Yiu Ming Temple | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Yiu Ming Temple

Item details

Name of item: Yiu Ming Temple
Other name/s: Yiu Ming Hung Fook Tong Temple, Chinese Temple, Hong Sheng Gong, Hung Sheng Gong
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Shrine
Location: Lat: -33.9024702864 Long: 151.2007268590
Primary address: 16-22 Retreat Street, Alexandria, NSW 2015
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP197155
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
16-22 Retreat StreetAlexandriaSydneyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Yiu Ming SocietyReligious Organisation 

Statement of significance:

The temple is of historical, architectural, religious and social significance to a section of Sydney's Chinese community. The Yiu Ming is one of the oldest and largest Chinese Societies. For approximately 130 years, the temple and its community and environment have provided practical assistance and spiritual support for community members seeking to establish themselves in Australia.
Architecturally, the building is significant for its blending of traditional design, local materials and Federation detailing. The building has not been significantly modified since construction. The most significant modifications, following recent fire damage, replicated original form and materials as much as possible.The elaborate fittings of the temple provide evidence of community commitment to the temple and also demonstrate the skill of Chinese artisans at the beginning of the 20 th century.
As many village temples in China no longer exist, this fine, intact example is considered to be of both local and international significance.
Date significance updated: 30 Jun 99
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Physical description: The temple remains much as it was when originally built. Most of the internal fittings date from this time. The temple walls are of red-faced brick, originally tuck pointed. The internal floor is of tessellated tiles with a white marble edging. Many internal details are of timber. The area is lit and ventilated by a 'roof lantern' over a sunken floor section designed for burning incense and oil. Doors and fittings, including the main altar, are original.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The physical condition of the Temple is sound and most associated objects are in stable condition.
Date condition updated:30 Jun 99
Modifications and dates: The following modifications to the temple and objects have been identified:

Following fire damage (Dec ’96) the temple and some associated objects were restored ( during 1997). The temple roof was replicated using imported Chinese tiles. Damaged timber panels from the temple interior were restored. Undamaged wooden items were cleaned. The main light fitting of the temple was reconstructed around the original frame. The altar table, which was completely destroyed, was replaced. The altar itself was cleaned and the central painting was re-painted. The temple was re-wired and repainted. The garden was tiled. The main burner of the temple has been moved outside to minimise smoke damage and the sunken floor area which housed it has been filled in by the addition of removable timber panels.

A number of earlier modifications have also been identified:
The roof of the temple was repaired, incorporating quad and square metal downpipes on the east and West sides, addition of concrete angled tiles and decorative ceramic tiles over the gateway. This is estimated to have been done in the 1950’ 0r 60’s. Electricity was fitted to the temple, most likely in the 1960’s or 70’s
Cracks in the external brickwork of the temple appear to have been repaired and patched, perhaps a number of times. The tiled surfaces of the temple show evidence of repair. Cement was used at some stage to repair the decorative ridge tiles. The community room and kitchen, built as an extension to the rear of the terrace closest to the temple, shows evidence of repeated modification, in 1930’s, 1950’s 1970’s and most recently in 1996, when the kitchen area was refurbished. The building was documented before the last modification. The pailou and tile capped perimeter wall were added in 198. The terrace houses and street are currently being refurbished 1998-9.
Further information: Associated objects that were not restored after fire damage in 1996, still show evidence of oil and smoke staining as a result of long exposure to burning oil and incense.
Current use: The temple is a place of worship, community activity and celebration.
Former use: Aboriginal land, periurban estate

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters (Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani).

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney (Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani).

Yiu Ming Temple:
1870s Earliest temple records (of the Yiu Ming Hung Fook Tong) list members. Members then, as now, come from two counties, Gaoyao/Gouyiu and Gaoming/Gouming, in the province of Guandong (formerly known as Canton). 1880s Alexandria council rate books list many Chinese community members. By 1890 it was estimated that about 100 Chinese community members lived in Retreat Street. In 1908, construction of the temple began. In 1907, 1909 and 1917, the commissioned works for the interior of the temple date from these years. Two private companies, Tiy Loy and Co. and Wah Hing and Co. were established by society members, with premises on Botany Road, adjacent to Retreat Street. In 1910 Society records list members in Rose Bay, Botany, Waterloo, Kogarah, Northern Sydney, Canberra, Bombala and Newcastle. The figurative ceramic roof tiles were imported from Foshan ceramic works. In 1949 the Chinese Revolution bans the return (to China) of the bones of Chinese who die overseas. In 1950 Society members are able to apply for Naturalisation and are able to bring family members to live in Australia. 15 years residency in Australia is a prerequisite. In 1980's Society membership increases dramatically as a result increasing immigration. This growth pattern continues. In May 1981 Addition of pailou and tile capped wall , enclosing Retreat Street. In 1990 Committee for the Yiu Ming Society is formed and the committee members are elected. Previously officials were not elected. The name of the Society was changed and shortened from Yiu Ming Hung Fook Tong Society to Yiu Ming Society. In 1995/6 Conservation documentation of the Temple and Retreat Street is done. In December 1996 fire at temple was quickly extinguished and smoke and water damage minimised by the fire brigade crew who recognised the special nature of the building and associated objects. In 1996 the Womens Committee is formed and members are selected/ elected by the Yiu Ming Committee. In 1997/8 building and associated objects are restored and cleaned. Project worked on by community artisans and architects as well as Powerhouse Museum staff. Conservation documentation informs this work. In 1998/99 temple re-opened around Chinese New Year. The terrace houses are refurbished, improving living conditions for the elderly residents.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Modification of terrain-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. Chinese religious practices-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Unseen but Present-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of institutions - productive and ornamental-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and parklands of distinctive styles-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of passive recreation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of cultural and natural interaction-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of urban amenity-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of contemplation and devotion-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Gardens and landscapes reminiscent of an 'old country'-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes demonstrating styles in landscape design-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Holding opening and dedication ceremonies-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Building settlements, towns and cities-National Theme 4
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Architectural design-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Adapted heritage building or structure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing the clergy and religious-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal 1820s-1850s land grants-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Sub-division of large estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Administering and alienating Crown lands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Fencing boundaries - mortared stone walls-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Subdivision of urban estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 19th century suburban developments-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Cultural Social and religious life-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages living in the suburbs-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Suburban Consolidation-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in suburban settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Segregating towns and villages by ethnicity-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing suburbia-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Beautifying towns and villages-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing the social life of a rural community-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working on the land-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working with plants-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working with hand tools and implements-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working independently on the land-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Providing migrant labour-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in orchards-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Local government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - administration of land-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating horticulture-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Welfare-Includes charitable and self-help institutions.
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Developing cultural institutions and ways of life-National Theme 8
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. work of stonemasons-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Applying architectural design to utlilitarian structures-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Patronising artistic endeavours-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Victorian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian (late)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing structures to emphasise their important roles-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Performing important ceremonies and rituals-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in suburbia-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor relief-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Developing collections of items-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to church or temple-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Religious worship-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Adaptive new use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising traditional Chinese religious beliefs-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Providing halls and other community facilities-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Community volunteering-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Community organisations-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Joining together to study and appreciate local history-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to an institution for self improvement-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of formal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing local clubs and meeting places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Providing charity-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Fund-raising activities for community charities-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Community enterprise-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has a recorded history of continuous Chinese occupation since the 1870's.
The temple and many fittings and associated objects have remained substantially intact. The site and the temple are associated with many significant Chinese community members. These include Sam Warley, who operated a large import business with branches in Perth and Hong Kong, John Hoe, who operated a large timber business and formed the NSW Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Deen Bong, a successful cabinet maker who was an early manager of Tiy Loy and Co.
Many society members have been influential in the introduction, growing, marketing and distribution of Chinese vegetables and food. Society members have also helped to maintain Chinese festivals and celebrations, including the lion dance
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
It represents a unique blend of Chinese temple design and Federation detailing. It seems likely that Federation detailing drew heavily on the decorative elements of the Chinese building tradition. The building is an example of the aesthetic of village temples. Standardised building codes and systems meant that temples build outside China strongly resemble those built within China. Exposed rafters and purlins demonstrate traditional Chinese roof structure and demonstrate the flexibility of this system. The highly coloured decorative paintwork used throughout is a very strong aesthetic statement the figurative ceramic roof ridge tiles are a very strong element of the external architecture of the temple. The interior fittings and objects, commissioned from China, represent excellent examples of Chinese decorative arts at the time the temple was built. Many similar pieces have been destroyed in China so that the aesthetic significance of this material is very high.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The complex has remained a cultural, religious and social centre for the community.
The temple Society has assisted community members, especially those newly arrived in Australia, by providing low cost housing, financial support and employment opportunities. This support was especially important when government policy meant that many community members were forced to live with only irregular contact with partners and families, who were still in China. Before the practice was banned, following the Chinese Revolution of 1949, Society members also arranged to return the bones of dead members to China for burial. Painted panels inside the temple list donors at the time of construction of the temple. These panels often refer to loyalty, brotherhood and the wish for happiness, prosperity and longevity. Many current Society members are able to identify the names of grandfathers, great uncles and other forebears on these panels and in the written records of the Society. The temple strongly communicates a sense of community identity and continuity. The Yiu Ming temple siting, orientation and layout follow principles of Chinese cosmology commonly known as feng shui. The main deity of the temple is Hong Sheng. "god of the southern seas". Hong Sheng is not a common deity either for Chinese Australians or for people from southern China. Cai Shen and Guan Di are other gods represented in the temple. The temple iconography includes much Daoist symbolism, including representations of the 8 Immortals and 8 precious things. There is also reference to Buddha.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The temple illustrates various technical adaptations to local conditions and materials. It also demonstrates the internationally recognised versatility and innovative skills of Chinese carpenters during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Given the scarcity of examples of this scale of 'village' temple, even in China, the general adherence to traditional design principles is also of technical interest.
Inscriptions on the painted panels inside the temple provide much information about society members enabling further research into the history of the Society and its members. The records and documents of the Society appear to have been maintained. The Society's relationship to business, market gardening and the Chinese cemetery area at Rookwood are all significant areas for further research.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This temple is one of only a small number (9?) of Chinese temples that survive in Australia. It also illustrates traditional Chinese architecture in transition, displaying various adaptations to local conditions and materials. The temple houses a range of movable objects that were specially commissioned by the community from artists and craftsmen in Guandong at the time that the temple was constructed. In mainland China, many village temples of this period have either been destroyed or are used for other purposes.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The building is an example of Chinese village temple design with distinctive local elements. Retreat Street represents a community approach to survival and adaptation to life in a new country.
Integrity/Intactness: The physical fabric of the temple and its associated objects retain evidence of the historical, architectural, social and spiritual significance of this site.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0129724 Sep 99 1119209

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenLim, Gladys2001'The Chinese in Alexandria New South Wales and the Yiu Ming Temple'
WrittenStephen, Ann1997The Lions of Retreat Street: a Chinese temple in inner Sydney

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage NSW
Database number: 5044695
File number: H99/00041


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