William Louey

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William Sui-tak Louey (7 July 1909 – 9 December 1962) was a Hong Kong businessman and the founder and Chief Manager of the Kowloon Motor Bus Company.

Early life and career[edit]

Louey was born in Melbourne, Australia on 7 July 1909 to the son of a Chinese Australian. He returned to China when he was young and was educated at the Holy Trinity College in Guangzhou when his father and his uncle founded the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB) in Hong Kong in 1922. After he graduated, Louey joined the KMB as an assisting manager of the Company and rose to Chief Manager in 1933.[1]

At that time, there were several independent bus operators. William Louey bought few of the companies and apply for the franchise of the bus service in 1933. He won the franchise of operating bus services in Kowloon and the New Territories, while China Motor Bus (CMB) won the services in the Hong Kong Island. Together with Tang Shiu-kin, Lui Leung, Tam Woon-tong and Lam Ming-fan, William Louey renamed the company into Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB).[1] At the time, there were 106 small single-deck buses in the embryonic KMB bus fleet, offering two classes of seats, namely first class (with cushion) and second class (without cushion) wooden seats.[2]

The KMB services stopped operating during the Pacific War and Japanese occupation. After the war, Louey largely expanded his Company from about a hundred vehicles to more than seven hundred. Before his death, he ordered more than a hundred buses from the United Kingdom which would make the number of his buses rose to 895.[3] Louey had also experienced a few labour disputes during his office. In June 1956 and October 1961, the KMB workers launched work-to-rule strikes against the Company's change of policies. In early December 1962 when the workers took the industrial action, Louey later on announced to raise the wage of the bus drivers.

Public services[edit]

Louey had been chair of the Rotary Club of Kowloon and Kowloon Residents' Association, deputy director of the Civil Aid Service, founder of the Kowloon Chamber of Commerce and member of the Advisory Committee on Public Transport and Committee on Technical Education. He was made Justice of the Peace in 1957.[3] Louey also ran for the 1952 Urban Council election and was elected to the Urban Council with Brook Bernacchi of the Reform Club of Hong Kong. He lost his seat a year later in 1953 re-election.

Between 1956 and 1957, Louey became the President of the Hong Kong Football Association with the support of South China Athletic Association. He defeated Chan Shu-woon, Urban Councillor and the coach of the China national football team who was supported by Eastern Athletic Association, with 43 votes to 9 on the vote on 6 October 1956. By that, He also became the President of the Asian Football Confederation.[4]

Personal life and death[edit]

In the morning of 22 December 1958, Louey was shot and injured in an armed robbery at his own residence, No. 81, Waterloo Road, Kowloon. Three men entered his house at about 10:30 a.m. wounded Louey on the right side of his abdomen during their struggle with Louey and his son, Ronald. Although the condition was not serious, Louey was admitted to the Kowloon Hospital.[5]

Louey died suddenly from acute heart attack at 10:30 p.m. on 9 December 1962 in his residence at No. 81 Waterloo Road at the age of 53. He had two sons, Ronald Kwok-wah Louey and Kwok-kwan Louey, and two daughters, Kwok-chun and Kwok-wan. Kwok-wah and Kwok-kwan were both educated in Australia and Kwok-kwan worked at the Kowloon Motor Bus.[6] The funeral was held at the All Saints' Cathedral, Kowloon on 12 December and was attended by many government officials and employees of the KMB. His ashes were sent back to his birthplace in Australia after being cremated.[7] One-minute silence tribute to Louey was paid in all football matches of the Football Association on 15 and 16 December.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "九巴與雷瑞德". Tak Kung Pao. 11 December 1962. p. 4. 
  2. ^ "Milestones". The Kowloon Motor Bus Co.(1933) Ltd. 
  3. ^ a b "雷瑞德生平事畧". Kung Sheung Daily News. 11 December 1962. p. 4. 
  4. ^ "雷瑞德當選足總會長 南華會擴建加山看台". Kung Sheung Daily News. 6 October 1982. p. 3. 
  5. ^ "WILLIAM S. T. LOUEY SHOT.". The China Mail. 22 December 1958. p. 1. 
  6. ^ "兩子昨趕返港 雷瑞德明大殮 各界人士昨天紛往弔唁". Tak Kung Pao. 11 December 1962. p. 4. 
  7. ^ "雷瑞德出殯哀榮". Kung Sheung Daily News. 13 December 1962. p. 4.