ST Gill, John Alloo's Chinese Restaurant, Main Road, 1855.Contributors
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The path to success on the goldfields often lay not in seeking gold but in offering services to the booming populations of goldfields towns.
Some of the most successful 19th century Chinese migrants were merchants, storekeepers, hospitality owners, and other business operators.
Chinese-owned restaurants, for instance, were popular. The tradition of a Chinese restaurant in every rural Victorian town has a long history.
The most famous Chinese restaurant of all was John Alloo's, immortalised in this drawing by ST Gill.
John Alloo arrived in Australia in 1844, before the gold rush began. He set up in the gold-boom town of Ballarat, serving European-style food to the mining community in the 1850s.
John Alloo became a Chinese community leader. He was appointed interpreter for the Ballarat Chinese Protector William Henry Foster. In 1865 Alloo moved to the new gold rush town of Otago in New Zealand, taking his Ballarat-born family and European wife with him.
With thanks to Liz Denny for parts of this text.