Janice LOWE and Ivor Loong KEY's birth certificate

 
 
 

My father, Ivor Loong KEY 's [吳耀牛] birth certificate, is actually a certified copy of entry in the Register-Book of Births in the District of Wellington. He was born in Wellington, on 20 January 1912. His three sisters, Violet, Jessie and Rose, born 1908, 1910 and 1914 were also born in Wellington. It was necessary for a birth certificate to be obtained before his parents and their NZ born children returned to live in China. The certificate would also facilitate their return to NZ.

My grandfather's correct name, in Chinese order, with the surname first, was NG Loong Gu [吳良舉] . But he was noted as Loong KEY on my father's birth certificate. Hence, my father was registered as Ivor Loong Key [良舉], with our surname becoming KEY, instead of NG. Grandfather Loong KEY's first wife never came to NZ, but her three children did, after his return to China in 1915. They settled eventually in Wellington, Fielding and Napier.

Dad was the third child of grandfather's second wife, Choong SOONG (Chun Key). She joined grandfather Loong KEY in Wellington in 1908. Choong SOONG had to pay the NZ poll tax imposed on Chinese immigrants at that time. But later, grandfather arranged for his wife's poll tax to be refunded. The refund may have been possible because Loong KEY was one of the few Chinese who had been naturalised in NZ.

In 1928, at the age of sixteen, father married WONG Low Yung [黄柳容], in China. He returned to NZ on the Mahuna on 8th October, 1929. It was almost twenty years before she was able to join him in Eketahuna in 1948 where he had established a fruit shop business.  My sister Gillian and I were born in Eketahuna. Our parents saw each other only twice after their marriage in 1928, before our mother came to NZ. Father was only able to return twice during that period to his ancestral NG surname village of Tien Sum [田心村].

The photograph of my father, aged about three, was taken before he travelled to China. It's attached to the birth certificate with a red seal. He said it would have been taken by a professional photographer. It's possible the outfit he wore, and the toy wheelbarrow belonged to the photographer. With me, in the recent photograph by K T HO, is my husband Kelvin LOWE.

Janice LOWE

2016

 

Janice LOWE

It was common in the early twentieth century that the Chinese in New Zealand sent their young children back to China for education. However, Janice [劉吳佩英] and Gillian’s [楊吳佩蓮] father Ivor Loong KEY (NG Yew Ow, 吳耀牛) was different as the whole family returned home in 1915. They included father NG Loong Key [吳良舉], mother Choong SOONG (Chun Key, the second wife) and Ivor’s three sisters Violet, Jessie, and Rose.  They lived in their ancestral village Tien Sum [田心村].  It was until after Ivor’s arranged marriage to WONG Low Yung [黄柳容] in 1928 that the family returned to live in New Zealand in 1929. However, his wife Low Yung did not join the family until after twenty years in 1948.

When Janice showed me her father’s birth certificate with a red-sealed portrait photograph of him attached, she told me that she could hardly imagine how her parents got to know each other when they had separated for twenty years immediately after an arranged marriage. The fact is they sustained and raised a happy family.

In this photograph, I contained Ivor’s birth certificate and photographs in his traveling suitcase.  For me, like many other overseas Chinese, one is bonded to travel for life.

 

King Tong HO

2016


父亲吴耀牛的出生证其实是一张经过认证的威灵顿出生登记副本。他于一九一二年一月二十日在威灵顿出生, 他的三个姊妹:Violet、Jessie 和Rose 依次出生于一九零八、一九一零及一九一四年, 也是出生在威灵顿, 为了方便他们回中国居住及之后返回纽西兰, 祖父必须为儿女们领取出生证。

祖父的正确姓名、依照中式以姓为先、是吴良举, 但在父亲的出生证上却登记为 Ivor Loong KEY [良举], 举变为姓氏, 而不是姓吴。祖父的第一任妻子从没有来纽西兰, 祖父在一九一五年返回中国, 之后带同三个子女来到纽西兰, 相继定居在威灵顿、Fielding 和 Napier。

父亲是祖父第二任妻子 Choong SOONG (Chun Key) 的第三个孩子, Choong SOONG 连同祖父在一九零八年来到威灵顿, 她当时要缴付纽西兰政府加诸于华裔移民的人头税, 及后祖父替她申领回款, 因为他是少数入了纽西兰藉的华人。

一九二八年, 父亲十六岁时, 回中国与黄柳容女士结婚, 他在一九二九年十月八日返回纽西兰Mahuna。差不多二十年后, 于一九四八年, 她才能与丈夫在 Eketahuna 团聚, 他在那里经营蔬果店。父母在婚后只见过两次, 因为其间父亲只能回田心村吴氏祖家两次。我和姊妹 Gillian 都出生在 Eketahuna。

照片中的父亲约三岁, 是往中国之前拍摄的, 用于贴在出生证上, 并盖了红印。从父亲的服装看来, 相信照片拍自专业摄影师, 而玩具独轮车是摄影师的。何经棠替我拍的照片中, 一起的是丈夫Kelvin LOWE。

 

刘吴佩英

2016

 

刘吴佩英

二十世纪初, 纽西兰华人常常会把孩子送回中国接受教育。但是刘吴佩英 和杨吴佩莲的父亲吴耀牛 (NG Yew Ow, Ivor Loong KEY) 与众不同。这个家族, 包括父亲吴良举 (NG Loong Key)、母亲 Choong SOONG (Chun Key, 第二任太太) 和吴耀牛的三个姐妹 Violet、Jessie、Rose于一九一五年一起回到家乡, 住在他们祖辈居住的田心村, 直至一九二八年吴耀牛和黄柳容接受由双方父母安排的盲婚后, 于一九二九年返回纽西兰。但是他的妻子黃柳容到二十年后的一九四八年才抵达纽西兰,  与他们团聚。

当刘吴佩英向我展示她父亲附有盖着红印照片的出生证明时, 说她很难想象盲婚的父母在分离二十年后是怎样立刻相认的。事实是他们最终组建了一个幸福的家庭。

在拍这张照片时, 我在吴耀牛的旅行箱里放进了他的出生证明和照片。对于包括我在内的很多海外华人来说, 我们的命运犹如一个永不完结的旅途。

 

何经棠

2016


父親吳耀牛的出生證其實是一張經過認證的威靈頓出生登記副本。他於一九一二年一月二十日在威靈頓出生,他的三個姊妹:Violet、Jessie 和Rose 依次出生於一九零八、一九一零及一九一四年,也是出生在威靈頓,為了方便他們回中國居住及之後返回紐西蘭,祖父必須為兒女們領取出生證。

祖父的正確姓名、依照中式以姓為先、是吳良舉,但在父親的出生證上卻登記為 Ivor Loong KEY [良舉],舉變為姓氏,而不是姓吳。祖父的第一任妻子從沒有來紐西蘭,祖父在一九一五年返回中國,之後帶同三個子女來到紐西蘭,相繼定居在威靈頓、Fielding 和 Napier。

父親是祖父第二任妻子 Choong SOONG (Chun Key) 的第三個孩子,Choong SOONG連同祖父在一九零八年來到威靈頓,她當時要繳付紐西蘭政府加諸於華裔移民的人頭稅, 及後祖父替她申領回款,因為他是少數入了紐西蘭藉的華人。

一九二八年, 父親十六歲時, 回中國與黃柳容女士結婚,他在一九二九年十月八日返回紐西蘭Mahuna。差不多二十年後,於一九四八年,她才能與丈夫在 Eketahuna 團聚,他在那裡經營蔬果店。父母在婚後只見過兩次,因為其間父親只能回田心村吳氏祖家兩次。我和姊妹 Gillian 都出生在 Eketahuna。

照片中的父親約三歲,是往中國之前拍攝的,用於貼在出生證上,並蓋了紅印。從父親的服裝看來,相信照片拍自專業攝影師,而玩具獨輪車是攝影師的。何經棠替我拍的照片中,一起的是丈夫 Kelvin LOWE。

 

劉吳佩英

2016

 

劉吳佩英

二十世紀初,紐西蘭華人常常會把孩子送回中國接受教育。但是劉吳佩英 和楊吳佩蓮的父親吳耀牛 (NG Yew Ow, Ivor Loong KEY) 與眾不同。這個家族,包括父親吳良舉 (NG Loong Key)、母親 Choong SOONG (Chun Key, 第二任太太)和吳耀牛的三個姐妹 Violet、Jessie、Rose於一九一五年一起回到家鄉, 住在他們祖輩居住的田心村,直至一九二八年吳耀牛和黄柳容接受由雙方父母安排的盲婚後, 於一九二九年返回紐西蘭。但是他的妻子黃柳容到二十年後的一九四八年才抵達紐西蘭, 與他們團聚。

當劉吳佩英向我展示她父親附有蓋著紅印照片的出生證明時,說她很難想象盲婚的父母在分離二十年後是怎樣立刻相認的。事實是他們最終組建了一個幸福的家庭。

在拍這張照片時,我在吳耀牛的旅行箱裏放進了他的出生證明和照片。對於包括我在內的很多海外華人來說,我們的命運猶如一個永不完結的旅途。

 

何經棠

2016