Online libiary early Chinese people picture

1383889 592888457440170 1008323031 n 原始大小 300x236  Online libiary early Chinese people picture It is challenge to find any useful references about the early Chinese people in Tasmania, even in the state library. But luckily we found some good reference from the online libiary, it would be good to share with everyone. So, let's contin…tue the history discovery:
The principal, and the only general season leisure and rejoicing in China was the New Year, and under the old empire, it was strictly observed.    It began on the 12th day of the new moon nearest to the point when the sun was within fifteen degrees of Aquarius.   On the January or February eve, expectant Chinese awaited mid-night when the fire-works would begin.   From then till dawn people were engaged in performing sacred rites and in honouring the solemnities of the New Year.   All debts were settled and presents were exchanged.   The holiday-making normally continued for three days.
The year 1883 saw preparations for the most brilliant of New Year festivities to be held at Weldborough.   The Chinese buyers went around the farms down to Pyengana  to get their fat pigs for roasting.   To bring them home they used to carry grain and drop it on the road for the pigs to follow them back to Weldborough.   They were killed and roasted whole in ovens, built with stone in the ground along with all kinds of food and a great feast was held and hundreds gathered for the celebrations.
( Reports of the Chinese Festival are found in the Launceston's Newspapers: The Launceston Advertiser,19th February 1891, page 3,     Carnival Advertisement The Tasmanian Mail, 21stFebruary 1891, page 32 )
The Joss House (temple of worship) wall was lit with lamps and in the surrounding area large boxes were strung on poles.   As these were set afire, out fell brightly coloured fire-works, then down swung Chinese lanterns and beautiful spinning Chinese dolls.   Food and feasting abounded, and on the following day gifts and food were put on the altar in the Weldborough cemetery and jossed for all the Chinese departed relatives.   The Joss House became a rare artifact of the Chinese in Tasmania. (now in the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston)
From 1887 the population gradually declined with departures to China now well in excess of arrivals.   Old age was also having a marked affect, as many of the last Chinese in the North East were ageing miners, too old or infirm to turn their labour to sufficient profit to enable their return to China.   It was also at this time that interest began in Australian Federation.   Tasmania's embrace of Federation worked to break down the strong isolationist tendencies within the colony.   This became a most important reason for Tasmania's eventual introduction of legislation restricting Chinese immigration in 1887.
The Chinese community in Launceston, although small – 39 in 1890 -, produced some of the city's great early entrepreneurs and developers (Henry Thom Sing, James Ah Catt, Chin Kit and James Chung-Gon).
Not only the Chinese enjoyed the Chinese New Year but also many Europeans living in the area of Launceston.   In 1891 a reporter from the 'Daily Telgraph', accompanied by a bank manager, a doctor and 200 Europeans, "witnessed the Chinese populations celebrate their New Year in Canton Town".  The Chinese Carnival was truely multicultural affair, with Scottish pipes and dancers, Irish and Welsh concert and a variety of side shows, including "Big Ben" a Queensland's alligator!
The Chinese who stayed in Tasmania established themselves as market gardners or merchants.   The population moved from the tin fields to the outskirsts of townships and the rich agricultural areas.   By 1921, Hobart had become the largest centre of the Chinese who set up market gardens in the rich Derwnt River Flats in Glenorchy and Moonah.
(The above was taken from "The Tamanian's Chinese Heritage" by  Helen Vivian ,"Chinese in the North East" by Sue Walden and the "Chinese in the North East" by Suzanne Miller.)
The descendant families which had been friends from the time of the early settlers are still in someway known to each other and their whereabouts,  more or less, even right up to this day…like the Moys, Kaws, Lee Fooks and Chung-Gons and the new discovery of  Chin Kit!….2004!
Thanks for James Chung-Gon's article. Also thanks for the picture from China-Australia historical image centre.
Note: The picture is the Members of the China Family 1903

—  Salamanca Square




1 comment

  1. Jayne February 25, 2016 3:03 am 

    The photo you have used is actually of the Maa Mon Chin Family. Maa Mon Chin was the only Mandarin living in Weldborough and was recognised as the leader of the Chinese Community in the area of that time.


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