A new exhibition, set to coincide with Chinese New Year and Australia Day, celebrates our country's Chinese community and poses the question: What's in a name?
Sydney based photographer Ken Leanfore has an unusual surname. The fourth generation Chinese-Australian can trace the Leanfore name back to his great-grandfather Charlie Lean-Fore, whose Cantonese name was phonetically anglicise by Australian officials in the 1890s. Leanfore's great-grandfather was just one of many immigrants trying to make their fortune during Australia's gold rush era. When Leanfore was younger, he would speak to his father about the unusual family name and how they had come about – and the idea to document them was born. Fairfax Media spoke with Leanfore about his project:
Thanks for posting that article & to the author & photographer.
It highlights a subject near & dear to my heart. Yes, we are a "different breed" (lol), look chinese but not known by our ancestor's chinese famiily here in Australia. Just as well my parents told me our chinese family names otherwise I'd never be able to guess the link to our "Aussie" name, which in my case is totally different. Oral history says that the surname on both sides of the family was deliberately changed . Both sides had businesses (not selling products) & wanted to "blend in". I can't change history & not bothered to change the name back to the chinese family name. Many times it has become a "talking point".
I know 3 of those 4 people, not the 1st gent as he's interstate.
After many generations of living in Australia, how can I forget our past? It stares me in the mirror every time I use the bathroom. I suppose I'd learnt to live with it.
Yesterday, I meant to say ....Both sides had businesses (not selling chinese products) & wanted to "blend in". I've inserted the word "chinese" into "not selling chinese products".
Yes, I'm the Geoff who met Doug, you & your husband at Sydney's international airport (a little late due to traffic), dropped your luggage off at your hotel & then we all headed to a delicious "yum cha" in Sydney's Chinatown.We didn't eat much but drank a lot of chinese tea as we chattered non stop over lunch. A guided tour of Chinatown (by Doug & myself) & then a visit to my clan's meeting room upstairs, in the heart of Dixon Street, Sydney. A short & memorable lunch & afternoon together. Remember?
It's been a while since I met you & Henry at your place. You & I must have a get together at a nearby restaurant. Everyone is welcome too. I've been following your travel reports here on Siyi.
You may have wondered "where has Geoff been for the past few years?" I've been researching my relatives day to day life from reports in various country & city Aussie newspapers at National Library of Australia online site called "Trove" & more at National Archives of Australia. Also, finding more about their businesses from newspapers & just recently from State & Commonwealth Govt Gazettes on Trove, such as annual renewal of licence for keeping & sale of explosives.The renewal of their 1885 licence is the oldest public record I've found so far. I'm slowly working my way back to the reported "est in 1870's" as per local historians.
All this Aussie research is in preparation for the next leg of my family history journey...I now know the years when my ancestors arrived in Australia so prior to those dates I'll have to head to China.I'm sure it will be an interesting & different journey of discovery in China.
Hi Geoff - Great to see you here again. It's been 5 years since we first came to Sydney. And now I have just had 10 years at my work, and some more travel. Are you still working? Your China travel sounds good. Enjoy the fruits of your labour. Now that you mention the National Archives - can you give some tips on how to search - on line? Or do you actually have to go there.If you can assist someone with your knowledge - let me know. She's coming over in June - but wants to be a bit prepared before hand. my email is still my email@example.com Will be catching up with Douglas on Friday.
We shall pass this way but once All the good that can be done do it now. For we shall not pass this way again
No, I didn't make use of the pool or spa in the hotel. It was just one night.I'm now back in Auckland after a very good two days on the road touring and sightseeing on the North Island. We went to the Glowworm Caves, Huka Falls, Maori culture show at Te Puia and watched the geysers and bubbling mud pools, watched a show at the Agrodome, lunch on a paddle boat. But poor weather stopped the boat from cruising Lake Rotorua. There was much more. It is a very memorable short trip.
You were missed Geoff. hope to see you more often. I am off again in Sept. for China. I try to do two overseas trips each year if you count going to New Zealand as one. I'll be meeting Helen again on the 18th. and 20th. before flying to Christchurch on the 21st. A very busy schedule.
See attached photo of my meeting with Helen, her hubby LC and their friend James. We are doing lunch at a place called Hees Restaurant 喜鵲酒家 at Mt. Eden. Helen's husband LC had to abandon plans for a fishing trip tomorrow (Saturday) because of blustery wind conditions. He was sure of good catches for our dinner on Sunday. We counted on having sashimi as one of the dishes.
Joe, I was very c ocky about facing up to the cool weather in New Zealand. I did not allow for check-in baggage, just 7 kgs of a carry on overnight bag. I did not bring a heavy overcoat for the sub-zero temperatures of Christchurch. Fortunately, my friend here is much better prepared. He has just the garment for me to use in Christchurch.
HAPPY MEAL. Helen's husband LC is on the right, then yours truly, Helen and LC's friend James, then Helen. When I learned of James's family name is Wong and from my district, I was sure his family was from the same village as member AndrewAu, and the family is in the rag trade or fabric business. I was proved 100% correct.
LC drove me to many well-known landmarks in Auckland which includes the Buddhist Temple Fuo Guang Shan. This is the garden leading to the main hall. It has many cherry blossom trees. It would be very nice to see them in bloom in the spring.
This is 3,000 kg bell, which is struck twice each day. At the time of our visit, there were three or four school groups doing a guided tour.
The matching half to the bell is this big drum.
We went to many, many more Auckland landmarks. The highlight was undoubtedly going up to the tallest tower in New Zealand, the Sky Tower. Helen's daughter Jodie made it possible.
Sky Tower from the perspective of Devenport Wharf.
Auckland's CBD from the vantage point of the Sky Tower. Sky City Casino is part of the complex. We have our casual evening meal there, then we break up to wander around the casino. Then, it is back to my host family's place.
We'll get together again on Sunday. Then, it off to see Joe for more of New Zealand's varied landscape and some severe winter weather to boot. Love it.
Last Edit: May 19, 2017 6:17:27 GMT -5 by douglaslam