The Fruits of Our Labours Pbk 2 Vol Set

Author(s): Ruth Lam; Beverly Lowe; Helen Wong; Michael Wong; Carolyn King; Peter Chin; Chinese Poll-Tax Heritage Trust Staff (Contribution by)

NZ History

Rich history of Chinese fruit shops in New Zealand explored in new book. Long before supermarkets became a one-stop shop for fresh produce as they are today, local fruit and vegetable stores run by Chinese families were a pillar of our communities. The greengrocers and fruiterers in our towns and cities were a family affair; fathers, brothers, sons, mothers, sisters and daughters all working from the early hours to get only the best produce for their shelves. A new two-volume soft cover set of books, The Fruits of Our Labours: Chinese Fruit Shops in New Zealand, chronicles the lives of these pioneering greengrocers and fruiterers as they carved their place into the countrys rich social and cultural tapestry. The personal anecdotes, historical documents and photos tell the stories of these families as they provided a vital service with a smile to their community and their journeys of growing up Kiwis. That includes the story of Colin Lowe of Norman Lowe Ltd in Whakatane: Being the son of a fruiterer meant you spent most of your spare time after school and in the weekends helping out. As a child I can still remember time spent unfolding unsold newspaper ready for wrapping veges in, unloading empty boxes and stacking them alongside the driveway ready for a carrier to collect them and take them to a market garden, sorting out the broken ones for repairing. These stories bring a unique perspective on New Zealands history as they trace the evolution of these shops from the general store-cum-greengrocery of the 1880s through to the fresh fruit and vegetable retailers we know today. It follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the Chinese in New Zealand through the hard times of the Depression and World War II, the growth and boom times of the 1950s and 60s and the challenge of supermarket giants eating up the competition. Commissioned by the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, The Fruits of Our Labours was written and researched by Ruth Lam, Beverly Lowe, Helen Wong, Michael Wong, and Carolyn King. Volume 1 (440 pages) presents the stories of Chinese-owned fruit shops from the Dunedin region through to the Wanganui-Taranaki region. Volume 2 (464 pages) presents stories from the Hawkes Bay region through to the Auckland region. The appendices include a list of all known Chinese fruit shops from the 1880s to the current day, and maps of the Guangdong counties the Chinese fruiterers originated from. Both volumes are fully-illustrated with photos, graphs and statistical tables. The books will be a valuable resource for researchers of Chinese in New Zealand, genealogists, local history, and produce retailing.


Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780473415501
  • : Stacey Robertson
  • : January 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Ruth Lam; Beverly Lowe; Helen Wong; Michael Wong; Carolyn King; Peter Chin; Chinese Poll-Tax Heritage Trust Staff (Contribution by)
  • : Hardback