Taken one winter morning in 2009 (but not as early as the camera thinks).
The 1850’s gold rush saw many Chinese nationals converge on Beechworth seeking their fortune. As the population grew so too did the need for specialised services to cater for their cultural needs. A section of the Beechworth Cemetery was allocated for burial with the burning towers built in 1857. Mourners used the towers to burn offerings of paper prayers, pork and gifts for the afterlife.
Chinese Burning Towers
(This is a copy of a post from Journal. The links go to posts on that blog.
Back in 1827, the government decided to construct an Invalid Depot at New Norfolk, for invalid convicts (& paupers) who had to be put somewhere. They couldn’t be put to real work. They couldn’t hang around the hospital taking up beds, because like any good properly-built government institution, the hospital started running out of space soon after it was built. The new Invalid Depot was constructed about 1830.
Soon after the government decided it would be a good idea to send the lunatics out there, because they had to put somewhere and they couldn’t hang around the hospital taking up beds etc., also they kept getting out and causing trouble in the town, and so the complex was extended to form an asylum. Of course, they soon ran out of room here too, so more buildings were constructed.
About the 1850s, as with the other “Imperial institutions” the whole hospital was handed over to the colonial government’s control. (Until this time, the government hospitals were intended for the benefit of convicts in the government’s employ, and any paupers & assigned servants who could find (someone to pay) the fees. The rest of the population had to make their own arrangements. As far as I know, the New Norfolk asylum operated on the same principles. From the middle of the century, hospitals moved to be become wider public hospitals as we know them.) Buildings were constructed, re-modelled, demolished to suit prevailing ideas of the treatment of the mentally ill. Now if I have it right, in the 1930s the site became known as Lachlan Park Hospital (accompanied by a major building programme) and became part of the Royal Derwent in 1968.
From trial of Awaan for manslaughter (April 1842).
“A Chinese named John Wing, understanding a little more English than the prisoner, and professing to be a Christian, was sworn in as interpreter.”
Presumably this is one of the carpenters who arrived on the Nimrod
18 April 1837 married Sarah Fisher
1 March 1837 Henry born
23 May 1839 John born
17 October 1841 Harriet born
25 January 1852 Harriet died
26 January 1853 Inquest
6 April 1853 Trial for Manslaughter
30 December 1843 John (child) died
4 January 1846 John (adult) died
CELESTIAL VISITORS.–The streets of Launceston were enlivened yesterday by groups of Chinamen who have arrived here in the Louisiana, and are on their way to Melbourne. They were generally dressed in the costume of their country, though one or two wore trowsers of a more civilised sort. They are mostly young men, and are under the guidance of a sort of chief, who determines their disputes. This worthy might be seen yesterday bearing aloft a blue calico umbrella. One of the party, however, carried a fan, and from his self-satisfied air and carefully arranged dress, he was doubtless a Chinese dandy.
The Courier, 8 December 1856