Class of 2022
Wei Wing Lock

Biography

Born in Hong Kong, Wei Wing Lock (1892-1935) was an engineering student at the University of Hong Kong and graduated in 1916 having won the King Edward VII Scholarship for Engineering that year before matriculating at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Electrical Engineering in 1918. His father was Sir Boshan Wei, long-time head compradore of the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London and China, who was knighted after his retirement from the Legislative Council in 1919.

During his stint at MIT, he captained the men’s team to a 1st place finish at the New England Intercollegiate Lawn Tennis Association Championship during the 1917-18 season that included a famous victory over mighty Harvard University. He later studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and it was during this time in 1920 that he became the first Chinese player to compete at Wimbledon, where he reached the 2nd round in men’s singles.

He represented China in the Far Eastern Games (predecessor to Asian Games) in Manila in 1913, Shanghai in 1915 and 1921, and Osaka in 1923. In 1922 and 1923, he paired up with Ng Sze Kwong to win back-to-back men’s doubles titles at the Hong Kong National Grasscourt Championships.

In 1924, Wei Wing Lock was appointed by the Far Eastern Games National Selection Committee as captain to both China’s Olympic Lawn Tennis and Davis Cup teams in which he had full discretion to roster selection. He picked overseas Chinese nationals Khoo Hooi-Hye from Penang, and the Ng brothers from Hong Kong, Ng Sze Kwong and his half brother Ng Sze Cheung, for the Paris Games in 1924. The players signed in for both singles and doubles, and the official draws were made. The players then proceeded to attend the opening ceremony on July 5, but ended up not playing and were recorded as a forfait general, according to the Official Report of the 1924 Olympic Games.

Despite the century old mystery surrounding the eleventh-hour pullout, Wei Wing Lock captained China in its Davis Cup debut three weeks later against Australia at the Crescent Athletic Club in Brooklyn, New York, and played both singles and doubles (w/ Paul Kong). Australia was led by former two-time Wimbledon champion Gerald Patterson, who was listed by A. Wallis Myers as the world No. 1 for 1919. He was also Manager of the Chinese Davis Cup team in 1928 when it competed in its second-ever tie against Bill Tilden’s USA at the Rockhill T. Club in Kansas City.

Wei worked as a banker and eventually settled in America, where he became an author on China-related content for some of the day’s leading English language publications, such as Reader’s Digest. He died in New York in 1935 at age 43.