A Lawrence her­itage hit

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

A week on from the hugely suc­cess­ful Lawrence Chi­nese lan­tern pa­rade, or­gan­iser Anne Cheng is still beam­ing like one of the lanterns her com­mu­nity made for the in­au­gu­ral event.

She ex­pressed her pride at Lawrence’s achieve­ment, in an event that looks set to be­come a fix­ture on the south Otago town’s cal­en­dar. ’’I am still grin­ning like the Cheshire cat.’’

She thought the ini­tia­tive had set a high bench­mark for an an­nual event to ac­knowl­edge the Chi­nese her­itage of Lawrence through cel­e­brat­ing im­por­tant cul­tural fes­ti­vals.

The town, which played an in­te­gral part in the dis­cov­ery of gold in Otago, has a bit­ter-sweet con­nec­tion with Chi­nese peo­ple who came out to New Zealand as gold min­ers, be­cause of ra­cial at­ti­tudes in the 1860s. The Lawrence Chi­nese Camp, which will be a re­cip­i­ent of any do­na­tions re­sult­ing from the lan­tern pa­rade, is an ex­am­ple of how the Chi­nese were pushed to the fringes of so­ci­ety, by hav­ing to live on the out­skirts of town.

How­ever, a place of ban­ish­ment has be­come an ac­knowl­edg­ment of their con­tri­bu­tion to the area, with re­de­vel­op­ment of the site. The pa­rade was funded from the Clutha District Cre­ative Com­mu­ni­ties Scheme and a grant from the Lawrence Athenaeum Min­ing Institute.


Or­gan­is­ers Jenny Bird and right, Anne Cheng, hang­ing up the com­mu­nity’s hand­i­work.

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