Chat with us, powered by LiveChat


90By the 1960s it was clear the burial plot had become dilapidated.   One contributing factor may be some of the buried has no surviving decedents, those graves would not have been maintained.


An example of poorly maintained Chinese burial plot

In 1971, the Melbourne General Cemetery authority raised the issue to the Chinese community, asking for repair or remedial work to be done.   At the time the centre of Chinese community was in Little Bourke street.

A Melbourne General Cemetery-Chinese cemetery redevelopment committee was formed, to raise funds and redevelop the site.   The committee campaigned and raised funds from leaders and commercial businesses in China town.  It oversaw the reconstruction of the burial site.

The committee treasurer was Lau Son Yew 劉新耀 with auditor Chan Wah Yueng 陳華穰.

The reconstruction work started in late 1971, and was completed 1973 at a cost of around $6,000.

The committee the society also funded the restoration of an older momentum (stele) in the southern side of the cemetery.

The work was contracted to George Dawes, 621 Rathdowne Street. The stone mason, George Dawes  is now part of Cameo Memorials of Fawkner.



A glimpse of China town in 1970s



In 1972 over $9,000 was collected from 125 individuals, restaurants and social clubs.  A summary  list of the donors is tabled below.

It was believed that majority of those buried in the Chinese plot were from SeeYup county (especially Toishan area).  Therefore a fair portion of the donations came from individual and restaurants with a SeeYup heritage.

This list of donors also provided a glimpse of those who were active in the Melbourne Chinese community in the 1970s.


Individual donors

The majorities of donations came from individuals. The average donations amount is between $10 and $20 dollars. However, there were ten individuals with $100-$300 donations.

The number of donations are tallied by family names

Loeuy    雷                                          17

Chan      陳                                          20

Poon     潘                                           8

Leung    梁                                           8

Lau         劉                                           9

Village societies

There were  seven Village/Clan societies. These are benevolent societies set up clansman  and people from same village or county.  These included

SeeYup society                                 四邑會館

Ning Yeung society                       寕陽會館

Kong Chau society                         岡州同鄉會

Nam Poon Sung society               南番順會館

Yen Ping society                               恩平同鄉會

Ming Yee Tong                                  名義堂


Entertainment club

Two entertainment club made the donors list . These are

Sheng Lei entertainment club                    上利俱樂部

New Shanghai entertainment club           新上海俱樂部

Commercial associations

Masonic lodge                                                   洪門民治黨

Chung Wah society                                         中華會館

Chung Wah commercial society             中華總商會

KMT, Australian Victorian branch         中國國民黨

Restaurants and grocery suppliers

There were 5 restaurants and a grocery supplier on the donor list.   Most of these are no longer operating today.  Wing Loong restaurant is the exception.  The business is under new management, and operates four branches in the Melbourne Chinatown in 2016.

Wong Sheng Kee                                             王湘記飯店

Wing Lung restaurant                                  永隆餐室

Empress of China                                             帝后酒家

Louey Yan café                                                  雷恩飯店

Chung Yueng restaurant                            中央酒家

Wing Ying Cheung grocery                       榮英祥寶號


Early Chinese migrants