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Update 23rd January 2009:

Announcement

It is with sadness we share with you this news:

Carol J Scott, one of the Founder Directors of our Organisation passed away peacefully on Monday January 19th, 2009.  She was 56.  She is survived by her loving husband Doug, two devoted children Alex and Irene, her two sisters Margaret Evans and Julie Rowland. In addition she will be missed by many members of her large extended families, friends and fellow Chinese heritage researchers in Australia and overseas locations. 

In keeping with her selfless character, she was most cheerful to the end and continued working with us on a number of Chinese heritage projects. 

Her private funeral at the Creswick Cemetery, Victoria, Australia, will be on 27th January 2009, to be followed by a Memorial Gathering in Melbourne, see below for details.

We note with a smile that Creswick is where our group continues to be very active in our Social History research including our work on the “Cultural Interpretation of the Creswick Cemetery, Chinese Section” -- Click here to view a selection of our Creswick work.

We are very sad with Carol’s departure from this life, but such is the cycle of life.  We are already missing our dear friend, but in the best tradition of black humour we agreed that she has gone ahead of us to update the Victoria 2009 Birth Death Marriages Index and to set up a Chapter of our Research Group in the Great Big Chinese Heritage Research Organisation in the Sky.  

 We know she will smile as we say farewell to her, of all places, at the Creswick Cemetery.

 

Founder Directors
Chinese Heritage Interest Network
Melbourne, Australia
22nd January 2009

Memorial Gathering to celebrate Carol J Scott's Life

Please join us for a Celebration of the life of Carol Scott

Following her burial in Creswick (family only), the Memorial gathering will be held at:

Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne, Australia
This Tuesday, January 27th 2009

The event will run from 3pm  - 6pm
Speeches at 4pm

The family requests no gifts of flowers, but rather a donation to charity in Carol’s honour.

Parking:
All day parking is available in the car park opposite the site on St Heliers St for $4.00. There is also a limited amount of 15 minute parking spaces on the street.

Please pass this message on to anyone we may have missed. All are welcome.

Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Melway reference: 44 G5
Website:
www.abbotsfordconvent.com.au/
Visitor Info – Including public transport tips:
 
http://www.abbotsfordconvent.com.au/visitors

 

 

Update 25th August 2007: Addressing the Creswick Historical Society & Creswick Museum Management

Key points visit Summary as follows.  Click here to view a selection of our Creswick work.

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 Our organisation represented by Mun Chin, Ivy Chin and Carol Scott visited Creswick August 25th 2007 to present the community with a draft copy of our in-progress study and interpretation of Creswick’s surviving headstones.


 

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The visit was in continuing recognition of the enthusiastic support for their work shown by the Creswick community and included a report on the progress of work on Creswick-related projects since our major Chinese Heritage event at Creswick, in November 2006.

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We announced our intention to publish a series of books relating to the Chinese of Creswick, with the first volume to be based on the headstones; a plea was also made for any additional information which might exist – to make the study as complete and valuable as possible. 

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While the theme may sound morbid, the stories were laced with humour and drew heavily on our organisation's knowledge of Chinese death rites, burial customs and commemoration of the departed.

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We described the story of the Creswick Chinese as told through the headstones – revealing details of the origins of individuals and their status in life. While only 22 headstones have survived in full or partial form, they provide a wealth of information.

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We then described the status of the investigations into the death and burial of Creswick Chinese, indicating that over 450 Chinese deaths had been identified to date  and all Chinese inquests for Creswick had been transcribed for further study.  We planned to publish the analysis of the inquests and inquiries into Creswick’s Chinese deaths. Help is required however to locate a small number of Chinese who died in Creswick but whose burial location is currently unknown. Any help in finding these strays would be greatly appreciated.

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We indicated that work had also commenced to analyse the CHIN databases and extract the personal details of all those identified as living in the Chinese camps in and around Creswick – with a view to publishing a directory based on occupation.  So far over 2500 Chinese names had been extracted from public records for Creswick and this number was expected to grow as the data being extracted from Inquests etc, was added to this collection.

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We further described the ongoing work investigating the Chinese families of Creswick, but in keeping with the theme of the Chinese dead of Creswick we closed by referring our investigations into the exhumation of Chinese remains from the Victorian goldfields, with some comments on the exhumation of Chinese from the Creswick Cemetery.
 

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 Ending on a lighter note, and in recognition of the approaching Mid Autumn  or Moon Cake festival we shared the story of the festival and provided an opportunity for all to taste a variety of moon-cakes during afternoon tea.

The highly successful meeting stimulated further discussions and the possibility of contribution of work by our group to the Creswick community.

Update 21st May 2007: Field Visit to Ararat

Our organisation just returned from a field trip to Ararat, where we had a very productive time at the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, sharing with Heather Ahpee, the Co-ordinator of the Centre, the work of our organisation, as well as exploring possible areas of research and taking part in activities to celebrate the founding of Ararat, 150 years ago.   We encourage you view the page on Heritage Activities, "Ararat".   See also the "Victoria Chinese Index" page {click on the box left side of this page} and select the page "Ararat", where we have complied a Register of Chinese Patients - Ararat Asylum 1867-1884.   Note of course that Ararat Asylum is more commonly referred to as The J Ward, "a museum that explains the early history of the goldfield times and later, the incarceration of the criminally insane".   We recommend you have a look at the "J Ward" and the Web site, to understand an age gone by.

Update 6th March 2007: Building a Home Page for the Gin Family Association of San Francisco

In recent years, our organisation has been involved in a number of very satisfying projects.  These Projects included consultation on the incremental improvement of museums depicting the Life and Times of the Chinese Pioneers and also directly helping Regional Australian communities, with pride in their connections with the Chinese Pioneers, to portray the connections in a manner befitting the proud history.  Our work continues and our reputation spreads beyond the shores of Australia.  Our latest contribution is to the Gin Family Association of San Francisco.
 
We are pleased to advised that the Gin Family Association Official web site has been launched, on the 15th Day of the Chinese New Year, corresponding to the 4th March 2007. The San Francisco Gin Sun Hall Benevolent Association otherwise referred to as the Gin Family Association, has been in existence in Chinatown for more than 60 years -- years of great service to the Gin Clan Family Members.  The President of the Association, Dr. Hal Gin, launched the Web Site at the Quarterly Association Meeting.  The web site was very much welcome and appreciated by the the Gin Family Members.  Work on this site continues, as the images and stories contained in the Site stimulate feedback and contributions from Family Members at home and across the seas.

The address of the Home Page is http://ginsunhall.org/   Worth a visit, for Social Historians and Family Line researchers alike.

We thank the Gin Sun Hall Benevolent Association for the opportunity and fellowship in this rewarding and continuing project.

Update: 14th January 2007: Field Trip to Beechworth

Into the New Year, height of a very dry summer and our organisation is already deep into our research programme.  The Executive Management Team started the year with a tour of the Victoria Heritage Gold Pioneer Trail.   This time it was to the Ovens Goldfield in north east Victoria, that is, the general direction of Beechworth, Bright, Buckland and more, where the Chinese pioneers worked their gold mining claims in the second half of the 1800s.   In Beechworth we had the good fortune of meeting fellow enthusiasts Kathryn at the Beechworth Chinese Cultural Centre, housed at a historical building at Ford Street, Beechworth.   Visit to Beechworth would not be complete if we did not visit the Beechworth Chinese Cemetery, and that we did.  The Burning Tower was as impressive as what we have seen in various books and web sites.

And for good measure, we included Shepparton, where we crossed The Oven River using The Ah Wong Bridge and inspected the Chinaman's Garden not far from the bridge.

In time we will share some photos with you.

Update: Edward Yates of Tasmania

Meanwhile, enjoy an excellent article written by Carol Scott, on Edward Yates, one of the pioneers of Tasmania, a peaceful island south of mainland Australia, where the Chinese pioneers made a significant contribution in tin mining, and later in business.

Update: 27th December 2006: Major Updates to Indexes

We have just updated some of the on-line indexes relating to the Colonial Chinese Population of Victoria, Australia (1848 to 1912).  These indexes were build by our organisations over a period of time.  The list is not exhaustive, and we will continue add more as we continue our research.  (To get to the relevant page, follow the above hyperlink, or this line "Colonial Chinese Population Indexes ..."

bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Ballarat Asylum 1893-1907
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Ballarat Asylum 1877-1884
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Collingwood 1864-1871
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Beechworth Asylum 1867-1884
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Yarra Bend Asylum 1848-1912
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Ararat Asylum 1867-1884
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Kew 1871 -1884
bulletRegister of Chinese Patients - Sunbury Asylum 1879-1912
bulletIndex of Chinese Exhumation Requests
bulletIndex of Male Prisoners with Chinese Surnames
bulletIndex of Female Prisoners with Chinese Surnames
bulletChinese Deaths in Melbourne Hospital. The Argus 1868-1880

Of special note: we have included an Index on "Exhumation Requests".  

The rituals associated with death and funerals are of significant importance in Chinese culture. (See also Linda Sun Crowder's article on "Mortuary Practices in San Francisco Chinatown")  Intimately linked with the practice of ancestor worship, and reflecting the central importance of family, the rituals associated with death ensure that the spirits of the departed are content and thus more likely to reward the family with good fortune over coming generations. Very few of the Chinese who came to the Australian colonies had any intention of remaining, even in the event of an untimely death. Friends, families, clan and district associations worked together to ensure those who had the means and the desire could have their remains repatriated to China after death and ultimately be restored to their families.

The CHIN index of Chinese Exhumations in Victoria is a work in progress, and is compiled from PROV VPRS 266 - Inward Registered Correspondence of the Attorney General. The current version of the  index lists 58 Chinese exhumations over the period January 1871  to September 1875 and provides the details of each exhumation request as they appear in the original correspondence. This index is intended to form a companion piece to larger index of Victoria Exhumations, both Chinese and non-Chinese, for the period January 1873- September 1903 compiled by Carol Holsworth from PROV VPRS 252 - The Register of Inward Correspondence.

The combination of both indexes will represent an invaluable resource for researches interested in pursuing the social history of the Chinese in the Victorian goldfields

Update: 28th November 2006: A Heritage Event at Creswick

Our Creswick Chinese Heritage Event held on Saturday 25th November 2006 went very well.    More will be reported later, but meanwhile we share with you a summary of a very enjoyable day.

The event was divided into 4 Sessions:

bulletExploring the Chinese Cemetery (there are four Gins/Chins headstones in this cemetery)
bulletCreswick Chinatown & the Chinese community 1850 to 1910 (see updated paper on this)
bulletBush exploration, especially relating to Chinese gold mining locations, lead by David Henderson, a Creswick local historian.
bulletChinese Heritage Dinner, as designed by our organisation.  By popular request, we have included the recipes here.

In time we will upload photos to our CHIN Home Page.     

The participants enjoyed themselves very much: they were exposed to some interesting tastes, which we dare say, were entire new and foreign to them: Watermelon punch, Jook, salted egg, 1000 year old egg, Chinese pickles, fermented soya cheese, Chinese style herbal soup, eight treasure rice pudding with home-grown loquat syrup, Peking duck, pork ribs, steamed trout, drunken chicken in 54 degree proof Chinese Rose Wine.  Then there were the more traditional cuisine: won ton, spring roll, beef and black bean sauce, fried rice, egg roll.

In addition to food, we decorated the place up, complete with dragon, Chinese lanterns in the garden and red buntings along the footpath leading to the house. Inside, we provided Chinese Wedding setting with the traditional man's gold and red jacket top, woman's red and gold cheong sam, the three-layered wedding basket and various other items left over from Paul & Michelle's wedding.   And through the course of the dinner, we explained to the participants the finer points about Chinese traditional food, Chinese cultures, Creswick Chinese pioneers -- especially the more colourful characters, such as the Chicken thief.

 The evening concluded with a presentation of a choice of gifts of home made fruit cakes or marmalade.  Ivy and Carol were presented with beautiful floral arrangement and Mun was presented with two magnificent wood-turned vase and bowl.

 We enjoyed ourselves, even though we were extremely busy.  Just three of us managing the entire event, and delivering the dinner.   We were made very welcome and invited back to Creswick anytime.

In the morning while we were packing, the treasurer of the Creswick Museum phoned to open up the Museum specially for 3 of us and gave us a personal escorted tour. We felt very honoured and very VIP.

 More updates later.

Update: October 2006: Planning Our Work Programme

Since the last CHIN Web Site update in October 2006, in this Southern Hemisphere Spring Update, we have the following items to add:

bullet Work is continuing to enrich the existing social history database for the Creswick Chinese community. Work on indexing the relevant portions of the E.J.Semmens collection is almost complete, as is the transcription of the inquests of all Creswick Chinese deaths. The result is the creation of several full text data bases indexing Chinese events, for example all Chinese references in the Creswick Advertiser over the period 1856-1880. The master data base now contains the in-context names of an estimated 2500 Chinese who lived, worked or passed through the Creswick area.
 
bullet Nov 25th 2006 our organisation will hold a workshop, followed by a Chinese meal - for the Creswick Museum Association and Creswick Historical Association. This is a "thank you" for their on going support and also keep our promise of sharing with their community the highlights of our research. The theme for the dinner is "heritage food" with dishes offered based on our findings with regard to the life of the Creswick Chinese.
 
bullet Approval has been given by our organisation's Executive Committee to scope a new project for the 2006/2007 work program. It is proposed to "mine" the growing data collection for a study of Chinese Interpreters, with particular reference to the influence of Charles Powell Hodges.
 
bullet Approval has been given by our organisation's Executive Committee for an informal memorandum of understanding between CHIN and the GIN Sun Hall Association of San Francisco. CHIN representatives are working with the relevant Association committees to establish an on-line presence for the Association. This activity was foreshadowed at the 2005 conference in Bendigo and is directed toward the capture and preservation of key clan cultural and intellectual capital with a distribution footprint which matches the GIN clan diaspora (i.e. global availability). It is hoped this will form a useful adjunct to  the current rebuilding of the clan's Gin Sun Hall Ancestral Hall in Kaiping, China.
 

Update: April 2006: On the dry fish industry at Port Albert

bullet"The Langtip Story" by Ray Langtip, a grandson of Chin Lang Tip: a tribute to a well regarded and resourceful Tarraville pioneer.
bullet"The Chinese Involvement in Victoria's Colonial Fishing Industry" by Alister Bowen.  This is a story about the resourceful pioneers in Port Albert, who dried fish and possibly other local sea food, to be transported to other parts of the Gold Fields.
bulletA taste of the Sea: Cuisine based on salt fish, dried oysters, dried shrimps and other dried sea food.
bulletMemory of Harry Fay by Lawrie Burgess: In this reminiscing session, Lawrie Burgess looks back at a few school friends of the early 1940s, in particular his good Chinese friend, Harry Fay. Lawrie paints a cameo of Harry’s traditional Chinese grandfather, who owned the Hong Yuen grocery store in Inverall, New South Wales.
bulletDiaspora in Motion: The Surname "Chin", "Gin", "Zhen" -- its origin and beyond.

enjoy ...