Josh Quong Tart is a well known Australian actor. He was in the discontinued tv series All Saints and I believe he is now a cast member of the teen soapie Home and Away. Here is a photo of Josh. He is not my type at all and nor does he look Chinese to me.
However, he bears a very famous name, Quong Tart, and he is the great grandson of Mei Quong Tart who was born in China in 1850 and emigrated with his uncle to Australia a decade later.
Mei Quong Tart made considerable money by investing in gold claims and made even more by starting tea rooms in Sydney, the best known being in what is now known as the Queen Victoria Building. In the 1880s he became an acting, and I assume honorary, consular to the Chinese government.
He was philanthropist who looked after large causes and small, the small such as local paperboys. He was a spokesperson and an advocate for the Australian Chinese community. He acted as an interpreter. He campaigned against the opium trade in Australia and saw first hand the effects of opium on his fellow Chinese Australians. He was a generous and benevolent employer. More? A fine cricketer too.
He married an English Australian woman and they produced two sons and four daughters, the daughters being the first Asians to attend Presbyterian Ladies College. His home was Gallop House in Ashfield.
In 1902 he was brutally bashed with an iron bar during a robbery and never fully recovered, dying the following year.
Thousands attended his funeral at Sydney's Rokewood Cemetery. His body was dressed in ceremonial robes of a Mandarin of the Blue Button overlain with his Masonic apron.
A commemorative statue of Quong Tart was erected in Ashfield in 1998.
Although Mei Quong Tart seemed to be without fault and led an exemplary life I did find one serious wrong, he could play the bagpipes.
Here is Mei Quong Tart. Quite a debonair fellow but I can't see the family likeness to his great grandson Josh. For convenience sake, I haven't bothered sorting out the family/personal name muddle. Photo copyright Braidwood Historical Society.
Photo from City of Sydney of Quong Tart outside one of his tearooms.
Bust in Ashfield.
Date started Oct 2010.