MS 9059
Papers of Kwong Sue Duk (1853-1929)



Summary

Creator: Kwong Sue Duk

Title: Papers

Date range: 1891-2001

Reference number: MS 9059

Extent: 14cm (1 box) + 1 folio box and 1 elephant folio


Administrative Information

Access

Restricted

Provenance

The collection was donated to the National Library in several instalments by descendants of Kwong Sue Duk, during the period November 1996 to February 2002.


Scope and Content Note

The papers of Kwong Sue Duk and his descendants include a diary, in Chinese, written by Kwong Sue Duk at the end of the 19th century; genealogical histories of his 2nd, 3rd and 4th wives; letters (some in Chinese), written between 1930 and 1954 by a son, Kwong Kong Lim, at one time Chinese Consul-General of the Philippine Islands and containing family news and a large group of photographs, one album of which is arranged in sections for descendants of each wife.

Also included is the 1901 christening jacket of May (Mui Ying) Kwong, daughter of Kwong Sue Duk’s 4th wife, a family tree of the descendants of Kwong Sue Duk, a video of the life of Kwong Sue Duk entitled Kwong Sue Duk: a man of family and interview transcripts for interviews held in April 1997 with Hamilton and Dorothy Chan. Dorothy Chan was the granddaughter of Kwong Sue Duk. The interviews were undertaken for the Australia-China Oral History Project by Ms Rosalie Hiah.

Arrangement

The material in this collection is listed and described by folder or item number.

Related Material

Material held by the Manuscript Section of the National Library:

  • The papers of Arthur Calwell (MS 4738, Series 12, Box 40) feature one folder relating to applications by Kwong Sue Duk for copies of birth certificates.

Material held by the Oral History Section of the National Library:

  • Interview with Paul Campbell, school principal, on his involvement with the Kwong Sue Duk family history project. Campbell talks about his involvement in the Kwong family history project and his work as the producer of the video, Kwong Sue Duk : a man of family. He talks about the reunions of the descendants of Kwong Sue Duk and the development of the suggestion to produce a video, initially as a souvenir for the Cairns reunion and finally as a commercial product. Interviewed by Diana Giese on May 7, 1996 in Cairns. (ORAL TRC 3448)
  • Interview with Denise Lee Long. Lee Long talks about the organisation of the 1984 Kwong family reunion and her relationship to Kwong Sue Duk; what it means being Chinese; the project to bring back the ashes of Kwong Sue Duk; memories of great-grandmother, Lykin; her personal experiences of racism and her home life. Interviewed by Diana Giese on May 12, 1996 in Mt. Molloy, Queensland. (ORAL TRC 3451)
  • Interview with Jenni Campbell, teacher, on her involvement with the Kwong Sue Duk family history project. Interviewed by Diana Giese on May 13, 1996 in Cairns, Queensland. (ORAL TRC 3452)
  • Interview with Warren Lee Long, marine biologist and Director of the Kwong Sue Duk family history video project. Lee Long speaks of his long-standing interest in Chinese culture stemming from his school days, how he learnt to take pride in his Chinese ethnicity and how he learnt Chinese cultural traditions from his family. Interviewed by Diana Giese on May 15, 1996 in Cairns, Queensland. (ORAL TRC 3453)
  • Interview with Roma Leong. Leong talks about her earliest family memories; travelling to Hong Kong with family from Queensland and living there for four years; returning to Queensland; starting school; taking up clerical work; her marriage in 1949; the family of Kwong Sue Duk and a trip to her ancestral village near Shekki in southern China. Interviewed by Diana Giese on February 22, 1997 in Cairns, Queensland. (ORAL TRC 3567)

Biographical Note

Kwong Sue Duk was a Chinese herbalist and entrepreneur. He was born in Guangdong Province, Southern China in 1853. As a young man, he spent several years in the Californian gold fields, returning to China to study traditional Chinese medicine. Kwong Sue Duk migrated to Australia with his first wife in 1875 and established a general store in Darwin, trading under the name of Sun Mow Loong. He went on to establish extensive business interests in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria, and his reputation as a healer became known throughout Australia, particularly on the gold fields. Kwong Sue Duk played a major role in establishing a place and acceptance for the Chinese in Australia.

Kwong Sue Duk’s family was eventually to include four wives and 24 children and his over 800 descendants are to be found today in eleven countries. Kwong Sue Duk died in Townsville on 17 February 1929.


Box List

Box 1

Folder

1 Letters from Kwong Sue Duk’s son Lim (in English), 1930-1954
Early family photographs

2 Letters (in Chinese), 1891 and 1930

3 Transcripts of interviews with Dorothy and Hamilton Chan, 1997

4 Account book (in Chinese) kept by Kwong Sue Duk, c1903

5 Letters (in Chinese) from Kwong Sue Duk, 1920s

6 Genealogical histories (in Chinese) of Kwong Sue Duk’s 2nd wife, Chen Ngor Kwei (1867-1924), whom he married in 1886 and his 3rd wife, Yuen Yuk Lau (1870-1936), whom he married in 1887

7 Copy of a family tree, compiled by Kwong Sue Duk’s son, Victor
Lists of family histories from the village in which Kwong Sue Duk was born
Copy of the ACT Chinese newspaper, containing an article reporting on the 2001 Kwong Sue Duk family reunion in Canberra

8 Genealogical history of Kwong Sue Duk’s 4th wife, Wong Kwei Far (1878-1938), whom he married in 1899

Folio Box 1

Item

1 Diary of Kwong Sue Duk (in Chinese), late 1900s

2-3 Letters from Kwong Sue Duk to his family (in Chinese), 1925

4 Newspaper cutting of a photograph of Kwong Sue Duk and his family, 1922

5 Photograph album compiled by Kwong Sue Duk’s son, Victor, arranged in sections for the descendants of each of Kwong Sue Duk’s four wives

6 Loose pages from a family photograph album

7 Copy of the Kwong family video Kwong Sue Duk: a man of family, 1996

8 Christening jacket of May (Mui Ying) Kwong, first daughter of Kwong Sue Duk’s 4th wife, Wong Kwei Far, 1901

Elephant folio

Genealogical chart of the Kwong Sue Duk family tree, produced in 2001

February 2002