Thursday, May 10, 2012

REARED BY CHINESE STRANGE LIFE STORY AUSTRALIAN-BORN WHITE (From "The Post's" Representative.) SYDNEY, August 18. "White James Innes, Sydney's Chinese," says that bad white men made him disgrace his ancestors. He blames them for encouraging him to drink, and so forget the teachings of his honourable stepfather, Soong Yee. Innes has sworn before the joss sticks to "quai pew" (reform). When he has saved enough money he will return to his wife in China. Innes is a 37-year-old Australian who was reared by Chinese foster-parents. He can speak only a few words of pidgin English. The only language he knows is the peculiar sing-song Cantonese dialect. His name in Chinese is Sue Hong Bew. Since he returned from China eight years ago he hat been employed by Chinese market gardeners near Sydney. Two weeks ago Innes got into trouble with the police, and was made lo hu (an outcast) by his adopted people. They said he had offended the gods, "H'sien, Sheng, and Tien." Because of his prayers of repentance the ban has been lifted. Innes told his story through the aid of an interpreter. He was born at Quirindi. New South Wales, where his parents worked on a farm. His father died when he was two. and his mother married Soong Yee, an elderly Chinese. When he was eight his mother died, and his stepfather 'took him to China. "I went to a Chinese school for seven years, and worked in the rice, fields," said Innes. "My father was* a kind and honourable man. He taught me never to smoke opium or play pakapoo. He bought me a Chinese wife who was known as Ah Hoy. We have a little girl named Ah Quin. She is now nine years old, but I have not seen her since she was a baby. They are waiting for me in China; if I never come back they will still be waiting. Ah Hoy is manageress of a clothing factory in Hong Kong. I wrote to her five years ago; I must write again this year Innes says he cannot learn to speak English; the language is too hard. White people he regards as foreigners. After the death of his stepfather, who was a wealthy man, but left Innes nothing, Innes came to Australia to make his fortune. Three times he has saved his fare back, but has spent it. Evening Post, Volume CXXVIII, Issue 49, 26 August 1939, Page 8

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