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Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850-1949$
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John Fitzgerald and Hon-ming Yip

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528264

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528264.001.0001

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Chinese Engagement with the Australian Colonial Charity Model

Chinese Engagement with the Australian Colonial Charity Model

(p.138) 7 Chinese Engagement with the Australian Colonial Charity Model
Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850-1949

Pauline Rule

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines the Chinese response to the need of the people of Victoria, in the southeastern corner of Australia, to continually raise funds to support their charitable institutions. Resolved to avoid the taxes associated with a state based system of caring for the sick, elderly and poor, the settlers of Victoria established institutions that required public support. Fund raising was a constant concern resulting in frequent public events for charities, such as processions, fairs and grand bazaars. Chinese communities generously participated in these events and proved to be great assets for fundraising committees. They fashioned a means to utilize western fascination with the splendor of aspects of Chinese culture, to serve Victoria’s need to support its charitable institutions. The costumes, and acrobatic and martial arts traditions of Cantonese opera were publicly displayed and demonstrated to extensive gatherings. Eventually the processing of a Chinese dragon was also used to attract crowds to charity events. Despite the restrictions that the host society placed on Chinese immigration the Chinese in Melbourne and various Victorian country towns readily expended considerable energy and money in responding to frequent calls for their involvement in charity events.

Keywords:   overseas Chinese generosity, Cantonese opera, Chinese dragon, Beechworth Carnival, Bendigo Easter Fair, See Yup Society, Louey Ah Mouy

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