We saw a memorial plaque dedicated to two pioneers of the region, Sam and Opal Ah Bow.
Sam came to Australia from Guangzhou to mine the gold fields, ending up as a cook at Lawn Hill Station. He was ‘given’ Opal, a local indigenous woman, by the station owner, Frank Hann. A marriage ensued. Chinese/Aboriginal marriages were common in the Outback as both races were discriminated against. However it wasn’t only love that compelled them to tie the knot. If they didn’t marry, their children would have been taken away by the local authorities to be part of the Stolen Generation.
Happily, that didn’t happen to this family. Sam and Opal settled at Louie Creek, had eight children, and cultivated the land into a successful market garden, saving many in the district from scurvy. Many Chinese families joined them, and Opal, a mid-wife, was also said to have delivered many babies at the settlement.