ATHERTON CHINATOWN, QUEENSLAND ­ HOU WANG TEMPLE – TAASA Review December 2014

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This article was originally found in the December 2014 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 23, Issue 4, Page 22).

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A century ago there were over 100 similar temples in Australia but nowadays, the Hou Wang temple is the only remaining intact regional temple of its kind. Gold attracted thousands of Chinese to North Queensland in the late 1800s.

As the gold dwindled and racist sentiments increased, the Chinese were forced to find work in other areas – in timber and firewood cutting and then farming maize – on leased land.

A small but thriving township sprang up, complete with stores, herbalists, bakeries, laundries, and boarding houses.The Returned Soldier Settlement Scheme at the end of WW1 resulted in the eviction of Chinese Australians from their farming leases...