Huang Rizhang (1850-1915), styled Runjiang, was born in Tianpi Village, Changle Town, Hepu County. In his early childhood, he migrated to Beihai with his parents. Huang’s family was not well-off; when he was young, he set up a private school to teach students and support the family. Huang Rizhang also devoted great efforts to calligraphy in his spare time and developed a school of his own for his profound, forceful, elegant and magnificent writing. After he became a calligrapher of some renown, many shops and temples invited him to write on their signboards and couplets. Huang Rizhang was very strict at teaching, therefore got the name of “Hard Master”. Many talented people were once his students, including Dr. Long Dajun, a famous Chinese economist.
Respecting Confucian culture, Huang Rizhang was a devout believer in doctrine of the mean, filial piety and righteousness. He was neither voluptuary nor addicted to smoking or gambling. Being tolerant and benevolent, he devoted his life to local charities. In 1897, he raised funds together with Chen Jueyu, Liang Chaozhen, Cai Zhuochen, Zeng Chaoguang, Wang Hengshi and other persons to build a tea pavilion (opposite to a temple named Pu Du Zhen Gong, also known as Pu Shan Tang), where free tea was offered to passersby in hot summer and ginger porridge and cotton-padded clothes given to poor people in cold winter. The tea pavilion also served as a place where local authorities welcomed and saw off visitors and where citizens could spend their leisure time. Later, a stone bridge was built over Shadun Ditch to provide convenience for pedestrians. For his prominent good deeds, Lianzhou government awarded him the title of First Class Sub-Prefect of the Fifth Rank.
Besides, upon request by Wu Jinquan, a Taoist priest from Luofu Mountain, Huang Rizhang raised funds from overseas Chinese and businessmen in Beihai to build a temple named Pu Du Zhen Gong opposite to the tea pavilion, proclaiming the nature for goodness among people. He also encouraged people passionate for charities, regardless of their hierarchy, gender and age, to join the temple. All funds were donated by fellows of the temple and used for social relief and other welfare undertakings.
In the early period of the Republic of China, warlords fought among themselves and the mainland was in chaos. Groups of refugees fled from other provinces to Beihai; Pu Shan Tang offered food and accommodations to the refugees and also helped them to return home by undertaking their travelling expenses. Pu Shan Tang also collaborated with the Po Leung Kuk in Hong Kong to rescue native women who were abducted to Hong Kong where they were forced to prostitute themselves or help them to get new jobs. For native overseas Chinese living in Vietnam who died from diseases, their remains were transported back to Beihai and received by Pu Shan Tang, and their relatives were notified to take and bury the bodies; unclaimed bodies were properly buried in a specially arranged public cemetery. In 1914, Huang initiated fund raising to build the “Aisheng Hospital” at Zhaowuling (current location of the tap water company), where tourists in Beihai and local poor people could receive medical treatment and medicines free of charge; the hospital also admitted people without living relatives for hospitalized treatment.
The former residence of Huang Rizhang was located in a nameless lane on Zhongshan Road; in old Beihai, it was called “Rizhang Lane”.
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Published: Beihai Local ChroniclesCompilation Committee Office (BLCCCO)
Editor: Qin Hongyuan / Zi An
Translator proofreader: Liang Jiayu/Xu Yuping
Reviewer: Yang Yu
Chief Editor: Feng Xinguang
Local Chronicles of Beihai Municipality, Beihai Local Chronicles Compilation Committee Office edited.返回搜狐，查看更多