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82 Year-Old Exiled Man Donated 10 Billion Won To `Flower Community`

82 Year-Old Exiled Man Donated 10 Billion Won To `Flower Community`

Posted July. 25, 2001 19:28,   


``I believe that to inherit the property to my children is same as giving them opium. Because I honestly made this money with my own sweat and blood, I decided to donate the money to others.``

Kang Tae-Won (82. Giheng County, Yongin City, Kyunggi), who made tens of billion-fortune through physical labor, draper business, and the operation of buses, donated the realty equivalent to 10 billion won to the Hyundo Social Welfare University in `Flower Community` in Chungwon Kun, Chungbuk. Father Oh Woong-Jin (56) said that ``this is the first time to receive such a big money.``

Mr. Kang, at his own house, handed a certified copy of the register of 1,480 square meters of land in Daechi Dong, Kangnam Ku, Seoul, and 6,973 square meters of land and the building (3 ground floors and 8 story-building), to Father Oh yesterday afternoon.

His wife Han Soon-Ja (70) and the eldest daughter Kang Young-Sook (45) were there as well. Mr. Kang, who is suffering a disease of which a lung becomes stiffen, persistently refused an interview with a reporter while gasping for air. However, with encouragement of Father Oh, Mr. Kang started to talk.

Mr. Kang, who was originally from Pyongyang, came to South Korea when Korea achieved independence, and worked as a physical laborer wandering around the nation. Mr. Kang said that ``although I made a fortune by skipping meals and redicing the sleeping time, I did not spend the money carelessly.`` With the money he made, Mr. Kang started a draper shop and then started to operate a bus company in Seoul.

Mr. Kang was a stingy father. When his five children married after college graduation, all he did was to buy them a house for each.

His belief was based on the teachings of his forebear. ``Although my father was a landowner in Pyongyang, he always said that he would not inherit anything to his children. Although I felt sorry whenever I heard that, his teaching has made who I am now in the end,`` said Kang.

Mr. Kang`s daughter Young-Sook said that ``I have never thought that I was a child of a rich family when I grew up. I wholeheartedly respect my father who returned his property to the society following his belief.``

Mr. Kang visited the convalescent home, orphanages, and social welfare facilities in search of a place where he would like to donate his property.

When Mr. Kang met Father Oh in the `flower community` earlier this year, he was impressed by Father Oh, who is informal and ordinary. Since then, Mr. Kang visited the `flower community` a couple of more times and looked around in detail.

Mr. Kang said that ``I was moved by Father Oh`s dedication for those `who are even unable to ask for food`. I was convinced that he would use the money for people in need if I donate the money here.`` Mr. Kang recently donated 14,000 pyong of farm in Pyongtaek to a church in Seoul.

Father Oh told that ``I receive his devotion with gratitude, fear and trembling. I plan to spend the money to build the Hyundo Social Welfare University Graduate School and the training center in the `flower community` in Gapyong.``

Nam Kyung-Hyun bibulus@donga.com