Establishment of the Gum San Chinese Museum

A Message from the Chairman Gum San Canton Lead Museum Trust Inc. (April 2004)


The Chinese Professional and Business Association were great supporters during the development stages of the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre at Ararat.

Back in the late 1980’s when development of the Canton Lead site was proposed and the See Yup Society elected to purchase the land on which to build Gum San, it was the late Gordon Hung, the then president of the CPBA who through his enthusiasm for the project, inspired confidence in us to proceed with this significant venture.

Gordon drew up the first business plan for the project and in 1990 he persuaded the commission and pay for the statute of the second and most influential of the Chinese interpreters on the Ararat Goldfields, Wat Ah Che, which now stands in the garden of Gum San.

This statute was cast in Beijing with the help and cooperation of the Oriental Cultural Exchange in Beijing and further assistance was also provided towards transportation costs from China by the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne.

Wat Ah Che was unveiled by the Chinese Consul General Mr Zhou Mingrong in 1991 before many local and Melbourne dignitaries including the Minister for Local Government the Honourable Caroline Hogg.

The CPBA are recognised within the centre for their contribution of the statute and also for various financial contributions made over the years in which the current president Mr Albert Lee, one of the Trustees, played a part.

We are also indebted to our other Melbourne trustees Mr Edward Kan, Cr John So and Dr Teong Soo Saw who have provided assistance in many ways.

The Centre was opened by the Premium the Honourable Steve Bracks in conjunction with the Minister for Immigration the Honourable Philip Ruddock in April 2001.

We are currently embarking on completing stage two to fit out the upstairs exhibition/research/education and the function/convention areas.

Richard S de Fagely
Chairman Gum San Canton Lead Museum Trust Inc.

More information about the Gum San Chinese Museum can be found here at the Ararat Rural City Council website.