Now you can read his book.
Read all about Nick's book here.
The Chinese lived next to Pentridge past the convict-built bridge in Gaffney Street. They grew vegetables and lived in a building which would not be permitted nowadays. They fertilised their vegetables with human and animal excrement. Their English was mangled but the vegetables were brilliant. The old man also sold dim sims, squatting on the footpath outside Drum’s Hotel. He had some sort of steaming device. I have never tasted a better dim sim since.’ (Watt family member, Fine Crotchet and Common Sense)
Where the baths are, there used to be Chinese who grew their own vegetables. We used to buy most of our vegetables from them. We hardly had to go to Sydney Road at all.’ (We thought we had nothing to say: Stories from Newlands and its people, 1990)
I lived near Coburg Lake and we used to swim there and stole carrots from the Chinese gardens at the back of Coburg Lake until we saw the pan man tip the pans on the gardens. Never ate carrots for a long time. (80 year old, Facebook)
Where the swimming pool is now, the Chinamen owned it. They grew pumpkins and all kinds of vegetables. The larrikins would get hold of the pumpkins and throw then down Murray Road. I don’t know what happened to them, the little devils.’ (Watt family member, Fine Crotchet and Common Sense)
This is an ongoing project. It began when I recorded and researched the men buried in the Chinese Section of Coburg Cemetery. More than two hundred men were buried there between 1908 and 1922. Mostly they were middle-aged men from the impoverished Canton region of southern China, who arrived in Australia before the overthrow of the last Chinese emperor and before Sun Yat-Sen declared China a republic in January 1912.
From there my interest grew and although I've moved on to other projects unrelated to either the Chinese or Moreland history, I'm still interested in pursuing the story of the Chinese in the Moreland area.
If you have a story you can contribute or a resource you can recommend, please let me know.
Newspaper seller known as 'The General', Blyth Street. Lantern Slide no. 400. Courtesy Moreland Libraries.
It's a great image, isn't it?
I wonder how many of you noticed the bluestone pavers at the Blyth Street and Sydney Road intersection. Or the bluestone gutters running down the east side of Sydney Road (and presumably on the other side of the road, too). Part of our area's iconic bluestone heritage.My eye was drawn, too, to the young man boarding the cable tram. He's wearing a boater, so it's likely to be summer, or at least warmer weather. Another vote for it being summer is that the boys on the left looking at the photographer are shading their eyes from the sun.