IN A SPIN FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR
As part of Sydney’s Chinese New Year celebrations in early February, Sydney Living Museums joined with the City of Sydney and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to organise a bike tour celebrating Our Chinese Past By Bike.
Participants on the two-hour tour picked up bikes and helmets at Bonza Bikes in The Rocks and set out on a wheel-life engagement with Sydney’s Chinese community.
Sydney has had a recognisable Chinese presence since 1844, when the Nimrod arrived in Sydney harbour with 121 indentured Chinese labourers on board. The tour, co-presented by Anna Cossu, Curator – City Portfolio for Sydney Living Museums, and Chinese historian King Fong OAM, started in The Rocks, where Lower George Street was known as the Chinese Quarter or Little Canton from the 1850s to the 1870s, then pedalled on to Campbell Street in the Haymarket (Sydney’s second Chinatown) followed by the present Chinatown in Dixon Street, with a brief historical talk at each location.
While in The Rocks, the tour visited Susannah Place Museum, where Curator Anna Cossu gave a talk on the Chinese presence in Sydney’s oldest precinct and the Chinese hawkers who used to supply fresh produce and feather dusters to the tenants and shopkeepers in this row of original terraces built in 1884.
“It was a great way to see Sydney,” says Anna, “with remarkably few hills and the reward of dim sum and tea at the end within the lovely Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour.”