Wedding invitation featuring lotus and duck symbols and written in Chinese characters. Samuel Gung and Mary Mak were married in Australia in 1941. Consequently, they did not have a Chinese marriage certificate so they had this one issued in Hong Kong after their marriage. In Buddhism, the lotus symbolises purity and holiness while mandarin ducks are traditionally believd to be lifelong couples and so are used in Chinese art as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity.

Samuel Louey Gung, the son of Sydney Louey Gung, was born in Carlton in 1920 and died in Melbourne in 1993. He was educated in China and married Mary Mak in 1941. They migrated with two children in 1947 and had a further five children in Melbourne. Samuel worked with his father in the Geraldton Fruit Company.

Physical Description

Paper certificate with Chinese characters on a pink cloud patterned backrgound, a green tree branch in the upper left hand corner. There are two butterflies just below the hanging branch and above the Chinese characters.The lower right hand corner contains a pink lotus with green leaves growing out of water. Above this is a brown coloured rock with a pair of mandarin ducks looking towards the water.


The Gung family collection provides an invaluable representation of Chinese migration and settlement experiences in the Museum's migration collections. The family narrrative spans two generations, enabling the exploration of key themes such as the establishment and gradual dillution of the White Australia policy, Chinese businesses and the labour market, and family life. Many of the documents in the collection reflect the gradual easing of the restrictions on Asian immigration which occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, policy shifts which contributed to the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. The objects compliment the photographs and documents and tell the story of a family's desire to continue their cultural practices and remember their cultural heritage while living in Australia from the 1920s to the 1960s.

More Information