Result slip issued by Melbourne See Yup Chinese School (6 July 1991)

The late Evelyn Lau (also known as Evelyn Law and Evelyn Imfeld) is well remembered for introducing Cantonese and other Chinese cuisines to Australian television audiences on the channel ATV-0 in the 1970s. She moved to Australia from Hong Kong in 1946 at the age of 18 and retained a lifelong interest in Chinese culture, food and language.

A recent donation of Evelyn’s possessions, which include language study materials, shows us that throughout the 1980s to early 2000s Evelyn attended a variety of Mandarin and Cantonese classes. Result slips such as this one are not only evidence of her ongoing interest and efforts to learn spoken and written Chinese, but also provide us with a record and understanding of the various organisations in Melbourne that provided Chinese language lessons, as well as their teaching methods and activities.  From this document, we can also tell that sixty-three year old Evelyn was a diligent student with stellar grades, and of excellent discipline, moral character and manners!

If you have an item with a Chinese-Australian connection that you would like to donate, write to us at curator@chinesemuseum.com.au .

Donated by Christian Imfeld and Geoff Goullet, in memory of Evelyn Imfeld (nee Law) (2015.06)

Donated by Christian Imfeld and Geoff Goullet, in memory of Evelyn Imfeld (nee Law) (2015.06)

Support our Collectors’ 30th Anniversary Publication

Submit form by Sunday 30 September 2015

Our Museum is turning 30 this year! To celebrate the Museum’s cultural and community milestones during our 30-year history, we will be producing a Collectors’ 30th Anniversary Publication.

The content will include insights into Chinese Australian History since the 1850s, but also significant references to the Chinese Community in today’s Australian society. This prestigious 120 page A4 magazine will be launched at the Museum’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Dinner. It will be distributed within Australia and internationally including China and South East Asia.

Support us by becoming a Friend of the Museum with opportunities to list personal or organisational details or engage in advertising within the publication. Please download and fill in the form then return it to marketing@chinesemuseum.com.au

Denning Rajit

Denning-Rajit

If you hear a booming voice in the Museum, do not be alarmed. It is only Denning Rajit, Tour Guide and Travelling Museum Instructor for the Museum.

Denning graduated with a Master of Teaching in 2010 and has been involved in the education sector in various roles ever since. Originally from Malaysia, what led Denning to the Museum was his desire to understand his own “hidden” heritage.

Denning is half-Indigenous Malay (Dayak) through his father, and half-Chinese through his mother. Growing up, he had little exposure to his Chinese heritage. Curiosity led him to learn the Fut San佛山and Hok San鶴山styles of lion dancing, and eventually into the Museum as a Tour Guide.

On your next visit to the Museum, do not be surprised if you come across Denning entertaining his tour groups with his multifaceted talents.

Chinese or Western?

This photograph of the 1928 Hong Kong marriage of Violet Tock & Lam Chik Shang shows the wedding party in a fascinating mix of 1920s Western fashion and traditional southern Chinese attire.

The Hong Kong Daily Press reported that Violet’s gown was ‘a compromise between the fashions of the East and West being made in a semi-Chinese fashion’. The bridesmaids and flower girls wore 1920s Western short dresses and shoes while the groom and groomsmen wore loose ‘Oxford bag’ trousers, black top hats, patent leather Oxford shoes and white pocket squares.

In contrast, other men in the wedding party wore Ma Kua 馬褂, short jackets over Cheung Sam 長杉 while many women wore Qun Kua裙褂, wedding jacket and skirt sets.

Violet Tock was the daughter of Chinese-Australian furniture maker Leong Chuey Tock and his first wife, Chun See. Violet was not the first Chinese Australian to be married in white with some Chinese Australians choosing white weddings from the 1890s and earlier, according to newspapers and photos from the time.

Do you have a white wedding dress with a Chinese-Australian story that you would like to donate to the Museum? Get in touch at curator@chinesemuseum.com.au

Violet Tock & Lam Chik Shang’s wedding photograph (c. 12 August 1928) Donated by Shirley Millard (2015.02.69)

Violet Tock & Lam Chik Shang’s wedding photograph (c. 12 August 1928) Donated by Shirley Millard (2015.02.69)