<< Previous - Next >>


Journal by itellya

Pardon my use of Rosebud West to name the suburb which is now, due to historical stupidity, called Capel Sound. Before the real Capel Sound existed, when Port Phillip was called Nerm by the Boon Wurrung, a stream did flow where the real Capel Sound is now situated, the Yarra River. It joined the Tamar River in what is now Bass Strait and the Tasmanian aborigines probably followed it on their walk to Tassie.

Anybody aware of the deep water anchorage but unaware of the stupid suburb name change would think I was stupid if I referred to a creek running through a deep water anchorage!

"William Wong-Shing was born not far from Kowloon in 1880. As a very young man he became a crewman of a ship which sailed to Sydney and heard about the possibilities offered by this foreign land so he returned to China, married his arranged bride, Ah Yip Chinn, also born in 1880, who lived in a neighbouring village.He returned to Sydney with his bride and worked there for about two years before they travelled overland to settle in Carlton, where William worked at the Victoria Market.

William enjoyed travelling to Sorrento on the steamers and became friendly with Charles Morgan, a businessman there who encouraged William to take a lease on land in a hollow near the Sorrento Football Ground (detailed on a history board just inside the entrance of the David MacFarlan Reserve), which he did in about 1910.

In late 1912, William leased 38 acres, bounded by today's Johnson Avenue, Brendel Street, Eastbourne Road and the creek, from David Cairns (of Eleanora in the hospital grounds)at a rental of five pounds one shilling and eightpence."

So begins the story of how the Boneo Swamp Drain became known as Chinaman's Creek.

The rest of the story can be seen in Bettyanne Foster's STORIES OF ROSEBUD WEST. If you are quick you may still manage to purchase a copy of this excellent book from the Seawinds Community Hub:
Visit us: 11a Allambi Avenue, Capel Sound, 3940.
Phone us: (03)5982 2204

The Wong-Shing name became Wong and many seemingly unrelated members of the family are buried in the Rye Cemetery, if I remember correctly, near the north west corner of the hill.

This journal was prompted by a question on the PIONEERS OF THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA Facebook page which I shared on the HISTORY OF DROMANA TO PORTSEA Facebook page, and supplements the very detailed information in Bettyanne's book.

SUE LEGGETT.-Hi. What is the history of the naming of Chinaman's Creek. Is it to do with the King family from Limestone rd.

Joy Booth, a Cairns descendant, told me that some Wong descendants bought land in Limestone Rd.
Luckily I found my notes from the interview.Freddy King married Nellie Wong. He had a dairy farm in limestone Rd. half a mile west of the Boneo school. Their son Barry* walked behind a horse and was kicked in the head. He died despite two operations having been performed. Dennis Wong married Grace Armstrong** and had a property in Limestone Rd near Fred and Nellie. Teddie Wong married Minnie*** and George Wong married Hazel****.

Fred King's marriage record is below.

* EventDeath Event registration number9768 Registration year1948
Personal information
Family nameKING Given namesBarry George SexMale Father's nameKING Frederick George Mother's nameHelen Leslie (Wong) Place of birthMORNINGTON Place of deathCARLTON Age2

** No marriage record found for Dennis Wong or Grace Armstrong. That was because of my rushed note making. Dennis was actually Dennis King as Sue Leggett, who'd asked the original comment pointed out, having read that I hadn't found the marriage record.
Sue Leggett Dennis is Dennis King who married Grace and yes lived on the hill on Limestone rd. Dennis sister is Bev Blakely. I know Bev was born in the little Daub hut still on the property on cnr sandy and limestone rd. Unfortunately a marriage record was still not found.

***EventMarriage Event registration number14466 Registration year1935
Personal information
Family nameWONG Given namesEdwd SexUnknown Spouse's family nameELLIOTT Spouse's given namesMinnie

****EventMarriage Event registration number7820 Registration year1936
Personal information
Family nameWONG Given namesGeo SexUnknown Spouse's family nameMAYBREE Spouse's given namesHazel

Bettyanne Foster's STORIES OF ROSEBUD WEST, although it doesn't mention the Kings, has some terrific information about the Wong-Shings such as William leasing the portion of c/a 13 Wannaeue bounded by Brendel St, Johnson Ave, Eastbourne Rd and the creek from 1912, eventually purchasing this land and much later selling this land to MR. JOHNSON who subdivided it as the Beach Gardens Estate.

Bob Parr's Memoirs on page 37 mention that the Wongs (later) owned today's Village Glen and that all Bob's brothers worked for them. On pages 79-80 is information about William Wong Shing regarding his birth in 1880, his arrival as crewman on a ship in Sydney, returning to marry, returning to Sydney for two years, settling in Carlton and working at the Vic. market, travelling to Sorrento on steamers and being persuaded by Charles Morgan to take a lease on land in a hollow near the Sorrento Sports Ground in about 1910. A HISTORY BOARD JUST INSIDE THE ENTRANCE OF DAVID McFARLAN RESERVE, EXPLAINS THE NAMING OF THE RESERVE AND ALSO GIVES DETAIL ABOUT THE MARKET GARDEN.

In late 1912 David Cairns and William agreed on the aforementioned lease of 38 acres at a rental of five pounds one shilling and eightpence a month. David Cairns was an excellent landlord and erected a three bedroom house and stabling. In 1940 Ted and George purchased (the now) 45 acres and in 1944 Ted bought 68 acres on the eastern side of Chinamans Creek BUT ON THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF EASTBOURNE RD from the Williams family.

In 1967, Ted sold his 68 acres to Charles Coleman but Ted's son, Darren leased part of it until he bought five acres in Fingal, built a home and operated the business from there (at the west end of Limestone Rd as specified by Joy Booth.)

I have only posted a tiny fragment of the information in Bettyanne's book about the family after which Chinamans Creek was named but hopefully I have given an idea of the fantastic detail that is available. There may be some copies still available at the Seawinds Community Hub, next to Eastbourne Primary School.
11a Allambi Avenue, Capel Sound, 3940.
(03)5982 2204

Jeanette Ross Elliott Teddy Wongs sister married Fred King of Limestone rd. Decendants are still living here

Thanks Jeanette Ross Elliott. Marriage record below.
EventMarriage Event registration number9693 Registration year1942
Personal information
Family nameKING Given namesFredk Geo SexUnknown Spouse's family nameWONG Spouse's given namesHelen Lesley

Faye Burnham I remember Ted Wong. But I also remember Charlie Wong (I don't know if Charlie was his real name) who delivered fruit and veges with a horse and cart in the 1950s Then he sold fresh produce from Cairns Avenue. He was a lovely man.

Jeanette Ross Elliott I think George Wong was Teds father

Faye Burnham. On page 78 of STORIES OF ROSEBUD WEST, it is stated that William Wong had three brothers, (George, Toy) and Sammy Wong but this could be wrong as no detail is given about Toy. George was said to be known as Uncle George to distinguish him from William's son, George, and was well known, making deliveries of fruit and vegetables to local customers from before the second world was until about the mid fifties. Ted was said to have moved into his Cairns Avenue home in 1967 but I believe that this home had been built by a man (who may have had reason to be known by a nickname, such as Uncle George or CHARLIE to prevent confusion) and is the one shown on page 195 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, and in ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD if I remember correctly.

As Ted was only 52 when he retired to the Cairns Avenue home, there was no way his son, Darren, could have been the one that Faye knew as Charlie who was doing deliveries in the 1950's. I believe that William only had two brothers and have bracketed the first two brothers above, the two names possibly describing one man, UNCLE GEORGE, and possibly CHARLIE, who would have been 82 years old when he gave up his deliveries in the mid 50's and sold fresh produce from Cairns Avenue, as stated by Faye.

This could be Charlie's death record, his given names being GEORGE TOY. He would have been born in about 1873, about seven years before William.

EventDeath Event registration number5573 Registration year1961
Personal information
Family nameWONG Given namesGeorge Toy SexMale Father's nameTOY Unknown Mother's nameUnknown (Unknown) Place of birthCANTON CHINA Place of deathROSEBUD Age88

His nephew, William's son, George had died in 1947 so from that time there was no need for the bloke doing deliveries for the next eight or so years to have a nickname but customers who had been referring to him as Uncle George (more likely to have been in use among family members) or Charlie, were not going to suddenly start calling him by another name.

WONG SHING.— On May 18 (suddenly),
.at Rosebud, George, beloved husband
of Margaret, son of the late William and
Yip Wong, aged -47 years. At rest. (P.7, The Age, 20-5-1947.)

EventDeath Event registration number18355 Registration year1947
Personal information
Family nameWONG SHING Given namesGeorge SexMale Father's nameWONG SHING William Mother's nameYip (Ah) Place of birthMELBOURNE NORTH Place of deathROSEBUD Age47

EventDeath Event registration number18465 Registration year1946
Personal information
Family nameWONG SHING Given namesWilliam SexMale Father's nameUNKNOWN Unknown Mother's nameUnknown (Unknown) Place of birthCANTON CHINA Place of deathROSEBUD Age74*

If this age is correct, William may have been born in 1881 or 1882, not 1880. Therefore his brother, Sam, may have been slightly older than William.

EventDeath Event registration number7089 Registration year1947
Personal information
Family nameWONG Given namesSamuel SexMale Father's nameWONG Unknown Mother's nameUnknown (Unknown) Place of birthHONG KONG Place of deathPARKVILLE Age67

This Sam Toy would have been born in about the same year as William but at Hong Kong rather than Canton.However Cantonese is the main dialect in Hong Kong so there could be a connection. The death was probably at a hospital.

No death records for Sam Wong-Shing!

Surnames: WONG
Viewed: 462 times
by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2017-09-26 04:50:48

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by itellya on 2017-09-29 15:30:09

Lily A. Wong Shing who lives at Rosebud writes:—Dear Aunt Connie,—This is the first time I have written to you. Will you please accept me as one of your many nieces? We have been taking the "Weekly Times" for a long while, and the "Young Folks" page is very interesting. My father's occupation is market gardening. We have about 27 acres of vegetables growing. We are putting in peas and garlic now. We have some Carmen and Up-to-Date potatoes in. I sometimes do harrowing when father is busy. I have two sisters going to the Rosebud State School. We live about seven or eight miles from the graves of the first settlers in Victoria. Can I write again, please?
(Certainly. Lily. you may write again, you have been added to our large family of nieces.—Aunt Connie.(P.27, Weekly Times, 12-8-1916.)

by itellya on 2017-09-29 23:30:20

Mr. G. Wong Shing, a Chinese market gardener, of Rosebud, has reported to the police that a leather bag containing clothing, £11 in cash, and two cheques, the total value being £22, was stolen from his motor-car while it was standing close to his stall at the Victoria Market early on Thursday morning. (P.31, Argus, 17-10-1925.)

Ah, yes! Ah Yip, William Wong's wife, living on the present David MacFarlan Reserve before the move to Rosebud in late 1912.
At the Sorrento police court on Wednesday, 8th inst, before Mr P.Cohen, P.M., Messrs John Cain and W. J. Hill, J's.P.. Constable Rawlings, as truant officer for the district, proceeded against Edward Clark, Ah Wong Shing, John Grant and Jas. Spunner, for neglecting to send their children to school the required number of days during March last.- In each case fines were recorded to the amount of 2s. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 18-5-1912.)

When William and Ah Yip ventured south from Sydney, they settled at Carlton and William worked at the Victoria Market. Is it just coincidence that a James Wong Shing died at Carlton in 1950 or was he related to William? As in the case of Lily A.Wong Shing, no records were found for James which might prove a relationship. However in looking for one, I discovered that Wong Shing records could actually be there but hard to find because of registrars' confusion about which part of a Chinese name was the family name, as in the case of Nellie's birth record.

WONG SHING. — On September 12, at Royal Melbourne Hospital. James, dearly beloved husband of Ida Evelyn Shing. of 141 Barry-street, Carlton, loving father of Norman, Irene, Lawrence, Evelyn and David, loved father-in-law of Jean, loved grandfather of Ian. (P.2, The Age, 13-9-1950.)

EventBirth Event registration number31096 Registration year1911
Personal information
Family nameWONG-AH-SHING Given namesNellie SexFemale Father's nameWm Mother's nameChen* (Ah-Yip) Place of birthPOINT NEPEAN

(*Given as CHINN on page 77 of STORIES OF ROSEBUD WEST.)

WONG. - In fond memory of my esteemed friend, George, who passed
away suddenly on May l8. 1947. (Inserted by T. Andrews.)

WONG-SHING.-In memory of George, who died at Rosebud May 18, 1947.
-Always remembered. (Inserted by J. and A. Wooster.)
BOTH P.2, ARGUS, 18-5-1948.

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.