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圍頭村
 

圍頭村祖祠重建誌

 

先祖諱玉峴系出唐相曲江九齡公,宋紹興時人,先祖幼承庭訓,以仕宦報國為己任,旋授迪功郎,官派惠州府海豐縣,德政聞於時,奉檄至粵之東莞,時值朝政窳敗,高宗軟弱,先祖有見及此,乃興退休之念,更樂東莞風土之美,遂舉家卜居東莞篁村鄉,此乃我張氏祖發源之地也。先祖妻葉氏,生三子,雖云遁世而居,仍不忘興家興國,每以修身、齊家、治國、平天下為家訓,冀後世子孫遵從,故兒孫輩多皆秉持庭訓,黽勉向學,惜國難未已,苦無進身之路,惟修身行善,毋負先祖之志。
  
四傳至允迪公,字德明,號景齊,未忘祖訓,有感朝政粗安,復萌出仕之意,乃以書經領嘉定特公鄉進士、入大學,仍授迪功郎、梧州司法,允迪公配劉氏,生三子,季光濟公,仍秉家訓,習經詩,置擁書樓,宋淳祐間,授浙東潧解元。

六傳至迓衡公,光濟公三子也,以詩詞名於時,授宋大學士、舍貢士,自讀於觀化齋,以詩板行世。尋蒙族勢大,入主華夏,迓衡公見莫可與鋒,遂領子孫輩,遁世不仕。

九傳至彥珍公,時元人仍盛,政不修、令不明,禍及地方,公乃率二子由東莞篁村遷新安,卜居涌頭,後再分二支,一支在圍頭,一支在西鄉,此乃我族遷離東莞篁村之時也。

我祖族人,自聚居圍頭、西鄉後,開枝散葉,子孫繁衍,從此散布於東莞、寶安兩縣,啟日後定居今日林村之源。

從此輾轉相傳至廿一世祖上明公,清乾、嘉時(1735-1820)人也,受乾隆帝興學禮賢之召,復登仕途,嘉慶元年,奉旨寵賜,特授正九品,登仕郎,再發揚我祖仕宦報國之遺訓。道光後(1850-),政治又復腐敗,國勢積弱難興,外國入侵頻仍,先祖族人以報國無門,適此時也,東西方門戶大開,國人多遠赴歐美謀生,我祖族人有見及此,乃應潮流,相繼出外營商,一改書生報國之遺訓。於此之前,群以先建祖祠,以安列祖列宗,張氏祖祠從此建立於林村也。百多年來,祭祀從未間斷, 而我張氏後人, 遍佈中外, 投身各行各業, 多有所成, 而我祖祠亦因年久凐陳, 多有破壞, 遂於一九九七年由張國耀, 張連貴, 張祺威, 張國岐, 張萬昌等數位族兄建議重修張氏祖祠, 期間當然經歷不少艱困, 幸賴我族人上下一心, 上述數位祖兄更抱任勞任怨之精神, 克服艱巨, 始達於成, 今日趁我張氏祖祠重修開光之日, 特綴數言, 以志我張氏根源, 而更冀我張氏子孫, 不忘祖訓, 世代以發揚我張氏家聲為標的, 慰我列祖在天之靈, 更不負列位重修祖祠祖兄長老之厚意, 是所願也。

一九九九年(己卯)十一月十五日  

Wai Tau Tsuen Ancestral Hall Restoration
Translated by Matthew Noellert

 

Our founding ancestor Yuyun descended from the Tang Minister, Lord Jiuling of Qujiang county, and was a man of the Song Emperor Gaozong’s Shaoxing reign (1131-1162).  As a child he undertook the family teaching: to make it one’s personal responsibility to serve as a loyal official dedicated to the state.  He was soon appointed to be Gentleman for Meritorious Achievement (Di Gong Lang), and sent to Haifeng county in Huizhou prefecture.  He gained a reputation as a virtuous official, and was promoted to Dongguan.  In time, the government became corrupt and the Gaozong emperor grew powerless. Our founder saw this and sent in his notice to retire.  He moved his family to Huangcun village in Dongguan and enjoyed the beautiful environment of Dongguan.  This thus became the homeland of our Cheung lineage.  Our founder married Ms. Ye and had three sons.  Although he retired from the world, he still never forgot to look after his family and support his country, and he instructed every one of his sons to cultivate themselves, take care of the family, govern the state, and bring peace to the world.  In hopes that later generations of sons and grandsons followed this, the sons all upheld the family teaching.  They were diligent in their studies while pitying the unending troubles of the state and suffering the lack of official careers. They only cultivated themselves and acted with compassion, never betraying the founder’s will.

In the fourth generation there was Lord Yundi, first name Deming, also called Jingqi. He did not forget the ancestor’s teaching, and when he felt that the imperial court was more or less stable and peaceful, he began again with the intention to serve as an official. So he studied the classics and earned a jinshi degree from Tegong in Jiading county, entered the Academy, and was appointed to be Gentleman for Meritorious Achievement (Di Gong Lang), and became an administrator in Wuzhou, Guangxi.  Lord Yundi married Ms. Liu and had three children. The youngest, Lord Guangji, still upheld the family teaching, studied the classics and poetry, and established a library.  During the time of the Song Chunyou reign (1241-1252), he received a first place in the provincial examination in Kuaiju county, Zhedong.

In the sixth generation there was Lord Yaheng, the third son of Lord Guangji. He was famous for his poetry and lyrics.  He received a position in the Academy, abandoned the gongshi degree, and studied independently in the library, gaining popularity around the world through his poetry.  Soon, the Mongols grew powerful and conquered China (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368). Lord Yaheng saw that no one could compete with them, so he led his family into retirement and did not serve as an official.

In the ninth generation there was Lord Yanzhen.  At this time the Mongols were still in power, the government did not govern, their orders were unclear, and trouble overran the country.  So Lord Yanzhen led his two sons out of Huangcun village in Dongguan and moved to Chongtou village in Xin’an.  Afterwards they split into two branches, one in Wai Tau, one in Xixiang. This is the time when our lineage moved out of Dongguan’s Huangcun village.

From the time our lineage moved to Wai Tau and Xixiang, they began branching off and multiplying, spreading out across Dongguan and Bao’an counties.  From this day forward they settled in what is now the head of the Lam Tsuen river.

From then we passed through many ancestors and generations down to Lord Shangming of the twenty-first generation.  He was a man of the Qianlong and Jiaqing period (1735-1820), and took on the call of Emperor Qianlong to advance the study of the rites and virtuous persons. He again took the path of an official, and in the first year of Jiaqing (1796) received special favor and was granted an office of the first class of the ninth rank, Court Gentleman for Promoted Service (Deng Shi Lang), once more carrying forward our ancestors’ teaching of serving as a loyal official dedicated to the state.  But after the end of the Daoguang reign (after 1850), the government became corrupt again, the state’s power stagnated and weakened beyond recovery, and foreign countries frequently invaded the land. This was a time when our ancestors could not find a way to serve the state. The doors between East and West were opened wide, and lots of Chinese people went to Europe and America to make a living. Our ancestors saw this, and in response to the trend they too went abroad one after the other to do business, thus changing the ancestral teaching of serving the state.  But before this, the group first built an ancestral hall and organized the lineages and ancestors.  The Cheung family ancestral hall was built at this time in Lam Tsuen. 

One hundred years later, sacrifices have continued uninterrupted, and Cheung descendents have spread all over China and abroad, starting up new careers and businesses, many gaining success.  But our Cheung ancestral hall, after many years of neglect, has fallen into disrepair.  So in 1997, Cheung Guoyao, Cheung Liangui, Cheung Qiwei, Cheung Guoqi, Cheung Wanchang and other brothers of the lineage  recommended restoring the Cheung ancestral hall.  They experienced lots of obstacles and troubles, of course, but luckily they could depend on all the members of the lineage above and below to be in agreement.  The above mentioned brothers of the lineage embraced the spirit of responsibility, overcoming obstacles, and saw it through from the beginning to completion. Today we take this opportunity at the opening day for the newly remodeled Cheung ancestral hall to say a few words in remembrance of our Cheung family origins, and furthermore to wish that our Cheung family descendents will not forget our ancestors’ teaching.  Our hope is that they will carry forward our Cheung family name for generations, to comfort the souls of our ancestors in heaven and fulfill the kindness of the lineage elders who have restored the ancestral hall.

-  November 15, 1999