Wellington Chinese History Wiki

Victor Lo Keong (also known as Victor Low)[1] was born in Dunedin on 3 July 1894.[2] Son of Matilda Kum (also known as Cum Hong, the first identified Chinese female immigrant to New Zealand[3][4]) and Joseph Lo Keong[1] (the second known Chinese arrival in Dunedin[3][4]). The family were considered to be the first 'purely' Chinese family in New Zealand.[3][5]

He studied towards an engineering degree at Canterbury College in Christchurch, although there are no records confirming whether he completed the degree or not.[1]

During World War One, Victor Low enlisted into the Army (on 9 January 1917)[2], and was called up on 20 March 1917, attached to the 5th Tunnelling Reinforcements[2].

He served with the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Corps, attached to the Third Army, which defended Arras during the German Spring offensive and also fought in the Second Battle of the Marne in July 1918[2].

Bulford, England. Chalk Kiwi from Postcard, c.1919 Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bulford,_England._Chalk_Kiwi_from_Postcard,_c.1919.jpg

After the War, the main group of New Zealand Engineers tunnellers were repatriated as a complete section, but Victor remained in the United Kingdom in the Army Education Unit based in Sling Camp.[1][2]

He is celebrated for having surveyed the Bulford Kiwi[2][1].

When Victor was demobilised from the army in August 1919, he travelled to Hong Kong[2]. Victor and his wife Emily left Hong Kong in 1941 just before the Japanese invaded the island, travelling through China and India, before returning to New Zealand in 1943[2].

Back in New Zealand, Victor worked for the Ministry of Works in Wellington, he died in Wellington on 11 May 1953[2].----

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Brown, C. (2018). The Bulford Kiwi: The kiwi we left behind. Bateman.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Colleen Brown. (2019, March 15). Victor Low – the Chinese Anzac who laid out the Bulford Kiwi | WW100 New Zealand. https://ww100.govt.nz/bulford-kiwi
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 James Ng. 'Lo Keong, Matilda', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1993. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/2l15/lo-keong-matilda (accessed 17 August 2020)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gibb, J. (2013, October 24). Exhibition aims to bring Dunedin’s past to life. Otago Daily Times Online News. https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/exhibition-aims-bring-dunedins-past-life
  5. thebrosnan. (2018, April 30). Otago’s Chinese Anzacs. Journey of the Otagos. https://journeyoftheotagos.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/otagos-chinese-anzacs/


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