Thomas Quoi: a Chinese restauranteur who invested in Te Aroha mining
Hart, P. (2016). Thomas Quoi: a Chinese restauranteur who invested in Te Aroha mining. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 133). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10472
After arriving in New Zealand, Thomas Quoi held a variety of jobs, from 1879 onwards being an Auckland restaurant owner and caterer. He was also an interpreter, especially in court cases, and in the twentieth century ran a bathhouse. Despite suffering abuse for being Chinese, he was notable for assisting charities to aid all races. Praised for being Anglicized – a ‘regular white man’ – he was a spokesman for the Chinese community, of which he was a leading member. Quoi’s involvement in Te Aroha mining was limited to providing capital. Like so many investors, he traded in shares and hoped to sell his mining properties to overseas capitalists. In 1890 he went bankrupt, in part because of losing money through his mining investments. Quoi’s personal life became notorious. Accused of sexual immorality and of being a cruel husband to his first wife, an Irishwoman, court cases revealed lurid details of their behaviour. Her infidelity meant he obtained a divorce and was soon married again, to an Englishwoman, with a happier outcome. Socially, and especially through his gambling until his last years he was a prominent member of the community.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart