Wellington Chinese History Wiki

Plaque commemorating the death of Joe Kum Yung, opposite 12 Haining Street, Te Aro, Wellington. Photo: Cameron Sang July 2017

68 year old[1] Joe Kum Yung (aka Joe Kum Young) was murdered on Haining Street by Lionel Terry (aka Edward Lionel Terry) on 24 September 1905, in a hate crime[1][2][3][4][5][6][7].

Born in Poonyu County, Canton[1] in 1837[5], Joe Kum Yung had arrived in New Zealand in around 1880[3], after spending about four years in Victoria, Australia[8]. A mining accident left him with a broken leg, and he was him unable to continue to work[3][8]. Whilst recovering in Grey Hospital, the local Chinese community there raised sufficient funds for him to return to China, however he decided to travel to Wellington instead[8] where he was living on the streets[2]. Outside 13 and 15 Haining Street, Lionel Terry shot him in the back of the head[9][10] at 7:45 pm with a revolver, and Joe Kum Yung died around 10:00 pm that night[3] in Wellington Hospital.

Daroux, J. H., & News, A. W. (1905, October 5). THE SHOOTING SENSATION AT WELLINGTON: THE HOUSE IN HAINING STREET, IN FRONT OF WHICH THE CHINAMAN WAS SHOT, SEPTEMBER 24, 1905. DigitalNZ. https://digitalnz.org/records/29962495 (Note: An email from Lynette Shum states that this not the house where Joe Kum Yung was shot, as it doesn't match images of the location in other sources [Lynette Shum. {2021, August 18}. Joe K Y {Personal communication}.])

Police Record for Lionel Terry (Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/archivesnz/28911946613)

Much of the story of Joe Kum Yung's death focuses on Lionel Terry[10] (Including NZQA using one of his poems in an NCEA assessment in 2020)[11][12][13][14][15], but very little is known about Joe Kum Yung's life.[5][16][17] Lionel Terry had strong Anti-Asian immigration views[3][12][18][19], despite only recently arriving in New Zealand. Varying accounts state he had arrived between two and four years earlier.[1]

A plaque on Haining Street commemorates Joe Kum Yung was installed in 2005, to mark the 100th anniversary of the killing.[3][17][20]

Letter to the Editor by Lionel Terry, prior to his murder of Joe Yung Kum. (Source: https://flic.kr/p/fU98H9)

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Archives New Zealand. (2016). Murder of Joe Kum Yung by Lionel Terry [Photo]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/archivesnz/28911946613/
  2. 2.0 2.1 'Race killing in Wellington's Haining St', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/race-killing-lionel-terry-murders-joe-kum-yung-in-haining-st-wellington, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Jan-2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Murder aimed to spread ‘yellow peril’ message. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 July 2017, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/64512110/murder-aimed-to-spread-yellow-peril-message
  4. Hamilton, S. (2019, March 20). The land of the long white stain. The Spinoff. https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/20-03-2019/the-land-of-the-long-white-stain/
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 True Crime New Zealand, Jessica Rust, & Sirius Rust. (2019). Case 9: Joe Kum Young (No. 9). Retrieved 4 September 2020, from https://truecrimenz.com/2019/08/18/case-9-joe-kum-young/
  6. Wong, H. (2019, March 27). Christchurch shootings: How we can all push back against racism. Stuff. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/111577516/christchurch-shootings-how-we-can-all-push-back-against-racism
  7. Alex Fensome. (2014, December 28). Murder aimed to spread ‘yellow peril’ message. Stuff. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/64512110/murder-aimed-to-spread-yellow-peril-message
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Wairarapa Daily Times. (1905, September 26). Wairarapa Daily Times, p. 6. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WDT19050926.2.30
  9. Clio Francis. (2011, May 23). A flame flickering to extinction. Retrieved 23 September 2018, from https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/5034763/A-flame-flickering-to-extinction
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sentenced to Death. The Haining-Street Tragedy. (1905, November 21). Evening Post, LXX(123), Page 5. https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19051121.2.38
  11. @cadence_chung. (2020, December 11). Cadence Chung on Twitter. Twitter. https://twitter.com/cadence_chung/status/1333548275031392256
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mandy Te. (2020, December 12). Students ask for apology after inclusion of poem by anti-Chinese extremist Lionel Terry in NCEA history exam | Stuff.co.nz. Stuff.Co.Nz. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/123685344/students-ask-for-apology-after-inclusion-of-poem-by-antichinese-extremist-lionel-terry-in-ncea-history-exam
  13. Mandy Te. (2020, December 16). NZ Chinese Association to lodge complaint over poem by white supremacist in history exam. Stuff. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/123717001/nz-chinese-association-to-lodge-complaint-over-poem-by-white-supremacist-in-history-exam
  14. Tse, C. (2020, December 15). Rhymes of the ancient murderer: How a racist killer became an NCEA question. The Spinoff. https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/15-12-2020/rhymes-of-the-ancient-murderer-how-a-racist-killer-became-a-ncea-question/
  15. Jack Yan. (2020, December 14). The 2020 Level 2 history exam is racist « Jack Yan: The Persuader Blog. The Persuader. http://jackyan.com/blog/2020/12/the-2020-history-exam-is-racist/
  16. WellUrban: R.I.P. Joe Kum Yung. (2005, September 25). Retrieved 9 January 2018, from http://wellurban.blogspot.co.nz/2005/09/rip-joe-kum-yung.html
  17. 17.0 17.1 Radio New Zealand. (2015, January 30). How to be dead - Writer Chris Tse | Voices | RNZ. Retrieved 10 July 2017, from http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/voices/audio/20165499/how-to-be-dead-writer-chris-tse
  18. Charles Archibald Lawrence Treadwell. (2016). Famous New Zealand Trials — The Trial of Lionel Terry | NZETC. Retrieved 9 January 2018, from http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Gov08_04Rail-t1-body-d11.html
  19. Archives New Zealand. (2013, September 2). Lionel Terry kills Joe Kum Young, Haining Street, 1905 | New Zealand Times, September 26, 1905. Retrieved 9 January 2018, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/archivesnz/9779039374/in/photolist-4kjVNC-5Zu3s7-GRrU8q-dKxFCD-fU98H9-Zgxkce-5Zq6jr-dPVBsR-mmTEeM-RhHPJs-9sfgXQ-dSSLUP-9ethnv-QFoqEn-9m5tyC-4FTNfS-i7g72H-9iwpGV-r4P8tF-hmCErA-9jt8DM-a14tFb-7CPsiZ-z43ZVQ-dLHAiX-2gYed-9ethwB-i7i73S-dSiieT-b7LU8H-i7i6HG-XbYYcR-9jtbGa-4BnzXV-exNe9k-7Yckkq-8NHjEb-9m2nQe-9m5eTd-8fTTyr-9csffE-jD3f6D-9m5uHy-7JVRyH-8fVwHb-pXmDmX-GCiVFw-7MPoCm-YmoH1r-qMZMA2
  20. David Fung. (2005, September 19). Murder in Haining Street | Scoop News. Retrieved 23 September 2018, from http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0509/S00227.htm


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