26 April 2015
Po Toi Island is south of Hong Kong Island with a small population. Most of the villagers subsisted on farming, fishing and the harvesting of sea-weed. Over the past few decades, the island’s population has fallen dramatically as the younger generation began to move away and seek employment in the city.
Mo’s Old House is in Chang Shek Pai. It was built on the site of an original Mo house that was built soon after the Mos came to the island from Huiyang of Guangdong province about one hundred years ago. Mo’s Old House was built in the 1930s by Mo Siu-tong who was said to be an orphan. Mo Siu-tong left the island in his teenage years and worked in the urban area for 20 years. He returned to the island in 1933 and built what is now known as Mo’s Old House, intending to establish a permanent home for retirement. However, after an attempted collusive kidnap by pirates and his maid during the Japanese Occupation (1941-45), he fled the island and left the house to an old housekeeper, never returning again. The house has been left vacant after the death of the housekeeper about fifty years ago.