Unknown engraver, Mr Lowe Kong Meng, The Australian News for home readers, Ebenezer and David Syme, Melbourne, September 27, 1866.Contributors
This item has been released by the collection holder to foster Victoria's cultural and creative life. If using, please attribute the creator of the work and the collecting institution.Copyright
Out of Copyright
Merchants trading goods between China, Melbourne, Sydney and the goldfields had thriving businesses.
One of the wealthiest was Lowe Kong Meng, a Melbourne-based business man and Chinese community leader who was born a British subject in Penang in 1831 to wealthy merchant parents originally from near Canton (Guangzhou).
Arriving in Victoria on his own ship in 1853, he speculated in mining, owning a gold mine in Majorca, central Victoria. His main business was importing international goods and wares. He also dabbled in banking and insurance.
His fleet of six ships imported tea and other delicacies from around the world, trading with merchants in Mauritius, Calcutta, Singapore, China and also North Eastern Australia and the Torres Strait. He operated his business from Little Bourke Street, Melbourne.
In 1879 with Cheok Cheong Hong and Louis Ah Mouy, he wrote 'The Chinese Question in Australia', advocating for his community against the anti-Chinese immigration policies of the government.
He made many international journeys but chose to settle in Melbourne, marrying Mary Ann Prussia of Tasmania in 1860 and raising a family of many children.