Monday, July 11, 2011


Ah Chan Passes (From "Truth's" Greymouth Rep.) Ah Chan's wandering soul has passed on to join those of his ancestor in the Promised Land, while its earthly casket was found, face downwards, In a grave-like trench outslde his tumbledown hut -on the Old Marsden Road the other day. Seventy-two yeara ago Ah Chan flrat saw tho light of day in far-off China, and, like many of his compatriots, took the trail tor God's Own Country. He said "Whaffor!" to the West Coast In the days of the gold rushes, pursuing tho quest of the yellow metal with a bland smile, but never with sufficient success to allow him to return to his native land and manipulate tho chop-sticks with an easy mind. The gold fever finally died out of his blood and he took up tho more prosaic and perhaps more lucrative job of market gardening, becoming one of tho many Chinese engaged in supplying the people of Greymouth with tho succulent lettucc. Heavy West Coast rain soaked Ah Chan one unlucky day, however, and for the past two years he had been welly sick. Friends tried to persuade him to enter the Old People's Home. but perhaps he knew that the present Home is nearly as rickety as his own hut. Anyway, Ah Chan stuck to the bungalow on the lonely Old Mardsen Road, managing to keep body and soul together with the proceeds of his labour on his section. Then Death came and unfolded its kindly Mantle, terminating the hermit like existence of the old exile. His body was found partially covered with earth in a trench. There are some who believe that Ah Chan felt that his day was done, and crept into the trench intending to use it as a grave. Who knows? To some he was only a Chow, but his was a pathetic death. "Natural causes" was the verdict of the coroner. NZ Truth , Issue 970, 28 June 1924, Page 5

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