Wooden abacus used by Sydney Louey Gung, possibly purchased in Australia or brought with Sydney from China during the early 1900s.

Sydney Louey Gung migrated to Australia from China in about 1900 at the age of 20 or 22 years. He married Yan Pein/ May Louey Gung in 1912 and they had seven children. Sydeny spent most of his life in Melbourne, living in or around Carlton despite first arriving in Sydney. He worked as a cabinet maker and a fruit merchant for his older brother Harry Louey Pang as well as for the Geraldton Fruit Company. He died in 1954.

Physical Description

Abacus with a brown timber frame and 15 timber rods. There are two levels to the abacus - the upper level has two discs per rod, the lower level has 5 discs per rod.


The Gung family collection provides an invaluable representation of Chinese migration and settlement experiences in the Museum's migration collections. The family narrrative spans two generations, enabling the exploration of key themes such as the establishment and gradual dillution of the White Australia policy, Chinese businesses and the labour market, and family life. Many of the documents in the collection reflect the gradual easing of the restrictions on Asian immigration which occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, policy shifts which contributed to the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. The objects compliment the photographs and documents and tell the story of a family's desire to continue their cultural practices and remember their cultural heritage while living in Australia from the 1920s to the 1960s.

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