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Hop Hing & Co Merchants

Much more than merchants

  • Living Northbridge Hop Hing and Co

    Choong (Chung) Kim was born in Canton, China, in 1869.  He arrived in Western Australia in 1887, one of the many Chinese people attracted by the gold discoveries of the 1880s and 1890s.

    Unlike those bound by labour contracts, ‘free’ Chinese immigrants came not only to find work, but to establish small businesses like grocery shops, laundries, market gardens and furniture factories.

    Hop Hing & Co Merchants was started by Charles Hing in 1902.  Choong Kim began to work there in the 1910s and took over the store after it moved to 124 James Street in the 1920s.


    The James Street store, c.1930.

    Courtesy Chung Wah Association
  • Living Northbridge Hop Hing and Co

    Hop Hing & Co was in the heart of Perth’s ‘Chinatown’. The shops in James and William Streets ' almost exclusively for the Chinese community, they sold food, clothing, gardening equipment and household utensils.' - Anne Atkinson

    Equally important were the services they provided as translators, de facto agents and meeting places.  A purpose Choong Kim filled up to his death in 1950.


    Horse drawn carts carrying fruit and vegetables line James Street in 1914. The Chung Wah Association Hall can be seen on the left.

    Courtesy State Library of Western Australia b2118973_1
  • Living Northbridge Hop Hing and Co

    John and Winnifred Fong continued this significant work when they became the proprietors of Hop Hing & Co in 1954. Their commitment to social welfare also saw them instrumental in revitalising the Chung Wah Association in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Although the Hop Hing & Co building was demolished by the 1980s, the memory of such places and their role in serving the Chinese community remains.

    When I first came to Perth in my young days, Choong Kim used to cart me around with him.  He supplied all the old boys with Chinese groceries, as well as helped them fill out forms and solved all sorts of problems. - John Fong


    Association Hall, pictured here in 1929. Built in 1911.

    Courtesy Chung Wah Association
  • Living Northbridge Hop Hing and Co

    Well, Choong Kim used to operate a business in James Street called Hop Hing. There was no official Chinese representative in Perth in the olden days. But between Choong Kim and the Chung Wah Association, they took care of all the needs of the old gardeners. - John Fong


    A Chinese market garden in South Perth, 1928.

    Courtesy State Library of Western Australia b2502636_3

Hop Hing & Co Merchants

Originally at 124 James Street, Northbridge

With thanks to James Fong and Kaylene Poon