洪以南 was actually the first mayor of Tamsui (from 1920 to 1924) who lived there for 14 years. The 淡水信用組合 that he had helped founded is still in business today.
Mayor Hong was an accomplished scholar, well-known for his poetry, calligraphy, and traditional painting. He was also a literature collector and the first leader of 瀛社, a poetry society in Taipei. A short biography is included in the recently published 淡水鎮志 vol 3 p 292 and reproduced here:
Hong Yi-Nan was from Manga (now WanHua), born in 1871, and relocated to Tamsui in May 1913. His great grandfather had migrated from QuanZhou to Taipei during the reign of Emperor DaoGuang (1821-50). Grandfather Ten-Yun became wealthy from the rice trade who, recognizing the extraordinary intelligence of the young Yi-Nan, had invited a famous scholar Kong Hsien-He from Quan Zhou to be his grandson's private tutor for the latter to learn literature, history, poetry, and rhapsody. In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan, Yi-Nan moved to Jing-Jiang and took the Chinese national scholastic exam to qualify for officialdom. Later, to protect family estates in Taiwan, he traveled back with his family and was appointed to a series of official posts. On Sept 25, 1914, he became the Director of Tamsui District, and between 1920-24, Tamsui's first Mayor. Yi-Nan was well-known for his poetry, calligraphy, and traditional painting (of orchids and bamboo). He was also an avid literary collector, owner of a noted private library within his residence 達觀樓, and the first leader of 瀛社, a poetry society in Taipei. Yi-Nan's son Chang-Gun was the first MD ophthalmologist of Taiwan. Yi-Nan passed away on May 14, 1927 from an illness. Even though he had resided in Tamsui for only 14 years, because of his vast network of friends and unbridled generosity, he not only had administered Tamsui but had also participated in the establishment of Tamsui Cooperative, leaving behind a favorable imprint in Tamsui's modern history. His residence 達觀樓 also permits younger generations to look back and remember the graceful past of poet gatherings, complete with poetry composing, reading, and wine-sipping, at that time.
The Hong Family has kept a collection of vintage photos, including the art work done by Hong Yi-Nan, here:
A quick example is the ballad composed by Hong Yi-Nan (exhibition in 北投文物館, est 1984):
|Courtesy of Katy Biggs, great granddaughter of Hong Yi-Nan|