Lit Sing Gung Chinese Temple, Innisfail

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area

The bright coloured Chinese temple in Owen Street will attract your attention and draw you in to explore its interior. The temple was designed by Cairns architect Edwin Orchard, and completed in January 1941. The trustees were Johnstone See Poy and A C Marwick. It replaced an earlier temple that had been located on the corner of Edith and Owen Streets, established by Tom See Poy.

Like many of Innisfail's early buildings, it was substantially damaged by the cyclone of March 1918. The Chinese community rebuilt it later that year as a place of worship and reflection to deities of the Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist traditions.

It served as accommodation for elderly Chinese men who had failed to make their fortune on the gold fields, and could not return home empty-handed. Chinese New Year and Moon festivals were celebrated there with dragon parades and fireworks. Accommodation in the old temple was sub-standard and the new one was designed to include quality accommodation.

This space now houses a museum featuring items from Dora See Poy's personal collection, including photographs, clothes and original shop fittings from the family's successful mercantile store. The temple and museum are open to visitors daily.

8 Owen Street
Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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