The people shown in this portrait have been identified by their daughter and younger sister as Gee Ching Dong (also known as Herbert Gee-Dong), his wife Wong Yuk Lan (Lily Gee-Dong) and their infant son
Gee Ching Dong was born in the village of Gee-wong-tong in Guangzhou Province in 1891. He was one of several family members who emigrated to New Zealand in the late 19th Century. Three of his older brothers established well-known businesses in Wellington, trading in vegetables, fruit, silk and other Chinese goods and Gee Ching Dong arrived in 1908 to work with them.
During a visit to China in 1917, Gee Ching Dong married New Zealand-born Wong Yuk Lan. Their daughter Rose was born on 6 October 1918.
The family returned again to Guangzhou around 1930. Gee Ching Dong started a bicycle assembly and retail business, gaining the South China regional agency for well-known foreign manufacturers such as BSA, Raleigh and the Canadian Cycle Company. The business prospered and by 1931 the extended family was living in a specially-built four-story building, with the Gee-Dong Cycle business on the ground floor.
Following the Japanese invasion, the family fled to Hong Kong, eventually returning safely to New Zealand in 1938. They settled in Masterton, establishing the Gee Dong & Sons fruit shop, which remained in business until 1976.
Gee Ching Dong died in 1983, aged 91, Lily having predeceased him in 1965. They are buried together in Wellington's Karori Cemetery under the names of Herbert and Lily Gee-Dong. Rose died in Auckland in 1992.
Source; William Berry. (1920). Portrait of Gee Ching Dong (Herbert Gee-Dong), Wong Yuk Lan (Lily Gee-Dong) and baby Norman Gee-Dong. Retrieved 10 April 2018, from https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/363987
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|current||22:05, April 10, 2018||1,792 × 2,400 (2.1 MB)||Cameronsang||Family portrait of Gee Ching Dong (Herbert Gee-Dong), Wong Yuk Lan (Lily Gee-Dong) and baby Rose Gee-Dong. The people shown in this portrait have been identified by their daughter and younger sister as Gee Ching Dong (also known as Herbert Gee-Dong), ...|