本 總堂是全加拿大六個余風采分堂的組成: 分堂有溫哥華、卡加利、點問頓、雷城、安省、和滿地可。 每四年一次,各分堂的代表集合一齊,輪流在不同分堂舉行懇親大會,商討如何改進堂務和選出下一屆新理事。 總堂每個月在溫哥華召開理事會一次,報告財政、樓業狀况和議决有関總堂一切問題。
第一條： 本總堂定名為【加拿大余風采總堂】，英文名為Yee Fung Toy Society of Canada。
第四條： 本總堂以懇親大會為最高權力機關，總堂職員為理事制，設理事職位十九名。 職務分配如下：
- 主席一名 副主席三名
- 理事十八名 候補理事四名
- 書記主任一名 副一名
- 財政主任一名 副一名
- 交際主任一名 副一名
- 福利主任一名 副一名
- 樓業主任一名 副一名
- 核數主任一名 副一名
- 婦女組主任一名 副一名
- 香港五堂會海外顧問 二名
第 五條： 凡有宗人二十五人以上地區，得設立分堂，名為（某地余風采堂）英文名為 Yee Fung Toy Society of （加上所在地名稱） ，未滿二十五人之地區，得由該省最近分堂設立通訊處，分堂在成立之前，須先向總堂報請備案，由總堂發給鈐記，依 章成立，以明系統而歸劃一。
第六條： 各分堂應根據總堂章程，設立理事會，分科辦事，除接受總堂指導監督外，有自行處理 轄區內一切堂務之權。
第七條： 各地通訊處得設置正副主任各一人，由該省最近分堂聘派，負責傳達文件，及處理區內 各堂員有關事宜。
第十條： 所有當選總分堂理事者，在每年月會會期，如超過三次無故不到會，又無合理之解釋者，則作自動棄權，退出當屆理事 之職。
第十二條： 財政科掌理收支款項，保管存款等財務事項。銀行存款及提款，須由主席，書記， 財政三人中之二人簽名方生效力，倘提款數目超過壹仟元者，須經月會通過方得提支。
第二十條： 本總堂理事任期為四年，由每屆懇親大會出席之代表就總堂所在地之堂員中選出之， 再由當選理事選出各科職員，任期亦為四年，於翌年正月上旬舉行交代。
第二十一條： 每分堂選派一名代表為總堂當然理事，其餘理事之選出，以票數最多之前十三名當選為理事，第十四至十七名為候補理 事。
第二十七條： 本總堂之正副主席、書記、財政、慈善福利、樓業、庶務等科，每年或每月得酌領酬勞金，其金額多少， 於每屆選舉前決定，如因幣值漲落，總堂理事有權體察情形予以調整。
第二十八條： 凡居住於加拿大之宗人，不論年齡性別，經本堂認可者均得加入為堂員，並須先加入當地分堂或通訊處為堂員，新加入 之堂員，於註冊時須繳交堂底費拾元。 註冊時堂員只須報上出生年份，不需填報出生何月何日。
第二十九條： 凡堂員如遷居別地時，應於一個月內向當地分堂或通訊處作遷移登記； 凡堂員去世或回國定居時，該管轄分堂亦應於一個月內向總堂報備。
第三十條： 堂員每年須繳交年費一元，由每分堂負責收集一齊於每年九月三十日前交到總堂。 凡堂員盡足義務，年滿十八嵗者，享有選舉權及被選權，開會時有發言權及表决權。
第三十一條： 凡入堂未滿一月而有事請求辦理者，須報告所屬分堂或通訊處轉呈總堂，並酌納經 費若干元，方接納辦理。
第三十二條： 凡宗人未經入堂有事請求協辦者， 除即要補行註冊加入所屬分堂或通訊處及總堂外，仍要酌納經費若干元方能接納辦理。
第 三十三條： 懇親大會每四年舉行一次，時間定為四日，大會地點，由總堂於會期前一年函徵各地分堂意見而決定之， 有關財政開支，應定下支出計划預算，由接辦分堂與總堂協商解決。 如各分堂不願接辦，則仍由總堂舉行，總堂或分堂主辦懇親大會，應組織籌備處專責其事。懇親大會出席代表名額： 籌備處正副主席、總堂正副主席、書記主任、財政主任等為當然代表，總堂顧問亦有出席權，最多以兩名為限，其他各 分堂代表人數，根据其分堂會員配額如下： 75 人以下的分堂派代表一人，76 至125 人的分堂派代表二人，126 至175 人的分堂派代表三人，176 人以上的分堂派代表四人。
第三十四條： 懇親大會閉幕後，總堂有執行大會議决案之責，每月在堂所舉行全體職員會議一次，如有特別事故，得召集臨時會議。 另外，承辦懇親會的堂會，出懇親特刊要在懇親會后一年內完成。
第三十七條： 本總堂樓業收益，除總堂應支之外，如有盈餘，得酌撥款項辦理獎學敬老扶幼等福利事項，普及於全加各地盡足義務之 堂員，其實施辦法，由應屆懇親大會決定之。
加拿大余風采總堂是世界余氏宗親總會成員、每年得蒙香港五堂會獎學基金和武溪教育福利獎學基金的資助, 使到全加各分堂學業成績優異之余姓子弟, 獲得獎學金的恩惠,鼓勵青年人向上求學的精神,他們的成就乃是對社會的貢獻,亦是余族的光榮!
加 拿大眾多華人團體之中，余風采總堂是歷史最悠久的組織之一，余姓族人的會所名為風采堂， 是因余氏遠祖由閩（福建省）遷居粵境（廣東省）至第五世余靖太祖在朝為官的傑出表現而來， 余靖字安道，北宋時人，生於公元一千年，在宋仁宗皇帝當朝的時候，想勵精統治， 選任時賢余靖，歐陽修，蔡襄，王素四人為諫官勷辦國家大事，余靖太祖勳猷卓著， 在四人中最為突出，有『必有謀猷裨帝右，更加風采動朝端』的詩句讚譽他，後世子孫以風采二字乃余靖太祖的光榮美 譽， 嗣後凡族人聚集的會所，都用『風采堂』為名，以垂紀念，寓有祖德流芳的含意。
十九世紀末期，華人陸續來加謀生，身居異域，備受歧視，而華人 素重家族觀念， 為求守望相助，乃有會館堂所等組織，藉以聯絡團敘，余氏先賢為維繫族人， 於清光緒甲辰（一九零四）年在當時是加西出入口門户的域多利成立『風采堂』作為族人來往聯敘的機構， 地址在弗士加地方一間木屋，總堂大廳中所懸掛之『風采堂』 匾額及兩傍『風徽媲美曲江芬遺嶺表； 采烈遙承武水倫敘天涯』的木刻對聯，乃當年成立堂所時留下來的紀念品。
族人來加，與時俱增，遍佈於全加各地。民國八年（一九一九）組織樓業 百子會，每份五元，財力富裕者可做多份。 根據收款登記統計，當時各埠昆仲人數：卡技利一百七十八人，滿地可一百十七人，舞市阻一百零七人，雷振打九十八 人， 域多利九十一人，宛地辟三十六人，市必漢十六人，温哥華十四人，比允十一人，打市地詠九人，穩寧八人，片的頓七 人，片市阻珠七人，尾利慎血七人， 點問頓六人，夭寅米五人，暗問李五人，爺市打一人，共七百餘人，尚有未能聯絡及未入百子會者，不計在內， 籌集會款四千六百多元、置有樓業為余風采總堂的堂址， 此乃當年聯合吳，蔡，周三姓父老將舊址擴建成一座紅磚大樓，分為三單位，各闊廿餘呎，深一百呎， 貼近中華會館的單位是余風采總堂，其餘兩單位是至德總堂與愛蓮公所。
温哥華位處加西水陸交通要衝，從二三十年代起，發展迅速，取代域多利地 位成為通往亞太地區唯一商港，華人在此聚 集成為獨特地區（唐人埠）， 許多華人社團都在這裡購有樓業為會址、而余風采總堂仍設在域多利。 因昆仲多已遷往別處謀生。 無人來往，各埠族人亦不重視，失郤作用，形同虛設。
一九四八年與總堂同一座紅磚大樓另兩單位，因債欠地稅，被市 府沒收拍賣，僑商陳君買得，想整座樓宇屬個人物業， 出價三千元向我總堂求售，市府同時派員前來視察，發覺二樓至屋頂只用木板牆間格，要改建磚牆，方符防火規例，該 項工程需款數千元，難以籌措， 想到温哥華其時新成立之雲高華余風采堂(温哥華有譯作雲高華)，因應當時情勢，建議將之轉作全加總堂由域多利遷 來辦事， 乃以總分堂聯名將遷址及出賣樓業兩事， 函徵全加昆仲意見，獲得多數贊成，方接納辦理，將總堂機構遷來温哥華。 並認為要鞏固基礎，推展堂務須置業生息，方垂久遠。遂尋購較大樓業，及辦理域多利總堂樓宇出賣事宜。 未幾，覓得座落佐治東街二二四至二二六號廣萬生雜貨店之物業出賣，舖闊五十呎，樓高三層，認為合適，雙方接洽， 議定樓價二萬四千元，定期籌款交易。 其時（一九四九）總堂在域埠樓業，照陳君出價賣去，得款三千元，而雲高華暫買為堂所之屋， 又得昆仲以三千元承購，將款用以支持總堂購業乃發動籌款，發行樓股債券，每股二十元， 得各埠族人熱烈支持，踴躍認股，卒能籌足巨款，依期交易，成功購置永久基業為堂址，總堂機構正式遷入辦事，雲高 華分堂亦遷來附設於總堂之內。
總 堂置業完成後，即從事改造裝修，除將左邊舖位出租外，為適應當時需求，將二三樓原有單人房改成每層六組聯房， 可住十二伙小家庭，以增加收益。 工程完竣後，於一九五一年，四月八日舉行總堂喬遷新址落成及第一次代表大會，全加各埠余族代表， 美國西部各風采堂父老，僑領俊彥，齊臨参加慶典，冠蓋雲集，極一時之盛。
一九六零年第三次代表大會，議決要清還購樓業時發行之股債券， 使樓宇為總堂營業，向族中昆仲徵借現款二萬四千元，分二十四張借據，每張一千元， 賴愛族熱音誠之昆仲支持，數天內借足款項，還清全部接股債券，成立實業保管委員會、專責樓宇事務，抽籤決定日後 還款次第，以年息六厘計，須本利一次還清。 其時樓價升值至八萬元，租金收入也隨而增多，數月後於一九六一年一月從信託部移借五千五百元，本利一齊還清七號 借款其餘借款及移借信託部之銀， 至一九七零年先後全部本利還清，尚欠卡城分堂舊樓股千五元於一九七一年十月本利還清，欠雲高華分堂借款一千元及 舊樓股五百元亦於一九七五年本利還清。 至此總堂已全無債務負擔，並為精簡堂所組織，撤銷實業保管委員會，由總堂增設樓業部管理樓宇一切工作。
一九七四年温哥華市府立法規定公用樓 宇必須裝設防火洒水系統，以策安全，蒙總堂法律顧問西人律師傾力幫助，向政 府申請領費用三萬元， 於一九七五年裝妥該項工程，八年不變賣樓業，不用還款。 又辦理該項工程時，發覺總堂以前在省府註冊所用風采堂之英文風字為 『FONG』 實際所有証件之英文風字為 『FUNG』。 依法樓宇不屬總堂管業，也得該西人律師聯同温哥華中區國會議員協助，再聘在域多利（省府所在地）之律師設法更正 註冊名字，才合法保有樓業。
一 九八四年第九屆懇親大會，以總堂名為『加拿大余風采總堂』應在中央政府註冊方合。 由法律顧問在會議席上解明註冊問題，各分堂代表同意支持，得以在中央政府辦妥註冊，成為正式合法之『加拿大余風 采總堂』。 從此余氏宗親有舒適的敘會場所，更有可觀的樓業收益，以發楊祖德，推展堂務，福利族人，贊助社會慈善公益，風采 流芳，永垂不朽。
All Yee descendants are welcome to join the Yee Fung Toy Family Association. They normally first become members of a local chapter closest to their residence, then apply to join the national organization.
The Society is constituted of 6 chapters across Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Ontario, and Montreal. Every 4 years delegates from each chapter convene to review the Constitution, discuss Society business, and elect a new Board of Directors. The Board meets every month in Vancouver to address financial, property management and other issues.
Educate the Future
The Society receives annual Scholarship Fund installments from associations such as the Five Tong Association in Hong Kong through the YFT in the USA. This money is distributed to chapters, proportional to the number of YFT of Canada members from each chapter.
Of all the Chinese societies and associations in Canada, the Yee Fung Toy (YFT) Society of Canada is one of the longest established.
The name “Fung Toy” originated with our forefathers who moved from Fujian Province to Guangdong Province. The name was given to our fifth generation ancestor: revered and founding Grandfather Chung-sheung (1000-1064). Chung-sheung received Jing (“Pacify”) as his given name but took the name On-Doh when growing up. He also used Moh-Kai as an alias. Chung-sheung was a Northern Sung Dynasty citizen. He was also a government official who performed outstanding duties during the Sung Dynasty.
Emperor Sung Yan Zōng wanted to rule his empire with wisdom so he appointed four officials: Yee Jing, Òu Yáng Siu, Cài Xiāng, Wong Sù to senior positions in his imperial court. The role of these officials was to manage his national affairs, and Yee Jing was the most prominent of the four. Because of ancestor Yee’s honorable fine reputation, all of his descendants use the name “Fung Toy” (which means Elegance) in their Society or Association Halls to commemorate him to this day.
During the heyday of the 1858 West Coast Gold Rush, the Chinese were continuously immigrating to Canada to earn a living – in other words, trying to strike it rich! Initially providing services as tailors and cobblers to the gold-rush miners, they soon started working in factories and in laundries, became cooks, and found work in the fish canneries, and the logging camps. The early Chinese Canadians were also hired as domestic servants, or operated their own farm markets. The early Chinese were often being discriminated against. However, the Chinese community always stayed close together as a family group. This togetherness would lead them all toward a common goal, to help organize Chinese life, and to provide social welfare for those in need.
In 1904 the Yee Fung Toy Society was formally established in Victoria on Vancouver Island. This organization was used as a meeting place for the Yee clansmen. The society hall was located in a wooden building on Fisgard Street. Inside this hall was a large wooden plaque with the inscription “Fung Toy Tong” (meaning Elegance Society). There were also two other plaques with Chinese verse couplets on the sides using “Fung” and “Toy” as a theme or keyword to start off each verse. These historical couplets are displayed as a memento in our Society hall in Vancouver Chinatown today.
As time passed the Yee clansmen settled all across Canada. In 1919 (Year eight of The Republic of China), the Yees formed an organization called Bai Zi Hui “Hundred Sons Club” to invest in real estate. Each share was worth $5; the wealthier ones could afford to buy multiple shares. According to the entries in the receipt book, the distribution of the Yee clansmen in Canada was as follows:
- Moose Jaw-107
- Swift Current-16
- Berwyn -11
- Wetaskiwin -9
- Prince George-7
- Medicine Hat -7
The total shares sold amounted to over $4,600 involving over 700 shareholders and non-members of the Hundred Sons Club. Out of this money collected, a building fund was set aside for the YFT Society. In the same year, the Wu’s, Cài’s and the Zhōu’s became partners and rebuilt an old building into a larger red brick building. This newer building was subdivided into three units, each with areas 20 feet wide by 100 feet in length. The YFT Society headquarter was in one of these units, very close to the Chinese Benevolent Association. The other two units were occupied by the Che-Tuck Association and Ái Lián Association.
Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada, next to the Pacific Ocean. As the main western terminus of Canada’s transcontinental highway and rail routes, Vancouver is the primary city of Western Canada, as well as one of the nation’s largest industrial centers. From 1920 to 1930, the pace of progress was extremely fast. Vancouver took over from Victoria as the main seaport for trading between Asia and the Pacific Rim countries. Many Chinese gathered and settled in the Vancouver area, giving birth to Chinatown in this unique seaport center. Many Chinese organizations bought buildings and established Vancouver as their headquarters. As many of the Yee clansmen moved elsewhere to continue their livelihoods; the YFT Society hall in Victoria received fewer visitors and its usage diminished.
In 1948 the YFT Society of Canada and tenants owed property tax to the municipal government; the city confiscated the property and put it up for auction. A local businessman, Mr. Chan was the successful bidder. He offered to sell his property to the YFT Society for $3000. The municipal government dispatched an official to inspect the building and found the walls from the second floor to the roof top were made of only wood and ordered these wooden structures be taken down and replaced with bricks to conform to the city building codes and fire protection regulations. This conversion project required thousands of dollars, and raising the necessary funds was not easy. With a newly established chapter of Yee Fung Toy Society in Vancouver, the Yee’s clansmen decided to move their YFT Society of Canada from Victoria to Vancouver. Both YFT Society of Canada and the YFT Society of Vancouver would share the same building in Vancouver. The decision was made to sell the Victoria property. This move contributed to building a solid foundation for the growth of the YFT Society’s in Canada.
Within a short period, The YFT Society executives found a property on 224-226 East Georgia Street, a building that used to be the “Kwong Man Sang” Grocery Store. Standing about 50 feet wide and three stories high, this building perfectly matched the requirements of the YFT group. Negotiations were completed to purchase this property with monthly payments. The full purchase price was $24,000.
Mr. Chan sold the building in Victoria and gave the YFT Society back their $3,000 in 1949. The temporary quarters of the YFT Society of Vancouver was also sold for $3.000. This cash was later used to support the YFT Society Headquarter for investment and fundraising purposes. Now, the YFT group decided to raise more money by selling some “building debentures” for $20 a share. With the support of many clansmen from all different cities and towns across Canada, the YFT group raised enough money to pay off the debt on time. Finally the YFT Society of Canada had a building of its own! Both the YFT Society of Canada and the YFT Society of Vancouver officially moved into this location in 1951. Two similar, yet distinct YFT societies sharing the same building.
With the YFT Society of Canada finally established, renovations started to take place in this new location. The store on the left was leased and the second and third floor single rooms were converted into six suites per floor, which can be rented out to 12 small families. This provided extra income to the Society.
After this renovation project was completed, on April 8, 1951 the first YFT Convention was held to celebrate the YFT Society of Canada’s move to this new location. Delegates from all across Canada, the YFT Grand Elders of the Western Region of the United States of America, and leaders of the various local associations, all gathered in Vancouver to celebrate this happy occasion.
The third YFT Convention was held in 1960, this time the delegates decided to buy back all the debentures that were issued, so the YFT Society of Canada would own this building and property completely. They issued 24 promissory notes each worth a $100. Within a few days, all the necessary funds were raised and the YFT Society bought back their debentures. A committee was formed to look after real estate and investments. They decided to repay this loan on a later date with annual interest rate of 6%.
The YFT property values increased to $80,000 and the rents improved. Months later, in January of 1961, the YFT Society of Canada took out a loan of $5,500 from a Trust Company to repay all the promissory notes with interest on January 7th. By 1970, the loan from the Trust Company was repaid with interest, the only outstanding debts of $1,500 was owed to the Calgary YFT chapter, and this debt was repaid with interest on October, 1971. Another debt of $1,500 was repaid with interest to the Vancouver YFT chapter in 1975. The committee who looked after these investments and real estate was eventually phased out as they were no longer needed. Property management was taken over by an officer from the YFT Society of Canada board of directors.
In 1974, the Vancouver City by-laws required that all public buildings be installed with water sprinklers for fire protection and safety. With the help of the YFT Society of Canada’s lawyer and advisor, the YFT Society borrowed $30,000 from the Municipal Government. This loan was forgivable if the YFT Society would not sell its property for 8 years. During this substantial project, the lawyer discovered that the registered name for YFT in the Provincial Government; “Fung” was incorrectly spelled as “Fong”. With the help of the lawyer and the Vancouver Centre MP, this error was corrected finally in Victoria’s Government registry. This legal paper work was necessary for the YFT Society of Canada to be properly registered, and to operate legally as a society to hold assets.
In 1984, during the ninth YFT Convention, the YFT Society of Canada in Vancouver was officially recognized as our Canadian headquarters. Therefore, the YFT Society of Canada decided to register with the Federal Government and become an official, national society. Since 1904, the YFT Society’s main objective has been to serve the Yee Family members and supporting chapter members across Canada.
—Chinese text by Jim Fung Wo Yu, translation by Martin Yee