By

Gill Oxley

IDENTIFYING TEMPLE DONORS – “Cheung Ah Tze” 張阿四 Thomas See

By Juanita Kwok and Gill Oxley Amongst the temple artefacts Our Chinese Past (OCP) researched in the Temples project, is a pair of plaques in the collection of the Inverell Pioneer Village Museum, dubbed on the OCP website the “Names Plaque dated 1866” and “Donation Plaque dated 1866.” [1] Our Chinese Past member Paul Macgregor identified these plaques as having been made for a temple that opened in Rocky River in 1866. The names plaque lists the names of two firms and 153 people that were members of the “Yeung Fook Tong” association.[2] These members are given to have collectively donated one or more entrance adornments and door-like screens to the temple, including the Yeung Fook Tong Entrance Adornment.[3] So far only a handful of persons named on the names plaque have been identified. Now, thanks to family history research by Joanne Real and translations by Ely Finch, it seems likely another person has been identified – “Cheung Ah Tze”...
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The four sons of Cheng Sam Bow and Mrs Minnie Bow of Rocky River

Sam Bow’s store at Rocky River. Image courtesy of Janice Wilton, Heritage Futures Database project supported by the Heritage Futures Research Centre, University of New England, Armidale, 2009. Leslie Alan Bow (1903 – 1983) Leslie Alan Bow was born in Uralla in 1903. His parents’ names at the time of his birth appear in the New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages online index as Sam and Minnie Bow.[1] Leslie was the eldest of five boys born to Sam and Minnie, of whom only four survived to adulthood. He married Queensland-born Ching Choy Lan, then known as “Jessie” Ching Sum, at Uralla in 1929, a year after the death of his mother, Minnie in 1928.[2], [3] Choy Lan Bow née Ching then appears to have adopted this westernised first name, “Jessie”, for most of her adult life, reverting to her Chinese given name only at the time of her death in 1999. Accordingly, she will be referred to throughout as...
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Wing Hing Long Museum

by Gill Oxley The stories of Tingha’s Chinese heritage and of the great tin boom from the 1870s to the early 1930s are encapsulated within Wing Hing Long Museum located at 10 Ruby Street Tingha. Situated on land purchased in 1881 by Ah Lin, a storekeeper from Inverell, the Wing Hing Long store was built by Chen Quin Jack in or about 1883. As a general store, it served the town of Tingha and the surrounding tin mining communities for more than a century. The business changed hands through a succession of Chinese Australian owners, from Ah Lin in the early 1880s until its acquisition by Guyra Shire Council in 1988 for community management as a store museum. In 1918 herbalist Jack Joe (J.J.) Lowe, became the fifth successive Chinese Australian owner of the property. J.J. Lowe owned and managed the store until 1939 when it was transferred to his eldest son, Edgar Lowe. In 1951 J.J. Lowe’s daughter, Mavis...
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Emmaville Mining Museum

by Gill Oxley Emmaville Mining Museum is located at 86 Moore Street Emmaville, some 40 kilometres north northwest of Glen Innes. The township of Emmaville was initially known as “Vegetable Creek” due to the large number of market gardens established on the creek flats to provide fresh food for the mining population of the area during the first tin boom. Many of the tin miners were Chinese, as were many of the market gardeners. The museum opened on June 26, 1999 and, although auspiced by Glen Innes Severn Council, is entirely volunteer managed and operated. It occupies the premises of the former Foley’s General Store, but was housed for a time in the premises of the Curnow family bakery which served the township for many decades until its closure in 1969. Today the museum houses not only a world class collection of beautiful local and international mineral specimens, but also showcases records, photographs and artefacts relating to the area’s rich...
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Emmaville was once known as “Vegetable Creek”

Emmaville was once known by the name “Vegetable Creek” because of the large number of Chinese market gardens that were established there to provide fresh food for the mining population
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Introducing Our Chinese Past member – Gill Oxley

In 2015 I was searching for a member of my own family who had gone missing from Nundle 1868. Her name was Catherine Hibbet. She was 15 years old when she vanished.
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