The Cairns and District Chinese Association Inc. (CADCAI) is custodian of one of the nation’s hidden treasures, the Cairns Lit Sung Goong (LSG) Temple collection. This nationally significant collection of over 240 artefacts from the temple which operated in Cairns between 1886 and 1966 is an outstanding example of the material culture of Chinese Australian religious practices, and one of the few tangible links to a flourishing Chinese community in the region more than a century ago.  

Interior of Lit Sung Goong temple

The artefacts, primarily of metal, wood and glass were mostly produced in southern China and brought to North Queensland in the late nineteenth century. These exceptional objects include temple furnishings, deity statues, carved decorative panels, and paintings on glass, printing and fortune telling paraphernalia, processional items and timber furniture.  

This collection is held in temporary storage and will be displayed publicly when CADCAI completes the Cairns Culture and Heritage Centre with museum-standard exhibition space. In the meantime enthusiastic volunteers preserve and conserve the collection and provide private viewings by appointment. 

Heritage volunteers are also involved with historical research, cataloguing Lit Sung Goong artefacts and other collections, education of the public and festival activities.   

Please contact Heritage Coordinator  heritage @cadcai.org.au if you wish to volunteer or know more about CADCAI Heritage activities and collections

Photo Credit: Neil Mitchell Brierly 1945, Cairns Victory Parade, Grafton St,  Cairns 

Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc

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