Chinese Whispers: In Search Of Ivy
Mr ALISTER HENSKENS ( Ku-ring-gai ) ( 16:51 :43 ): For Pymble lawyer Alison Choy Flannigan, undertaking genealogical research has been an emotional and eye-opening experience. In 1972 her mother, born Ivy Gertrude Lai, died during a holiday in Los Angeles when Alison was only seven years old. While she was aware of her mother's Chinese origins Alison knew very little about when and why her family had come to Australia and how they had spent their lives. Thirteen years after her investigations started, Alison has written the first of three books about her findings called Chinese Whispers: In Search of Ivy. With no other living relatives to assist her, she has examined State archives and court records. She has been able to find that her grandfather and his two brothers had joined the gold rush in Cooktown, Queensland, in the 1890s, where her mother was born. Alison has learned that the family eventually became general merchants, trading goods including opium. Other records have revealed that Alison's mother trained as a nurse during World War II at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, which, coincidentally, Alison now represents as a lawyer. I look forward to the publication of volumes two and three of Alison's family history.