Friday, April 8, 2016


FEELING THE WAY IN THE CANTON VILLAGES. BY GEORGE HUNTER MCNEUR. Dunedin THE OTAGO DAILY TIMES AND WITNESS COMPANY. MCMII. Canton Villages Mission: FIRST LETTERS—OF—REV. GEO. H. MCNEUR. PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NEW ZEALAND. FOREWORD BY A. DON. Twenty-three millions of Chinese live in the province of Kwang-tung, of which Canton, with its two millions, is the chief city. All the Chinese that emigrate to the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand go from eleven districts (out of 81) of Kwang-tung province, the very large majority to America and Australia from four districts—known collectively as "See-yup." In those See-yup, distant over a hundred miles S.W. from Canton, and speaking harsh dialects differing much from pure Cantonese, there are some seventy mission-stations belonging to the American Presbyterians, the American Baptists, the Church Missionaries, and the American Board. Of the 3000 Chinese in New Zealand only a small minority—about one-sixth—come from the "See-vup": the other five-sixths come from two districts—this, PAGE 2holding the eastern half of Canton City, called P'OON-YU, that, bounding P'oon-yu on the east, called TSANG-SHING. The clannishness of Southern Chinese is very manifest oven in foreign lands. So it comes that, of the 600 and more gold-diggers in Westland, all but a score are P'oon-yu men, likewise the gardeners at Wanganui, Palmerston North, and Kaikorai (Dunedin), also the miners at Nokomai, Waipori, Waikaia, and Orepuki; while the 140 fruit-dealers in Wellington are nearly all from Tsang-shing, as are the Anderson's Bay (Dunedin) gardeners. On the other hand, the laundrymen in Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington are almost wholly See-yup men. Some 2500 of our New Zealand Chinese belong to two clusters of farming villages with a total population of some 400,000. The P'oon-yu cluster, where pure Cantonese prevails, numbers about forty, and lies from 6 to 20 miles north of Canton: the Tsangshing cluster of twenty lies 35 to 40 miles east of the city. Among the former group the American Presbyterians recently opened a chapel: in the latter group the only station was that held by our own student—Mr William Chan—for six weeks last summer at Whitestone Mart. PAGE 3 THOSE SIXTY VILLAGES, many of them with from 5000 to 20,000 villagers each, need the Word of Life. And, to supply that need, No Church in the world is so peculiarly fitted as the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. Since:— (a), Men from those villages are more numerous in New Zealand than elsewhere abroad; and (b), The only mission working among them in China is the American Presbyterian; and (c), Twenty years' work has been carried on by Presbyterians in New Zealand among the villagers here. Therefore it follows that:— (a), Nowhere else, outside of China, is there such a suitable place as New Zealand for the training of missionaries to those villages, and (b), The "Canton villages" lie more closely to Presbyterians than to any other Church, and to New Zealand more closely than to any other land.

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