Innisfail Museum Displays
The museum displays collections related to local history and contains items from all facets of life from the early settlement, personal possessions, rural, recreational, medical, biological. Aboriginal and Chinese artefacts, early photographs showing cyclone and flood damage, local industries and life in a tropical town.
The museum has a dedicated space to remembering our service men and women from World War I to present day conflicts.
See Poy Display
Tom See Poy (1853?-1926), storekeeper, was born at Ny Chuen, Nam Hui district, Kwonglung, South China, second child and eldest son of a peasant farmer In Vong and his wife Lo Hoy. Sze-pui spent his childhood in hardship. His mother died when he was 7 and, owing to poverty, he had only three years schooling. From 11 he lived with his aunt and worked for her husband, a small merchant, before running away to work on his father's small farm. When Sze-pui was 17 news came to the area that gold had been discovered near Cooktown, Queensland, and, hoping to improve the family fortunes, his father decided to go there with his two sons.
In 1882 he answered an advertisement for labourers to develop a sugar-plantation on the Johnstone River. He then joined a work-gang in the Mourilyan valley and at 30 was promoted foreman. Using the money he had saved he went into partnership with one of his countrymen to purchase a peddling business. The success of that modest venture set his mind to become a merchant. After three years successful trading, Sze-pui bought out the other partners who returned to China. With persistent and incorrect Anglicization of his name, he gracefully accepted the name Tom and the family name See Poy.
Information on Tom See Poy extracted from Australian Dictionary of Biography.a paragraph.
In 1897 he married Tue Chung Han by Australian law at Geraldton (Innisfail) on 1 July 1901. During the second decade of the century See Poy secured immigration rights for several relations from China and employed them in his business. This strong familial basis was characteristic of Chinese economic life.
Visit the Innisfail Museum to learn more about the See Poy family history.