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A Brief History of Hong Kong & Kowloon Restaurant and Cafe Workers General Union

(3) With the success of obtaining the commission benefits for the members in 1947, the union's development continued to thrive. Realizing that it was important for the members' children to receive education, the union adopted an education policy. In 1947 and 1948, the first and second primary schools (daytime) for members' children were established respectively. Three evening schools were set up in Kowloon, Eastern and Western Districts of Hong Kong Island. Altogether five schools were established. In 1949, the schools were subsidized by the Education Department and became government-subsidized primary schools with more than 2,000 students.

The first primary school was originally located in two buildings, one was on Second Street in Sai Ying Pun and the other on Water Street. After that, due to the owner's resumption of the building, the school building on Second Street was moved to its current address on 3rd floor, 259-269 Des Voeux Road West. The first principal of the school was Mr. Lau Chun Wing.

The second primary school was on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of 624-626 Canton Road in Kowloon. The first principal was Mr. Cho Mang Keung. Later, since the building on Canton Road had to be dismantled, and the plan to rebuild the second primary school died on the vine, the second primary school, which had been established for more than 20 years, was closed down.



(4) Besides education, the union also concerned about the aged members who had no one to take care of. As a result, the "Fund for the Disabled and the Aged" was set up. At first, every member could receive a living expense of $30 each month. Later it was raised to $50 which greatly helped those members who were aged or disabled. Today, the "Fund for the Disabled and the Aged" continues to support the union members.

In 1961, while the 7th president was still serving his term of office, it was realized that the one-year term of office for the president of the council was too short to complete the tasks; hence, the constitution of the union was revised to change the term of office from one year to two years. In the same year, the "Hong Kong & Kowloon Restaurant and Cafe Workers General Union Family Members Welfare Association" was set up so that family members of the union members can also receive welfare benefits. Under the principle of helping each other out, when a union member passed away, his family could receive subsidies from the association to arrange funeral service. Afterwards the authority considered the association as illegal. Therefore, in 1964, the union hired a lawyer and the association had to re-register with the Societies Officer and was renamed "Restaurant Workers' Family Members Welfare Association." It was an independent organization, but its office was located inside the union's main office.

In 1965, due to the owner's resumption of the building on Queen Victoria Street in Central, both the union's main office and the welfare association had to move to Hennessy Road in Wanchai. Not to mention when the welfare association was first established, the organization itself and its personnel structure were still immature, and the principle of helping each other out was not fully carried out. As a result, there were financial problems within the association. Until 1969, the welfare association was still a shaky organization. For the union's reputation, the union's council decided that the welfare association's office had to be separated from the union's office. In 1970, the welfare association's office was moved to Portland Street in Kowloon and soon it was disintegrated.

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