Friends of Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre receive $10,000 for marking Chinese migrant graves in Ararat cemetery

The Friends of Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre have received $10,000 towards placing gravestones to mark the hundreds of Chinese migrants buried at Ararat.

Friends of Gum San president Henry Gunstone said the cemetery project was much closer to getting started thanks to a generous personal donation.

“Our project is to restore headstones of Chinese buried in Ararat Cemetery,” he said.

“The cost fo the project is about $35,000 and to date we have received $23,000 with a very large donation this week of $10,000 from Jimmy Li and his father WanDong.

“They made the donation in a personal capacity. They through the project was worthwhile to support and they donated the $10,000 personally to the Friends of Gum San.”

Mr Gunstone said the Li Family were originally from Taishan in China, which has a sister city relationship with Ararat and close links to the region’s schools.

“WanDong went to Taishan Number One High School,” Mr Gunstone said.

“Everyone in the Chinese community in Melbourne realises that Ararat has the best sister city project in Australia.”

Mr Gunstone said that once the project was finished, it could supply about 200 gravestones within a few months.

“We know the names of the people that are interred there, We’re working with the Chinese community and committees in Melbourne to determine what sort of headstones we put there,” he said.