Our China Connection... extracted from

'The Examiner'  

Click on image to enlarge

The Chung-Gon family is familiar name to Launcestonians.

Together with fellow countrymen such as Ah Caw,Sam Yick, Wah Kee, Ah Youey and Ah Woon, James Chung-Gon was one of a small number of Chinese merchants active in the city early this century.

James Chung-Gon was born in South China in 1855 and came to Australia as a young lad after hearing about the gold rush.

In Tasmania, Chung-Gon first worked in a tin mine near Branxholm, then in a market garden near the goldfields at Leroy. 

From Leroy he moved into Launceston.   In 1885 he returned to China where he married Mei Ying Lee, known in Tasmania as Mary. 


Upon his return to Tasmania, Chung-Gon was again briefly involved in tin mining before establishing one of the first commercial orchards in Northern Tasmanaia at Turners Marsh. It was here that most of the 11 children Chung-Gon children were born.


The outbreak of World War I prevented the family from returning to China where they planned for their children to be educated.   The family instead remained in Launceston where they became widely known and respected for their long involvement in business and civic affairs.


Mary Chung-Gon died in Launceston in 1918.    James Chung-Gon died in Launceston in 1952, aged 97 years.



          Mother and Son: Mary Chung-Gon and son Edward (Teddy) c.1908.


                 Click on image to enlarge

(extracted from "The Examiner" 14th May,1997.  Title - 'Our China Connection - Immigrants add richness to Launceston culture' - Rhonda Hamilton, community History Branch,QVMAG).    Photos - from private collections.