This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Mr. Chan Lim-pak was born in 1884, at Namhoi, Kwangtung. He is a leading member of a well known family, noted in South China for its many commercial activities. Mr. Chan, aside from being an experienced and influential banker, controls extensive shipping, mining, and silk interests. His enterprises are confined not only to local industries, but also to overseas trade. He is a Director of many large corporations in South China, and several business ventures outside of China have prospered through his support.
Mr. Chan believes that the salvation of China lies in her economic independence, and has devoted all of his energy to the promotion of international trade and the development of national resources, declining all requests to enter into political activities, caring for concrete rather than abstract things. He, however, would not shirk any responsibility required of a good citizen. His recent service in the rehabilitation of local banknote currency, and the stabilization of the local financial market, has been generally recognized and appreciated by all.
In recognition of his many past services, he has been elected President of the Canton General Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Canton Exporters Association, at different times. He served as Senior Commissioner, for Kwangtung, to the Panama Exposition in San Francisco, during 1915, and also as a member of other commercial and industrial commissions. At the San Francisco Exposition, Canton exhibits received more prizes than those from other provinces. Through his advice, Canton exporters have been greatly assisted, and many improvements along different lines have been brought about.
In its recognition of his services and many activities, which have benefited the public at large, the Government of China has conferred upon Mr. Chan the Order of The Excellent Crops of the Second Class, the First Class Medal of the Ministry of Commerce and Agriculture, and the Order of The Excellent Crops of the Second Class with Diamond, (especially for his contribution of service and funds to the North China Famine Relief), and the Great Order of Excellent Crops, Second Class, (for his contributions to the improvement of industries).
As a benefactor, Mr. Chan’s activities include education and charity. He practically finances a school of several hundred pupils in his native village, permanently, and has contributed liberally to the establishment of the Canton Orphanage and the Canton Girls Industrial School, which were opened several years ago. He is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Canton Hospital, and of the Fong Pin, or Convenient Hospital. In 1919, Mr. Chan was directly responsible for the organization of the Canton Food Relief Association, which eventually averted a possible rice famine that would have caused great distress to the poor of Canton.
Among other civic activities, Mr. Chan is connected with the Canton Merchants Volunteer Corps, an organization that he helped to found, in 1912, when Canton had just passed through a revolution. Mr. Chan has served as Colonel-in-Chief, commanding the volunteers since 1919. He had previously been given the rank of Brevet Major-General, in the Chinese Army, by commission of the Ministry of War. The corps numbers nearly 10,000, and is the chief instrument that the Cantonese merchants have for maintaining local peace and order. The Merchants Volunteer Corps is a military organization of civilians, drawing no financial support from the Government. Its popularity is due to the fact that it stands for law and order in one of the largest and most important cities in China.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 74.