Historian was a pillar of the community

Dr James Ng
Dr James Ng
Prominent Otago historian Dr James Ng has died in Dunedin, aged 87.

Dr Ng was celebrated for numerous national and community roles including president of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, convener of the Community Trust Otago grants committee and chairman of the Lawrence Chinese Camp Charitable Trust.

James Ng (Ng Tak Ming) was born in Wing Loong Village, Guangdong province, China in 1936.

He came to New Zealand in 1941, at the age of 5, where his family owned laundries in Gore and Ashburton, and a fruit shop in Dunedin.

He attended high school in Ashburton, studied medicine at the University of Otago and married pharmacist and writer Eva Wong-Ng.

As a GP in Dunedin he developed his passion for New Zealand Chinese history into the seminal Windows on a Chinese Past, published in 1999.

He and his wife founded the New Zealand Heritage Research Charitable Trust, whose "Ng New Zealand Chinese Heritage Collection" is recognised by Unesco.

Realising the importance of Chinese pioneers in Otago gold-mining history, Dr Ng bought the land of the Lawrence Chinese Camp in 2004 and established its charitable trust, now chaired by his daughter Denise.

Among his Dr Ng’s awards include the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Member of the Order of the British Empire, and the Medal of the Dominican Order.

He played a major role in acquiring works by Monet and Lorrain to the collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and was the founding chairman of the Dunedin Chinese Garden.

An obituary will follow.