Saturday, January 7, 2012


(By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent) WELLINGTON, this day.

On Saturday evening the steamer Ventnor will leave here for Hong kong carrying 554 coffins containing the bodies and bones of Chinamen who have died in a foreign country which are being taken to a last sleeping place in their Motherland to satisfy the demands of their religion and a wish natural to men of all nationalities. Most of the dead that are being taken away were members of the Chong Shin Tong Society. The agreement between the society and the agents for the charterers provides that a health certificate, as required by law, and all necessary permits to land the coffins at Hongkong, shall be obtained by the society. The coffins are not to he transhipped or disturbed after leaving Wellington under a penalty of £1000, unless such transhipment or disturbance shall be rendered necessary by perils of the sea or unavoidable accident. They must be carried on the tween decks of the steamer, which have been fitted for this purpose, tier upon tier, and heads to the bow. Practically the coffins are all placed in pigeon holes, space being left for the body servants, of which there are six to walk between and perform rites pertaining to the religion of Confucius. The coffins of the dead outside of the Chong Shin Tong Society have to be stored apart from others, and there are separate compartments for the casket in which is the body of Sew Hoy, a former prominent Dunedin merchant. His son, Mr. Kum Poy Sew Hoy, will superintend the stowage of his father's coffin. He is secretary to the Chong Shin Tong Society, and has been the leading spirit in the shipment of his dead countrymen. He was educated at the Dunedin University, he is a cultured speaks English fluently. Captain Ferry, commander of the Ventnor employed in the transhipment of Chinese bodies from various places in the East, and his vessel is one of very few which has been permitted by the Chong Shin Tong Society to fly the Dragoon flag. Auckland Star, Volume XXXIII, Issue 252, 23 October 1902, Page 2

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