Doris Tong Way, photographer unknown, circa 1930. Courtesy of Yvonne Horsfield.Contributors
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Victorians with Chinese ancestry contributed to our society in immeasurable ways.
Pictured here is the school teacher Doris Tong Way.
Doris was the daughter of the last Presbyterian Superintendant Missioner to the Chinese in Ballarat and district from 1903 -1949, Reverend John Tong Way. He came to the Victorian goldfields in 1882 and married his wife Mary by proxy; she joined him in 1893, travelling from Hong Kong. They settled in Ballarat where they raised a family of nine children whilst living at the Presbyterian Manse adjoining the Chinese Mission Church.
Doris, the third child, was born in 1898. She was an outstanding student who won a scholarship to study at Ballarat High School. In 1918 she joined the Education Department as a junior teacher at the Ballarat Orphanage School followed later by a scholarship to Teachers' College in 1921.
Prior to World War 1 she was engaged to be married to a young man of European descent, but the young man's family disapproved and the marriage was called off. Her ex-fiance went to fight in WW1 and was killed in action. Doris never married, but continued with her career, teaching many generations of young students.
The photograph shows her whilst a staff member at the Newstead State School near Castlemaine in Central Victoria, where she is still remembered fondly by former pupils.
With thanks to Yvonne Horsfield for the primary research and her contribution to this text.