Townsville, Queensland, Australia
August 30, 2001
This is the former residence of Soong Ching Ling, an honorary chairwoman of the People’s Republic of China and the widow of Dr Sun Yat-sen. She lived, worked, and studied here during the last days of her life.
The house is on a busy road in a fine residential area not far from the Shanghai Library which is claimed to be one of the largest 10 libraries in the world. The house sits in nice gardens and has been preserved as it was at Madam Soong Ching Ling’s death. You can enter the ground floor of the house and see the living areas where Madam lived and worked. To try and protect the floors from dirt and wear, visitors are required to don plastic slip-ons over their shoes. We wandered around looking at the furniture and artifacts and were given some information in English by a guide.
After seeing the house, we went into the exhibition hall that has been built in the front grounds. There was quite a collection of memorabilia here but unfortunately little English explanation so much of it was lost on us. We wandered around to the back of the house through some attractive gardens but most of this area is not accessible to the public. What is available, and you are encouraged to visit, is the shop. We were skeptical but found it had quite an extensive collection of books, artifacts, clothing, souvenirs, and other items. As this was our first day in Shanghai we were not really interested in buying anything but later we realised that some items were not readily available elsewhere and could have been good reminders of our visit.
From journal Seeing China's Future