DAY, Luke Hedow
- Born: Cir 1870, Not Known
- Marriage: MACLEOD, Hester (Esther) Miriam on 22 Sep 1894 in Stapletons Boarding House, Adelaide, South Australia
- Died: 30 Aug 1962, Burra, South Australia at age 92
According to Luke Day's death certificate he was born at sea.
I am unsure how reliable this information is given the lack of records remaining in existance for Chinese imigrants.
Luke Day's story
On the 8th September 2008 I spent a day in Burra with Bev (nee Walker) & Dick and David Walker. We were given a tour of Burra by Meredith Satchel and Eric Fuss.
One of the stories we were told is that on returning from one of his delivery runs into the outlying "suburbs" of Burra Luke Day had a child with him. It appears this child was around 8-9 years old.
When this child we know as Mollie was enrolled in school in Jan 1894 she was called Mary Day and her father was listed as Arthur Rigby.
We were also told that the couple adopted other children. From the extracts in the Burra record below it seems that the Day's were generous in their assistance of the less fortunate in the Burra community. CW Sept 2008
Chinese Imigration to SA.
After the discovery of gold in at Mt Alexander near Castlemaine, Victoria in 1851, the South Australian colony was in financial trouble. Many of it's European settlers had walked off of the land and headed to Victoria, gold prospecting. Each of them taking 10-12 pounds from the bank to buy tents and equipment to prospect for gold. The mass withdrawal of funds from the Bank of South Australia led to a great shortage of cash in the colony.
Crops were left to rot in the paddocks because there were no men to harvest them. Many men left their wives and families with very little or no means of support, promising to send gold as soon as they were able. Many women were left with no alternative but the "Poor Asylum" in order to feed their children.
In the early the 1850's the Californian goldfields had lured Chinese workers away from the poverty of their homeland but they were not welcome in America. They would have been seen as failures and felt great shame if they returned home so the discovery of gold near Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia in 1851 provided the Chinese imigrants an alternative country in which to seek their fortune.
It is thought that between 1852 - 1856 about 7,000 Chinese passengers arrived in South Australia via Port Adelaide which added greatly to the South Australian colony.
The Chinese spent their cash in the colony to buy provisions and equipment for their journey to Victoria and helped save the colony from financial ruin.
The Chinese imigrants were not popular in Victoria and in 1855 the Victorian Government imposed a 10 pound landing fee for selected imigrants. This resulted in them having to find an alternative place to land which was close enough for them to walk overland. This place was Guischen Bay near Robe and it is thought that over 16,000 Chinese passengers landed in Australia this way.They then walked overland to the Victorian Goldfields or in some cases to Burra to the Copper mines.
By 1857 the South Australian Government bowed to pressure from the Victorian Government and imposed it's own landing tax. This had the affect of dramatically reducing imigration of Chinese prospectors.
I suspect that South Australia viewed the Chinese settlers in a more positive light than Victorians since their money had helped the colony through it's worst years.
Nearly all of the Chinese prospectors were men, and with virtually no Chinese women. It appears most of the Chinese prospectors eventually returned to China having paid off their passage and presumably found some gold form themselves.
From the Burra Record
Transcribed by Eric Fuss
South Australian Deaths - Index of Registrations 1916 - 1972
"DAY Luke Hedow (M) 95y stat (W) of Burra d 30 Aug 1962 at Burra dist Bur b943 p5486".
Luke married Hester (Esther) Miriam MACLEOD, daughter of John MACLEOD and Ellen VALENTINE, on 22 Sep 1894 in Stapletons Boarding House, Adelaide, South Australia. (Hester (Esther) Miriam MACLEOD was born on 2 Feb 1875 in Angaston, South Australia and died on 13 Apr 1941 in Burra, South Australia.)
South Australian Marriages - Index of Registrations 1842 - 1916
DAY Luke 24y S (f Lenhing DAY) m 22 Sep 1894 MACLEOD Hester Miriam 19y S (f John MACLEOD) at Stapleton's Boarding House Adelaide dist Ade b180 p960.