The Chinese plot in Melbourne General Cemetery is still being used today, especially on the two grave sweeping festivals :
Ching Ming 清明節 – usually in the month of April in the western calendar
Chong Yang 重陽節- Sept/Oct each year.
Chinese Masonic lodge洪門民治黨 and See Yup society 四邑會館 both have organised events for grave sweeping on Ching Ming. It is worth noting that Chinese Masonic Lodge has a subcommittee that actively works with local councils in different Victorian gold fields, to protect and maintain some of the remaining Chinese momentums and burial sites.
Credits & Thanks
Sam Loy approached the Chinese Museum Melbourne in Nov 2015. He was curious to learn more about the plot, especially in the life of the early Chinese migrants in the gold fields. He did the research on the grave head stones, using State Public records. The section on head stone and names would not be possible without his work. We are grateful for his curiosity and assistance in completing this article.
Ng Cheung Yen 伍長然
Mr Ng had been a leader in the Chinese Masonic society in Melbourne for a number of years. He has interest in preserving Chinese grave sites in the gold fields. Mr Ng provided the written record of the Melbourne General Cemetery Chinese plot reconstruction in 1970’s, without which this important story could not be told.
Maurice Leong 梁國祥
Mr Leong was the head of See Yup Society in Melbourne for a number of years. He also managed the See Yup temple in South Melbourne. He has great knowledge on the life, challenges and custom of the Chinese migrants in the 1800’s. We are grateful for his insight and guidance on this research project.