Mr. Robert Y.T. Chen @


July 22nd, 1905  -  August 8th, 2002

Mr. Robert Chen was born in Gu Chi Tin in Yangchow, China, on 22nd July 1905.

Robert received his education in Yangchow and later studied in the business school of Shanghai Dong Nam University.

When he was 16 years old, and after his father closed his grocery store business, he left his home town and went to Shanghai looking for work.

In Shanghai, he obtained employment as a shipping trainee.  For over 70 years, Robert devoted his efforts to the shipping business.  At 24 years old he become manager of Shanghai Hsin Chun Steamship Company.  At the same time, he established Taiping Steamship Company with a few good friends and became a small owner.  At the age of 28, he was appointed secretary of Chung Hsing Coal Mining Co & Later became Director and General Manager of Chung Hsing Steamship Company in Shanghai.

During the World War II period, Robert estalished Chung Tung Maritime Company together with late Mr. C. Y. Tung.  At the end of the Japanese War in 1946, he, together with late Mr. C. Y. Tung, established China Fu Hsing Maritine Comapany.

In 1949, he came to Hong Kong with his family and had to start all over again.

In 1952, he founded Wah Kwong Shipping Company together with late Mr. T. Y. Chao.  In 1967, with some of his good shipping friends, he founded Unique Shipping Agencies Ltd.  And in 1976, with his good friend Mr. Richard Hsin, he estalished Grand Seatrade Shipping Agencies Limited.

Robert always worked hard to further the cause of the Chinese maritime business.  When he was in Shanghai, he was a member of the Executive committee of China  Steamship Owners Association as well as a member of the Executive Committee of Federation of Shanghai Shipping Business.

In Hong Kong, Robert was respectively Vice-Chairman, and Honorary Treasurer of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, and Chairman of the Association's Seaman's Training Committee.  He was the Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipping Industry Institute and was instrumental in the donation of navigation equipment to the Taiwan Maritine College in Keelung, which supplied badly needed seafarers for Hong Kong at that time.

In 1985 he participated in the establishment of Hong Kong Institute of Seatransport and was our Honorary Chairman.

Robert devoted all his time and effort to further the cause of shipping.  In his later years, when his health was falling, he still went to the office every morning and continued his interest in the shipping world.

Robert was always keen to maintain good health.  He practiced Tai Chi every morning and evening for over 50 years.

Robert had many friends in the shipping community.  Robert was well respected in the shipping circles of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Robert was very keen to help others.  Since 1991 he returned many times to his home town, Yangchow.  There the family donated funds for the building of schools as well as establishing the Grand Seatrade Education Foundation to assist badly needed teachers and students for his home town.  In addition, he regularly donated to charity and religious organizations.

 He had always paid attention to his children's education and felt that only through hard work and discipline could one succeed.

Robert left us peacefully.  He is remembered as one of the grand old men of shipping.