Inner West Council to rename street in Ashfield, Quong Tart Plaza

Inner West Council

As part of the Inner West’s commitment to honouring the contribution our immigrant communities have made to creating our diverse and vibrant villages, Inner West Council is proposing to rename Hercules Street Ashfield, Quong Tart Plaza.

This follows the recent success of dedicating Little Greece and Little Vietnam in Marrickville, Little Italy in Leichhardt and Little Portugal in Petersham.

Hercules Street Ashfield already proudly displays a memorial bust of Quong Tart in honour of this celebrated philanthropist, businessman, keen cricketer, bag piper and Ashfield local.

Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne said, “The vibrancy and diversity of the Inner West was built by people who came here from across the world. We are committed to honouring the contribution of those migrants and the indelible character they have created in our community.

“Quong Tart worked tirelessly on behalf of Sydney’s Chinese community for decades and we couldn’t think of a better way to honour our Inner West Chinese community than to rename a major street in Ashfield in honour of this pioneering local.”

Moy Quong Tart, 梅光達 was only nine when he migrated to the Australian goldfields in 1859. From this humble beginning he grew to be one of Sydney’s leading businessmen and philanthropists.

He was also an excellent cricketer and athlete with a passion for Robbie Burns poetry and loved to play the bag pipes. He led the campaign to outlaw the opium trade while creating a successful tea and silk importation business and opening some of Sydney’s most popular restaurants and tea rooms, one of which was the meeting place for Sydney’s early suffragettes.

The mostly European staff at his restaurants benefitted from paid holiday, family and sick leave decades before this became common and he gave generously to various charities including feeding the poor of Sydney.

For his activities in promoting the well-being and acceptance of Sydney’s growing Chinese community, he was appointed a Mandarin of the Fifth Degree by the Chinese Government.

For most of his adult life, Quong tart lived in Arthur St Ashfield with his English wife Scarlett and their six children in their mansion, Gallop House.

Sadly, he died in 1903 following an assault during a robbery at his Elite Hall restaurant in the Queen Victoria Building. Thousands of people attended his funeral and today he is remembered with a memorial bust in Hercules St Ashfield.

/Public Release. View in full here.