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Teaching Heritage

Board of Studies NSW

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King Fong

Public Relations Consultant, Chinatown Promotions and Public Relations

Yes since Chinese settlement in Sydney, which we call the ‘New Gold Mountains’ in the 1850s, 60s [and] 70s, it [Yiu Ming Temple] was very important for the newly arrived, who were then referred to as ‘sojourners’ because the Chinese migrants weren’t meant to stay, they were here for business reasons and for employment, they hoped to save some money, so with the building of the Yiu Ming Temple in Alexandria, it was very important in those days for the Gouyiu clan, where they felt that they needed a place of worship as well as a place where they can socialise with the friends and relatives from their clan. Now because of the existence of the Yiu Ming Temple, and a similar temple in Glebe, that’s where most of the Chinese community in Sydney congregated on their festive occasions and the place of worship, so it was a very important link for our Chinese community.
Since the increase of the Chinese population from all around Australia, or from all around south-east Asia into Australia, the temple plays an important role, besides the culture and the tradition of having the temple, it also allows our elders to command more respect for the aged, so that’s where we, the younger generation, see our elders present a good example by going to the Yiu Ming Temple, praying to the gods and also seeking good health and business for our own families, so that tradition has been carried on, been maintained for the past fifty years that I’ve been in Australia. It always plays a very important role especially for Chinese New Year, when we go to the temples and worship and also see other friends and relatives.

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