Pure brightness

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  • Published 20140129
  • ISBN: 9781922182241
  • Extent: 300 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

EACH April at Pure Brightness Festival (Ching Ming) Chinese families sweep the graves and perform traditional rites to honour their ancestors. On 4–5 April 2013, a hundred people gathered in the remote far north of New Zealand to commemorate those lost when the SS Ventnor sank off the coast of the Hokianga on 28 October 1902.

The Ventnor was carrying the exhumed bones of 499 Chinese for reburial in their villages in China as well as impoverished elderly Chinese men whose fares home had been paid by fellow Chinese New Zealanders. Some crew and most of the Chinese and bones were lost at sea. Some bones washed up along the coast and were recovered and cared for by Te Roroa and Te Rarawa.

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About the author

Alison Wong

Alison Wong's novel, As the Earth Turns Silver (Pan Macmillan, 2009), won the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted...

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