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Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. The Chinese Community of Creswick: The Circus at the Edge of Town Carol J. Scott.

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Presentation on theme: "Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. The Chinese Community of Creswick: The Circus at the Edge of Town Carol J. Scott."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. The Chinese Community of Creswick: The Circus at the Edge of Town Carol J. Scott

3 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Outline of Paper Overview of the Chinese Community – facts, figures and physical remains Tea and Sympathy – The 1860’s and the pressure for change Rorts and Riots – Chinese quartz mining in Creswick and the Clunes riot

4 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Why the Creswick Chinese? Creswick’s location within the golden triangle and proximity to a significant large centre of Chinese population Manageable Size to trial engagement models for community-based historical research Natives looked very friendly Strange ripples on the pond

5 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Chinatown, Creswick 1855 Horace Birkett, 1855, Creswick historical Museum

6 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Chinatown, Creswick 1894 Lindsay 1894, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery

7 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Chinese Burials in Creswick Cemetery 22 Surviving Chinese headstones from “old” cemetery relocated to the new cemetery 4 Gin Clan members in the surviving headstones 391 Chinese burials First Burial – Ah Chin, Ah Chung, 28 th December 1858 Last Burial – Shong Yuang, 21 st October 1910 Approximately 14 Chinese Exhumations

8 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future.

9 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Chinese Camp – Black Lead, Creswick Largely Destroyed by sluicing in the early 20 th century Remaining titles amalgamated “old” cemetery closed in the early 1860’s

10 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Source : W.H.Forster Diaries and Reports, Chinese Protector, Ballarat Correlates to the reports for the period March/April 1859 The extended Creswick Chinese community during the Protectorate Period

11 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Chinese Market Garden Site, Creswick State Forest

12 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future.

13 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future.

14 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future.

15 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Creswick in the 1860’s – Tea & Sympathy and the pressure for change Creswick Anti-Chinese Immigration Association 1864 – Creswick is calm, clean, quiet … it’s citizens have “an amiable weakness for tea parties” Alluvial miners under-employed, Quartz miners unemployed –Increasingly Agricultural rather than a mining town –Quartz mining investment strangled by capital constraints the product of divided business leadership and litigation

16 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Rorts and Riots – Background (1) Tale of two gold mines – the grand trunk (later the Key) Company and the Australasian Dec week strike at the Lothair mine, clunes Formative period for establishment of the Miner’s Union Creswick has not emerged as a major quartz gold field Chinese participation in European claims, Young’s 1868 report – Sandhurst 3500 Chinese, none employed on European claims Beechworth district, 7000 Chinese,1 in 10 are working on European claims Ballarat, 800 Chinese – 20% working on European claims Dicker’s mining record suggests that this involvement was “unskilled surface work”

17 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Rorts and Riots – Background (2) …..against all the odds, on Tuesday December 9, 1873 approximately 150 Creswick Chinese climbed into 5 Cobb and Co coaches and proceeded under police protection to make the short journey clunes to break the strike at the lothair mine. The resistance organised by the Miner’s Association ensured the attempt was unsuccessful and after a short, intense engagement the Clunes miners were victorious.

18 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Establishment of large scale Chinese deep mining in Creswick Operation of the Key Company Gold Mine by Ping Que (and partners) on tribute Operation of the Australasian Gold Mine on partial tribute (25%) – with reportedly significant chinese workforce involvement Early 1873 –30-40% of Creswick’s Quartz gold was obtained from mines wholly or partially operated by Chinese led business consortia –Creswick had a large workforce of Chinese miners engaged in operating “European” deep quartz mines –The underpinning business model had been benchmarked for several years – it had a demonstrated commercial viability, sustainability and efficiency Commonality at the Board level between the Lothair and Australasian mines.

19 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Riots and Riots Unlike Ballarat, Creswick had an established and “Commercially Accessible” workforce of Chinese quartz miners Sourcing a strike break workforce for the lothair mine leveraged existing contracts for the supply and operation of Creswick quartz mines under tribute……and if successful the lothair would also have operated under tribute Creswick’s Chinese community proved-in the business model which played a substantial role in developing the gold fields of the Northern Territory.

20 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future. Conclusions


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