centres, where he was well-known as a former seaman.

(Profile translated by: James Laughton-Smith)