"...Began a Life with a Shilling - 

         Honourable Career Of James Chung-Gon, Now 87... (1942),"

      The Examier Newspaper, Launceston,Tas  

                                  

 

 

 

    

     Main Street of Garibaldi, Tas., 1914

 

Patriarch of the Chinese community in Launceston, Mr James Chung-Gon can look back over 87 well spent years, content in the love of his devoted family and the esteem of numerous friends, some of whom he has known since their childhood years.   The story of his life since he arrived in Australia, unable to speak a word of English and with a shilling in his pocket, is one of his perseverance and achievement.

                                                 

 

Many of the younger generation may not have heard of his good work but there is none in the community more highly respected.   He has made his name synonymous with honesty, straight dealing and generous benevolence, and many have cause to thank him for a helping hand.

Mr Chung-Gon was one of the organisers of the Chinese dragon procession held in Launceston to raise money to develop the Cataract Gorge grounds.   He was also responsible for collecting from the Chinese community a substantial donation towards the operating theatre in the old Launceston General Hospital.   About three years ago he was a prime mover in having the Chinese Joss House moved from Weldborough to the Queen Victoria Museum.                                         

           

The Joss House in Weldborough, 1914

Those who have met Mr Chung-Gon are fortunate.   By his friendly manner, he makes a visitor feels impelled to return his friendliness and seek his esteem.   Born in Kwangtung province, South China, in one of the large tea growing districts, Mr Chung-Gon, as a lad, obtained work on a junk which took the tea to Hong Kong for transport to America and Australia.   In this way he heard of the gold rush in Australia and saw alluring advertisements of shipping companies seeking passengers to fill the tea ships.