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Ray Chin interviewed by Diana Giese for the Post-war Chinese Australians oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 2434934
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Chin, Ray, 1923-2013, Interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1996 
1 digital audio tape (ca. 85 min.) 

Post-war Chinese Australians oral history project.


Ray Chin, prominent Darwin Chinese community leader, past President of the Chung Wah Society, Secretary of the RSL, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, speaks of arriving in Darwin in 1928 at age 5 on a student visa; grandfather a land and property owner in China, attending Darwin Public School, father's work in the family business, Fang Cheong Loong; her mother working as a highly-successful machinist making clothes from home; Darwin's Chinatown in the late 30s; grandfather's shop attracting many tourists; his return to China to study at the Pui Ching Academy in Canton; how China's war with Japan spread south to Canton, which was bombed; how it took 12 months to get back to Darwin with mother; in 1940 leaving school to work for his grandfather; his experiences during the Feb. 1942 bombing of Darwin, two weeks later taking his grandfather to Adelaide; how the family rented a shop and bought a house which accommodated three families; his mother buying a restaurant in Rundle Street while the combined families establishing the new Oriental Restaurant, which still operates; his work in an ammunition factory by day and in the restaurant in the evenings.

Chin talks about trying to enlist in the Army for 3 months, before being readily accepted by the Air Force; his training to repair planes and being based in Victoria; attending Melbourne Chinese social events and meeting his wife-to-be Olive Dan, who was Secretary to the Chinese Consul and on the committee of the Young Chinese League; running a shop in Brunswick for 3 years after the War; his family's return to Darwin despite government resuming land, including his grandfather's properties, in order to rebuild the town and get rid of old Chinatown; joining the RSL in 1946; how the RSL helped him with immigration problems; how the War changed people's attitudes; his return to Darwin, where his family were living in the Stonehouses, the only surviving buildings from old Chinatown; their heritage value; his activities as Secretary of the RSL from 1960-70; his revisit to Hong Kong and China, then again in 1986 at the invitation of the Chinese government; his achievements as President of the Chung Wah Society for 14 years.


Recorded on Dec. 22, 1996 in Darwin, N.T.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Corrected transcript available. 
Subjects Chin, Ray, 1923-2013 -- Interviews.  |  Northern Territory. Legislative Assembly  |  Chung Wah Society (Darwin, N.T.)  |  Returned Services League of Australia. North Territory Branch.  |  Chinese -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Chinese Australians -- Interviews.  |  Chinese Australians -- Social life and customs.  |  Chinese -- Australia -- Cultural assimilation.  |  Chinese -- Australia -- History -- 1945-  |  Darwin (N.T.) -- History -- Bombardment, 1942.
Other authors/contributors Giese, Diana, 1947-, Interviewer


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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 3542
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 3542 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
    Special Collections Reading Room

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