Lula Chinn (Loola Kow You), seated, with her two eldest daughters, Tutoy, left, and Tuchee, right
Tasmania, around 1891
Photograph courtesy Frank Tung Foo Chinn
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Lula migrated from Guangdong in China to the isolated Chinese tin-mining community of Weldborough in north-east Tasmania in 1886, at the age of sixteen. She was bethrothed to marry Maa Mon Chinn, who was then 40 years old. He was a highly respected clan headman, storekeeper and tin miner who had come to Tasmania from Guangdong with his father and older brother in the 1875, to be tin miners. Over the 22 years after their marriage, Lula and Maa Mon Chinn had a family of seven sons and four dauaghters. As tin mining declined, most of the family migrated to Melbourne in the 1910s, where the middle and younger sons developed a fruit and vegetable wholesaling business in
Little Bourke Street. Len Heng, standing at the rear of this potrait, travelled with Loola Kow You from Guangdong to Tasmania, to be her companion. She later married Lee Fook, a Chinese market gardener who lived in Gladstone, 30 miles from Weldborough.