Fan Sin Temple (also known as Fan Sin Kung or Fan Sin Miu) in Sheung Wun Yiu, Tai Po is today (Thursday) gazetted a historical building under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
Fan Sin Temple is the main temple in the villages of the Sheung Wun Yiu and Ha Wun Yiu and is the only sample of this kind exists in Hong Kong. The construction date of the temple is uncertain. A wooden plaque hanging at the main hall of the temple was carved in the geng-xu year of the Qianlong reign of Qing dynasty indicating that the temple has a history of probably over 200 years. It is commonly believed that Fan Sin Temple was build by the Ma clan to worship Fan Tai Sin Sze, the patron saint of potters.
According to the villagers, Fan Tai Sin Sze refers to three brothers Fan Yat-long, Fan Yi-long and Fan San-long. Legends told that they were the first to use clay to make earthen bowls which later replaced wooden bowls in daily use. As most of the villagers were engaged in the pottery industry, the warship of Fan Tai Sin Sze was very popular in the past.
Fan Sin Temple is a rammed earth two-hall structure with geometric roof ridges. The right side-rooms of the temple were once used as office and resting place for the principal and teachers of Wun Yiu Public School, which was located to the right of the temple, from 1970s until the closure of the school in the 1990s. The left-side room of the entrance hall and the courtyard is used as a kitchen. The left side-room of the main hall houses the office of the Ma Sai On Memorial Sports Association which commemorated Ma Sai-on, the prominent 20th generation member of the Ma clan, since 1982.
Its architecture is simple and functional, with the exception of fine decorations at the entrance. However, after a serious fire in mid 1970s, many historic relics were destroyed. The calligraphy and paintings above the entrance were repainted during the renovation in 1976 after the fire. Windows with iron frameworks were also installed on four sides of the temple after World War II.
There is still a wooden plaque of 1970 and four commemorative stone plaques recording the restorations in 1897, 1925, 1964 and 1976 respectively. The full restoration of the temple will be carried out soon.
End/Thursday, December 30, 1999