Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Old pictures of Lo-nguong and Lieng-kong from Anglican missionaries

Recently, I came upon a series of articles and photographs related to Fuzhou left by missionaries in the Church Missionary Society (CMS) of the Anglican Church before the 1950s. I was surprised by the richness of the materials, and even more astonished when I found 100 year-old pictures about Lo-nguong (羅源,Luoyuan) and Lieng-kong (連江,Lianjiang) that I believe have not been seen by the natives for a long time. These pictures even preceded the one taken by Emily Susan Hartwell in the 1920-30s. Some of these pictures were taken by Anglican reverends, and some by deaconesses who had continued to contribute to the missionary work in Lo-nguong and its vicinity. Some of these materials are articles published in periodicals such as India's Women and China's Daughters, and Church Missionary Gleaner; some are digitized images from the missionaries such as Rev. William Charles White, the former Anglican Bishop of Honan who worked as a pastor in Lo-nguong for a few years at the beginning of the 20th century. There are still a rich pile of materials with the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham in England that await exploration. I have started to look at these materials and hope to dig out more exciting history about Lo-nguong.

No wonder, among all the protestant missions, CMS has the richest materials about Lo-nguong, because it is the dominant protestant church in Lo-nguong before the 1950s, which left important legacy and contributed to the modernization of the town. Churches, schools, leper asylum and hospitals were built by the Anglican missionaries in Lo-nguong. The 1998 Edition of the Luoyuan County Annals (罗源县志,1998年版) even contains a short biography of a female missionary, Florence Mary Cooper (顾玛琍) of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (CEZMS), who founded the Luoyuan Women's Hospital and helped save many lives in the town. This unusual record reflects the importance of CMS activities in the local history, because county annals in communist China seldom records foreigners, let alone missionaries, in the biography section. Sadly, the information about Florence Mary Cooper in English is still limited, and I do not even know when and where she died after she left China for England after the breakout of the Pacific War. I will talk about her in a separate article.

But to give you a flavor of the CMS materials, here are a few pictures found in the September Issue of the Church Missionary Gleaner in 1911:
(1) the West Gate of Lienkong in 1911; (2) a Tang dynasty pagoda (仙塔); (3) the missionary compound in Lienkong (according to my father, it looks like a Zhu Xi Temple in the town of Dangyang/Dang-iong); (4) the River Lien (敖江) near the South Gate of Lienkong.

圣公会Church Missionary Gleaner杂志1911年9月刊上刊登的4幅连江县的照片:
(1) 1911年时的连江西门和城墙;(2) 凤城镇仙塔街的唐代仙塔,现为福建省级文物保护单位;(3) 连江县圣公会传教士的大本营(据我父亲讲,看上去有点像丹阳镇的朱熹祠); (4) 连江南门外的敖江。


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