CHINESE MINERS WHO DIED TWICE

I once filmed a TV documentary called Chinaman’s Gold which told the story of the Chinese miners at the Central Otago goldfields. During the month long shoot, I paid visits to a couple of small cemeteries to film the graves of some Chinese miners. The modest weather beaten wooden grave markers, usually on an angle because they were not embedded well into the ground, were forlorn sights placed at the edge of the graveyard partly hidden under trees or in gullies. The idea was to have them as far away as possible from the Christian European graves. These unfortunate men were disparagingly called ‘Celestials’ and were regarded as inferior to the Europeans who they shared the goldfields with. read more