31. Hsing Li Kuang “Henly” Fong (1876-1957), tailor
Henly Fong was born in Canton, China. He was an experienced tailor and when he arrived in Darwin, Australia in June 1896 he established a merchant business. He later went gold prospecting with a few friends in Tennant Creek, Katherine and Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. In order to supplement their meagre diets, the Chinese prospectors often planted lotus roots at various water holes so that when they came by again there would be a ready food supply. However, the food supply was not always available as the water occasionally dried up or it was already taken by others.
Gold prospecting was not very favourable for the Chinese, and it was a hard life trying to save money or support a family. By the early 1900s Henly Fong returned to tailoring, first at Cossack and eventually in Broome. He married on a return visit to China in 1917 and his wife and son came to stay in Broome from 1923-1935.
During World War II Henly Fong was evacuated to Perth. His business in Broome was burned down in June 1946, so he remained in Perth. In his 70s he managed to survive as a casual worker for some of the Chinese restaurants in Perth and lived out his life in a room at the rear of Hop Hing & Co, 124 James Street.