Ding (1876 - 1963)
pioneer and market gardener
Ding came to Dunedin from Guang Dong in
China in 1908. He was 32 years old and had
come to New Zealand to restore his fortunes.
A disease had wiped out his farm's pigs
in China and left him saddled with debts.
His first nine years were spent at the Nokomai
goldfield but in 1917 he moved to Dunedin.
He began market gardening on leased land
at Forbury and the next year went back to
China. Unfortunately he lost all his money
gambling, quite uncharacteristically, and
soon returned to Dunedin. Taking up a second
lease at Forbury he developed a garden on
the site of the present day King's High
School. He lived in a small hut on site.
was one of ten Chinese market gardens between
Macandrew and Bayview Roads. The men who
worked them maintained a low profile in
the district, living in spartan conditions
on their leased land. Vegetables were hawked
directly to housewives from horse and cart
or sold on to the produce markets. In 1920
Chun's son, Chew Cheung, came to New Zealand
to help his father. Their hard work in market
gardens at Forbury, Kaikorai and on the
Taieri was rewarded. Eventually they were
able to bring their whole family to Dunedin.
By the 1960s the Ding family had extensive
land holdings near Outram and had become
respected members of the Otago community.
Mr and Mrs Chung Ding photographed at home
on the family market gardening holdings
at Outram in the 1960s.
Site last updated 25/07/03
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