Monday, September 26, 2011

Citizenship for a song: Music teacher Barbara Song-Smart became a New Zealand citizen on Friday and was supported by family friend Martyn Smith, left, and husband James Smart

New Kiwi loves Blenheim

Chinese-born Barbara Song-Smart has just become a Kiwi, but she reckons her dumpling-making skills are still second to none.

The music teacher at Marlborough Boys' College was among 27 others who were made New Zealand citizens at a ceremony at the Marlborough District Council chambers on Friday.

Mrs Song, a classically trained pianist who has lived in New Zealand since 2002, moved to Blenheim in 2005 when she was offered a long-term relieving role at the college. She was later offered a full-time teaching position.

The ceremony was special, but becoming a New Zealander meant she had to give up her Chinese citizenship, she said.

She was philosophical about the decision.

"[Chinese citizenship] was not really hard to give up. You are who you are, no matter what passport you have."

"I've been posting photos of making homemade dumplings on Facebook and saying I'm becoming a Kiwi soon, but my dumpling-making skills will still be second-to-none," she laughed.

Her husband, James Smart, from Blenheim, had not been able to pick up the intricate art of dumpling-making, but enjoyed eating them, she said.

"He loves eating dumplings, but doesn't want to put the hard work into it."

She had not been back to China since she arrived in New Zealand as a 22-year-old international student and said it was unlikely she would go back because her husband did not like travelling.

"He is a Marlborough man through and through and has no plans to travel."

She arrived in New Zealand after completing a bachelor's degree in music education and piano performance in Guangzhou, in southern China, and most of her friends were looking for teaching jobs.

"I didn't want to start working, I thought I was too young and I was really passionate about piano performance."

She sent a video of a solo piano performance to Victoria University in Wellington and was accepted to do an honours degree and then trained as a music and language teacher.

She enjoyed living in Blenheim because of the vast number of musical opportunities

"I actually love Blenheim, the spirit of Blenheim – the Music Society, [Marlborough] Repertory, the Brass Band – it's a small town and a very vibrant place, musically. And I love the climate – it's a bit better than Wellington." Mrs Song's mother was granted New Zealand residency late last year and also lives in Blenheim.


Eva Cooper, Czech Republic

Richard Doggart, Canada

Christo Heyns, South Africa

Elizabeth Heyns, South Africa

Yong Hou, China

Andrew Joslin, Britain

Adele Joslin, Britain

Oliver Joslin, Britain

Thomas Joslin, Britain

Mosese Kanawale, Fiji

Paula Kenyon, Britain

Neil Kingscote, Britain

Elaine Kingscote, Britain

Beth McMillan, Britain

Nicholas McMillan, Britain

Moira Mugford, Britain

Helen Somerville, Philippines

Carl Woodburn, Britain

Lucy Woodburn, Britain

Arie Anderson Zvi, Russia

Alan Dunnicliff, Britain

Yvonne Dunnicliff, Britain

Sari Golding, Finland

Rajesh Luthra, India

Anthony Maullin, Zimbabwe

David Steflicek, Czech Republic

- The Marlborough Express

Last updated 12:56 26/09/2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ah Ang and Ah Chee

Ah Ang and Ah Chee started arguing in an opium shop on the night of 30 May 1875. They were both miners living at Green Hill Creek near Avoca in central Victoria.The argument began when Ah Chee asked Ah Ang to repay some debts. Ah Ang offered to give him a pound but Ah Chee wanted more money. Ah Chee then asked Ah Ang to smoke some opium with him. After refusing this invitation, Ah Chee demanded Ah Ang settle their account completely. Angry words were exchanged and then they began fighting.The two men continued their fight outside the opium tent. It ended when Ah Chee struck Ah Ang in the back with a knife. Ah Ang collapsed and had to be carried home bleeding.Found guilty in the Maryborough Assize Court in July 1875, Ah Chee received two years imprisonment with hard labour for maliciously wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family history lights up wall

It was an easy choice for long-time Kingsland resident Jan Lees to have her family history projected in lights for the public to see.

Her family's roots have dug themselves deep into the Kingsland town centre's suburban heart.

Mrs Lees has submitted a collection of her grandfather's photos for the Kingsland Thursday Night Lights show, which has been organised by the Kinsgland Business Society.

Her family's photos will be among many other residents' snaps collectively known as "the faces of the suburb" put on display on the wall of the old Kingsland Post Office.

But not many of the photos submitted will date as far back as Mrs Lees' do.

Her great-grandfather was a volunteer fireman at the Kingsland station.

"I sent in photos of my great-grandfather's funeral service in the 1930s with the honour guard, the Macfarlane and Oldfield's service station before it turned into a burger bar and our old family house," she says.

"He lived on Mountain View Rd and was known for being a handy man but not much else can be traced back," she says.

"The house he and my grandfather lived in was given down to my aunt and I can still remember the smell of it.

"Unfortunately it's not in the family any more."

Mrs Lees says her grandfather, who was born in the Mountain View Rd house, died in 2003.

He grew up in Kingsland using facilities many still use today.

"When I married I came back to Kingsland," she says.

"My grandfather thought it was great we bought a house in Kingsland because we were coming back to our roots."

The light-show is the result of years of hard work by the Kingsland Business Society.

Manager Christine Foley says the festival aims to showcase Kingsland in its past and present and provide an experience for visitors and Aucklanders alike.

"The effects are some never seen before audio and visual techniques – it's fantastic," she says.

You can see the Kingsland Thursday Night Lights every Thursday an hour after sunset. Shows last 10 minutes and screen continuously for three hours. Search Kingsland-Auckland on Facebook for more information.

- Auckland City Harbour News

Grave neglect

Many graves in the Symonds Street Cemetery are lying shattered and ruined.

Ongoing vandalism and limited maintenance contribute to the mess.

The Auckland Heritage Festival kicks off this weekend but it will have a disappointing undertone for Karangahape Rd historian Edward Bennett.

He is frustrated that nothing has been done to ensure the hundreds of heritage-listed graves in the cemetery are maintained.

"If you had a single building of iron and stone work of that quality with a tree growing through it, you'd cut the tree down," Mr Bennett says.

"But because that building is metaphorically taken apart and spread across the landscape the council doesn't seem to care."

Several trees in the park are growing through the middle of more than century-old burial sites.

But any native tree more than six metres high automatically has protection from being chopped.

Several tombstones are regularly knocked over.

A number were repaired by Auckland Regional Council following the Auckland City Harbour News' story about destruction of graves in the Jewish Quarter of the cemetery last year.

Almost $40,000 is spent each year to restore them but the issue of conserving one of Auckland's oldest heritage sites is still not being managed. A proposed fence around the cemetery to protect it from vandalism at night has not been actioned, even though the issue was raised one year ago.

Many graves and tombstones are overgrown with weeds and no lighting has been installed in the park.

Some parts of the cemetery are swamped by marshes, with roots of trees smashing through the historic monuments, uplifting and distorting them.

Council local and sports parks manager Mark Bowater says there is no official management plan in place but "a walk about" takes place at the start of most summers to assess what needs repairing.

The cemetery holds the grave of Captain William Hobson and many other well-known New Zealanders and was formerly controlled by Auckland Regional Council.

Responsibility for its management is under now under review, with a needs assessment being factored into the council's long term plan.

Mr Bowater says a security guard patrols the precinct and a report is being compiled on what tombstones need further repair work.

He believes responsibility ultimately lies with the Waitemata Local Board.

But this is news to the board members who have never been officially informed that management of the cemetery is in their hands.
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"I'm hoping it will be because it's yet just another heritage site that's not loved enough," Waitemata chairman Shale Chambers says.

Mr Chambers has ancestors buried in the cemetery and is keen to ensure the "general neglect" of the area stops with his local board.

He has support from member Christopher Dempsey who holds the heritage portfolio.

Mr Dempsey would like to see a substantial investment made towards reparation of the park and wants to hear from members of the community who would be interested in forming a work group to start maintaining it.

The local board is meeting with Auckland councillor Sandra Coney in the next few weeks to discuss how to proceed.

Mr Bennett takes tours of the cemetery and says the Auckland Heritage Festival will continue as usual over the next two weeks – celebrating the social and historical importance of Auckland's heritage.

But he hopes this year's festival will be different in that his calls for better management of the site will be heard.

- Auckland City Harbour News

Last updated 08:46 16/09/2011

HERITAGE DESTROYED: Historian Edward Bennett stands in the Presbyterian section of the Symonds Street Cemetery, where a grave has been completely destroyed and uplifted by the roots of a Pohutukawa tree.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lynn 'Pap' Pang of Marks is 100 years Young.

Lynn 'Pap" Pang interview about history of Ms.Delta Chinese

Lynn 'Pap' Pang of Marks is 100 years Young. Congrats on this milestone, Pap! To see and hear Pap is truly inspirational. A segment of a 2 hr. interview I had with him when he was only about 97 years old is the 3rd entry on this webpage
Stories about the lives and contributions of Chinese grocers in the Mississippi Delta. This was the primary business of these immigrants from around 1900 to around the 1970s, and they were an important part of the communities throughout the region.

Interview John Jung
Pearl River Delta Villages and Pacific ports, 1849-1949
Author(s) Williams, Michael Citation Issue Date 2002

This thesis examines the movements of people between villages of the Pearl River
Delta and destinations around the Pacific between 1849 and 1949. It is about links
between ‘native places’ or qiaoxiang (􁉞􁁢) and Pacific destinations that developed
and sustained these movements over several generations.1 To enable an in-depth
investigation of this history, Zhongshan County (􀕭􀕞􁗼) and the sub-district of
Long Du (􁁼􀺟) within this county, have been chosen along with the three ‘Pacific
Ports’ of Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco. These three Pacific ports were the main
destinations for people from qiaoxiang in Zhongshan County and particularly Long

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shanghai during post WWII during the late 1940's

believe to have been taken in Shanghai during post WWII during the late 1940's.William (Billy) Howell is one of the Marines in the photo, but who are the others???