Famous Armenians in China

Professor Hovhannes Ghazarian


Professor Hovhannes Ghazarian, an Armenian born and educated in Macau, and the first to translate the Holy Bible into Chinese in 1822 had tremendously influenced China. According to the Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia, Hovhannes Ghazarian (also known as Johannes Lassar), translated the Gospel by St. Matthew in 1807. Later on, he traveled to Serampore (in current West Bengal, India) to continue working on the Bible. The New Testament was published in 1813, and the whole Bible was issued in 1822 by the liberality of the British and Foreign Bible Society.These editions are now recognized as the first known complete print version of the Scriptures in Chinese.

Sir Paul Catchick Chater


Sir Paul Catchick Chater, undoubtedly one of the most important individuals in the history of Hong Kong, was born to Armenian parents in India in 1846. Orphaned at the age of eight, Chater received his education in Calcutta before arriving in Hong Kong in 1864. He became one of the most successful businessmen in the history of Hong Kong and is regarded for founding Hong Kong Land in 1889, that remains one of the largest and most prestigious companies of Hong Kong. In 1896, Chater was appointed to the Executive Council of Hong Kong and served there until his death in 1926. He was knighted in 1902. In 1904, he single-handedly financed the construction of St. Andrew’s Church in Kowloon that is still in use and bears a plaque to his honor.

One of Hong Kong’s main streets Chater Road and a prestigious office building Chater House, are named after him. Chater House also holds a bust and a commemorative plate to his honor that mentions his Armenian past. Chater laid the foundation of the Armenian community in Hong Kong, reaching 100 today and rapidly growing, mainly due to young professionals – Armenians from all around the world, who come here inspired by the sense of adventure and the promising opportunities, just like Chater did more than a century ago.

Below is the documentary film about Sir Paul Catchick Chater and his influence on Hong Kong!