By Cairns Historical Society
Lit Sung Goong was opened in 1887
It was on Grafton Street, near where the Swiss Bakery is now.
Goong means temple in Chinese – so the Lit Sung Goong means the Lit Sung Temple.
The Lit Sung Goong translates as “Temple of All Saints” – to reflect the mix of beliefs of the pioneering Chinese community. Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian philosophies are all reflected in the temple artefacts.
The Temple was not afforded rates relief that was offered to other places of worship in Cairns, and by the early 1960s the community could not afford to pay rates arears. The land on which the temple stood was sold and the new owners demolished the temple.
The local Chinese community salvaged many items of the temple décor and have been the custodians of the artefacts ever since.
The collection numbers more than 250 individual items, made up of banners, regalia, furnishings, statues, paintings and ceremonial items.
The Cairns and District Chinese Association Inc (CADCAI) care for the collection. CADCAI has a handful of volunteers that actively research, conserve and exhibit the collection.
CADCAI are working toward a Chinese Cultural Centre that will be, amongst other things, a home for the collection and where it can be on permanent display