Fong Lees Lane to celebrate Chinese-aboriginal heritage
Age: Four! Favourite song? Favourite colour? Favourite game?
Pink and purple
Mario Brothers on my brothers Nintendo on the TV
Who is your best friend? What makes you laugh?
Jokes. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side! Ghost
What are you afraid of? What are you really good at?
What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
What is your favourite fruit? Watermelon What do you want to be when you grow up?
How old is grown up?
LIKE low budget Hollywood movies or Broadway plays which become the unlikely successes of the season, last year’s Fong Lees Lane in Wellington showed how locals can use creativity instead of grant monies to stage true grassroots events that strike a chord that forces locals to show up.
The 2018 event saw thousands of people flock to the tiny lane, with many people telling Dubbo
it was more like being in the Sydney CBD than a back street in a regional town.
Last year Wellington Arts, a local volunteer group, was asked to partner the DREAM Festival and the members decided to create a special community event to celebrate the town’s cultural diversity.
President Lisa Thomas said after proclamation of Wellington in 1817, not a lot happened with further European settlement until around the 1850s when many Chinese men were employed as ‘ring barkers’ to provide resources in land clearing for many of the settlers.
“As the population expanded due to the local gold rush, market gardening became the saving grace of Wellington and its community,” Mrs Thomas said.
“The Chinese adapted well and worked the river flats to cultivate market gardens and employed many Aboriginal people as labourers, and an ethical working relationship was fostered and is, to this day, something quite unique for both cultures.
“Wellington still maintains families of Chinese and Chinese/ Aboriginal families that are proud to be part of this interesting history,” she said.
Fong Lees Lane is a celebration of the unity of these cultures and how the prosperity and economy of Wellington was greatly shaped by these early relationships.
Mrs Thomas said there are many complex historical stories but the Fong Lees Lane event is simply about bringing community together through social interactions.
“Stop and talk to a stranger, share a table with new friends, and make the most of a fabulous night out with great entertainment, encouraging our patrons to just be a part of your community,” she said.
“Come and enjoy excellent multicultural foods, squeeze into our iconic lane, the only one way street in Wellington; we have sneaky back lanes, music, dragons, lanterns, food, friends and a fabulous line up of unique entertainment for all to enjoy.” z is set down for Friday, October 25, with a start time of 5pm. Further information can be found at the Fong Lees Lane Facebook page.
Fong Lees Lane
Scenes from the very popular Fong Lees Lane event in Wellington last year. Organisers are set for the 2019 event, to be held tomorrow (Friday, October 25). PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
A range of different designs and colourful lanterns