Koung Koung’s Club

The cronies were gathered as usual every Saturday to spend time together and to keep abreast of the latest news. It was in the late 30’s. After their usual round of ‘Penkim’, the Chinese narrow card, they broke to have a sip of Chinese tea and some snack.

One of the members brought up the latest news: “I have been told by the ‘Moi ngin’, marriage broker that in a couple to weeks a new batch of girls is arriving by the next steamer. They are all from Moyen and have been selected for marriage”. That information started a round of exchange of leg pulling amongst the old friends.

-You should get a new wife as you have only one son and your wife has only produced girls since.

-Your business has grown so well, that it is time now to have another wife.

-Instead of producing half-breeds with the local women this is an opportunity to have well bred Chinese children.

– Did you attend the grand wedding of Ng Fuk Cheong: he married a Hakka and a Cantonese wife on the same day at the Koong Tine hall? That was a really great celebration; he surely is doing well, besides the wholesale business he now is striving with the retail store at Vacoas as he is now the main supplier to the British garrison.

-The Government of the Republic of China is sending in a consul to be stationed in Mauritius soon.

The China Institute was the social club where the well to do Chinese Merchants would meet regularly not only to socialise but more importantly to discuss issues that concerned their businesses before formulating them officially to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The China Institute was the forum outside the clan’s organisation where the different business men would meet.