Suspected prohibited immigrants were questioned by the Police and their filed statements give facsinating insights into the working life of Asian migrants

My name is Louey Lynn. I am 40 years of age and was born in Canton, China. My father and mother both lived there. My father had never been out here. I came out to Melbourne from China about 24 years ago, I came out in the year 1902 - it may have been in the year 1901. I came out shortly after the Boer War finished. I came out on a "tonnage" ticket in the name of Lee Yen. This was my brother's name. My uncle, Louey Fook, sent home the paper to my brother to come out but he wouldn't and I was given the paper then to come out. My uncle had been living in Melbourne for many years before this, in fact he is still living here and working as a cabinetmaker in the city. I was 16 years of age when I arrived. I went from Hong Kong to Singapore in a steamer but I can't remember the name of it. It was a German boat. I went from Singapore to Pinang (sic) and then on to Colombo where I remained about two months waiting for a German ship to bring him to Melbourne. I stayed at a black fellows' boarding house in Colombo. There were 5 of us who came on to Melbourne. I don't know the name of the ship I traveled from Colombo to Melbourne in. One Chinese passenger was called Ah How or Ah Hay, another was called Ah You or Louey You. Another, Ah Chung , but I forget the name of the other man. Ah How is now in Melbourne and is about to leave for China next week. After leaving Colombo we called at Fremantle and Port Adelaide and then on to Melbourne. We landed at Port Melbourne. Before landing we were asked some questions through a Melbourne Chinese. I arrived here during the 4th Moon. After landing I was taken by my uncle, Louey Fook, to Show Wah's cabinetmaking shop in Little Bourke Street; the place is now occupied by Tye Bros furnishing department. I stayed there about 2 months' and then went to Fitzroy where I worked in Gertrude Street between Brunswick & Fitzroy Sts. in Sing Lee's laundry. I stayed there 6 years and was called Ah Len. I then went to work in a laundry in Inkerman Street St Kilda for a Chinese called "F.Young." I stayed there 4 years. I was called Ah Len but some of the people called me "Bill." I knew Mr Smith a policeman there. He used to call regularly at the shop and joke with me when he was passing. I left there and went to Bendigo where I worked at Kangaroo Flat as a gardener. Constable Earnshaw was the policeman there then. I worked for Goon Wah for about 2 years - I was called Ah Len there I next went to a laundry in High street, Bendigo where I worked for Stephen Louey for 2 years under the name of Ah Len but known to Australians as "Bill." I next went to Echuca and worked for Suey Wah as a gardener near the town. I stayed there 1 year. I next went to Kerang for 6 months'. I worked there for Koon Hung Shing's party as a gardener. I returned to Bendigo and worked in Mitchell St, for a year as a laundryman for Sam Yick Market garden at Kangaroo Flat and worked there for 2 years. I came back to Melbourne and went to Chin Siig at 27 High street St Kilda, in his laundry.I am there at present and have been for 5 years registered as an alien when working in the year 1916, in the name of Louey Lynn. 

Police Station Bathurst. 27th May 1937. Chung Yuen states:-

I am a Chinese gardener, and reside at I00 Durham Street Bathurst and have been residing there for about 5 or 6 weeks. Before I came to Bathurst I was living at Junee, for about 3 months, and worked for Tommy Bung, and before then I was living in Wagga Wagga,for about 2 years, in Chinese Mason Town, alongside of the bridge, and I was selling fruit and vegetables, and also buying skins. Before that I had a market garden at Lockhart,New South Wales. for 12 months. Before that I had a market garden at Narrandera, for about 12 months. and before then I had a market garden at Lake Cagelligo for 3 years. Before that I was at Condoblin, working on a Station, I cannot think of the mans name that I worked for. I rented the ground froma Mr Block at Cargelligo. I cannot think of the name of the boat that I came to Australia in but I was 14 years of age when I came here. I got off the boat at Port Jackson. I have had my fingerprints taken at Parramatta, about 14 years ago, and at Fairfield,about 16 years ago.also at Cassilis about 20 years ago.under the same name.

Hard-working Tommy Yuen arrived in the Colony of New South Wales with his uncle when he was 14 . His work was mainly rural, station hand, gardener, skin buyer etc and he travelled extensively in the country seeking employment. His diligence was his undoing. At the age of 57 after working here for 43 years he came to the attention of the police and the Dept of Home affairs as a suspected illegal immigrant. The intinerant worker who had lost his Alien registration papers in a flood, was subjected to intense scrutiny: fingerprinted as a criminal, repeatedly interviewed, and background checked with people he knew or had employed him, he finally established his credentials.

Jimmie Gooey, States: My name is Jimmie Gooey. I am 33 years of age and was born in China. I came to West Australia from China when I was 6 years of age. I can't remember the name of the vessel I came out in. I remember coming out with my father John Gooey. He is now living at Nth Perth, W.A. He has a Chinese garden there in Charles street. I don't know what sort of a Paper I was brought out on. After landing I went to west Perth where I lived with my father for a number of years. My father had a garden there in George street - I think. I went to the State School there; it was called the Newcastle street school, I was in the 1st class there. The Head Teacher was a lady and her name I think was Reed. My teacher was called Mrs Caffe (?) I left there and went to the James street school for 4 or 5 months' I then went to the Nth Perth school where I stayed 2 years. I was called Jimmie Gooey at all these schools and was in the second standard of the 3rd class when I left. I didn't attend school any more but commenced working for my father in his garden. I stayed with my father 4 or 5 years and then went up the country to Northam where I worked for a Chinese named Sam Lee in his garden for a few months. Leaving there I went back to my father and worked for him for 8 or 9 months. I went from ther t Wangeroo (?) about 8 miles from Nth Perth where] worked for a Chinese named Lew Jim for 11 months! I worked for Ah Hon in a garden in Fremantle for a short time and then went back to my father where I stayed some time, I came out in the year 1900. I left West Australia and came over to Victoria and went up to Caroona (sic) about 90 miles beyond Bendigo where I worked for a Mr Johnson, an Englishman for one year as a gardener He owns a garden there and has men working for him. I got the job from Quong Hie Shing in L.Bourke street. I didn't work there 2 years. I left and came back to Melbourne. I went back to Bendigo and worked for a Chinese named Wee Doon at Quarry Hill 1and a half years. I went from there to Euroa and worked for a Chinese herbalist called Sang or Lew Fat for 4 years. I left and came back to Melbourne. I next went to Geelong and worked for Lew King in in his garden there. It was near the "Iron Bridge," S.Geelong. I stayed there for 1.5 years. It way called "Ah King's garden."1 next went to Holbrook and worked for Wah Lee in his garden for 3 years. I came down to Oakleigh and went to work in Ah Ning's garden for 2 years. I went from there to Kooyong and worked in Ah Sloot's garden in Elizabeth st. for 3 months'. I registered as an alien at Quarry Hill Police Station when I was working up there under the name of Jim Gooey. I was given an Alien Registration Card but I have since lost it. I am a singlE man. I have 3 brothers living with my father, also 2 sisters. My mother is living in China. All these children were born in W.A ., I am their step-brother. I have no real brother out here. I was convicted for gambling on one occasion when I gave the name "Lew Yow"* I was caught in Wing Lee's gambling shop in L.Bourke St about 3 years ago. I don't smoke opium. J. Gooey 25.3.27 *Det. Insp. J. Gleeson notes using aliases in Court was common


1928 (41 years old)

Deserted SS Kwan Kun late 1920

Said to have escaped War Lee Garden Ryde Customs raid
Claimed was brought out by uncle Tommy Wong as a twelve year old. His uncle had shop in William St Sydney. His uncle returned to China and he stayed at the Loon Hing Low Cook Shop in Campbell St for 8 years.

Started French polishing at War Hop’s Factory at 51 Botany Rd Waterloo and slept on the premises. 6 and a half years ago went to Wollongong to cook at Joe War Gow’s green grocer shop where he is now employed (1928)

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