Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Great Grandpa's Will

My great grandpa prepared a WILL at the age of 59 (1929), 
but he lived beyond the age of 80.
The will (分關執照)was written in his presence by another person. Not sure why the words in vertical appear in half. In total, there are 8 pages including the cover above.

My younger brother translated a few important portions into English for family members who don't read Chinese. (No regret for sending my kids to Chinese primary school)

My brother intentionally kept the "original Chinese feel" , without rephrasing it to sound too "English".  And I intentionally not showing the original Will in Chinese clearly as I feel that those details are considered private.

However, I would surely love to share here some wise words from my great grandpa - the man I never met, but respect a lot.

"In the future, you brothers, having own family and career, shall manage accordingly, shall not compete (against each other),  more so shall be hardworking day and night, fulfil the responsibility to manage inheritance/success, bring honour to the ancestors and bring abundance to the descendants, so as not to fail the wishes of our ancestor. 

A few pages detailed how the the ancestral home, land & company dividends/shares should be split and managed.   

He also gave instruction on future expansion.
"...Once the extended building is completed, one shall declare the actual cost of construction, shall not declare more than actual expenses (建築費用簿數,不得以少報多), shall follow your conscience, shall not go against my words (憑良心勿違背余言)..."
"...If during construction outsiders come to interrupt or interfere, you four brothers shall unite, supporting each other in defence, protecting the property right and complete the construction ..."

The last page below was personally written by my Great Grandpa.
"My children consist of you four brothers and your seven sisters. Going through forty over years of industrious nurturing, it is fairly satisfying to have brought you all up. You brothers shall be thrifty, (embrace) simplicity and build career (汝兄弟更宜檢樸立業) by following my will /advice."
To me, what my Great Grandpa left for his descendants was not only that ancestral home or other physical assets, but more importantly, it was his legacy of Hardwork, Honesty & Integrity.


Uncle Lee said...

Hi Yuin Ting, wow! I really love that will, so well written and full of well intentioned thoughts.
He was a smart man and leaving behind his good ethics and thoughts for all to follow.
Have a great weekend.

YuinTing said...

Hi Lee, my father kept that will inside a safe. I read it once many years ago, but after coming back from China, I have a completely different feeling when I read it all over again!

I'm sure my great grandpa will be happy to know that my grandpa, my dad and my uncles are all good men.

"Happy is the man who recalls his ancestors with pride and realized that fate has linked him with a race of goodly men." - Goethe