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Meet Darwin businessman Kwong Sue Duk, photographed here with his three wives and 17 children. Kwong Sue Duk was a Chinese herbalist and doctor from Guangdong Province who arrived in Darwin in 1887. After opening general stores and acquiring various properties, Kwong had a dream of setting up an opium factory, importing the raw material from India, processing it here and exporting it again. To do that, he erected the building on Cavenagh Street that we now know as the Stone House, or Sue Wah Chin building. The opium business didn't work out, and the Kwong family eventually moved to Queensland, but they left us with the only remaining original building from Darwin's Chinese past. This week, many of his descendants returned to Darwin for a large family reunion. Their remarkable story is part of a new audio walking tour of the CBD called Darwin: A Tale of Four Cities.

Image: State Library of Victoria

Published: 8 July 2018


Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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