A CHINESE HERITAGE
Her father, Sing was a native of China who arrived in Tasmania in 1868. Within a short space of time he became a well respected entrepreneur in Launceston. He was said to have been baptised Henry Tom Sing but preferred to be known as Henry Thom Sing as there were other Tom Sings in the colony. 
According to the 1871 census, Sing was just one of a handful of Chinese in the whole of Tasmania. By the 1881 census, there were 844, most of whom were living on the tin fields in the northeast of Tasmania. During the next ten years the number fluctuated around 1,000 and for two decades the Chinese outnumbered the Germans as the largest group of migrants in Tasmania with a non-English speaking background. 
Sing was well liked and highly respected, however, from time to time he experienced unwarranted insults. Each time he held his ground and brought charges against the perpetuators. He certainly wasn’t going to take any nonsense lying down.
In 1876, charges were brought against Edward Dalton, who over a long period of time, had been in the habit of kicking Sing’s door each time he passed Sing’s shop going to and from work. Dalton also used offensive language and sometimes challenged Sing to come outside and be punched. The final straw was when Dalton and his three mates came to the door, kicked it and threatened to break the window while shaking their fists. At the police court, Dalton was severely reprimanded and fined one pound and nine shillings.
In another incident in the same year, Sing was assaulted when he went to Elizabeth Buckley’s home to ask her to pay a bill. Not only did she make use of abusive language, she struck him and threw his bag containing goods out into the street. She was also severely fined.
In 1911, Henry Burley was fined 20 shillings or in default 14 days imprisonment after he assaulted Sing on York Street.
Such incidents were not unique as Sing was often called to act as an interpreter in courtrooms where fellow countrymen have also been robbed or assaulted.
In another incident, Sing took offence to an insinuation in a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph, saying that Chinese tin miners spent all their earnings in opium smoking and general debauchery, which of course was furthest from the truth. Sing wasted no time in formulating a lengthy response in which he berated the author of the said letter. 
Sing passed away in 1912. Below are several excerpts from the Daily Telegraph in describing his passing:
Daily Telegraph 24 May 1912 page 4
Mr Henry Thom Sing, who carried on business as a Chinese merchant in St John Street, died yesterday at the age of 67. Deceased was one of the first Chinese to settle in Launceston, having arrived here from his native country 48 years ago. Amongst his countrymen, especially, deceased was highly respected. For many years he filled the position of interpreter to the Government.
Daily Telegraph 27 May 1912 page 4
The late Mr Henry Whom Sing was one of the best known amongst the Chinese residents in the State. For many years he carried on business of a merchant in Launceston, and was a familiar figure in the city. The removal of the remains of deceased from his late residence in St John Street was witnessed by a large crowd of persons yesterday afternoon. The funeral was lengthy and amongst others who joined in the mournful procession were [quite] a hundred Chinese, several having journeyed from the northeastern mining fields and various parts of the State to pay their last tribute to one who had acted as their adviser and friend.
 Naturalisation record (1882). He was also known as Tom Ah Sing.
 The Chinese Community, The Companion to Tasmanian History, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies
 Daily Telegraph 3 August 1887 page 2
I thoroughly enjoyed this very interesting article. Henry Thom Sing was my great-great-grandfather, and Irene, my great-grandmother.
does anyone know who his parents were?
Brooke Murfet...I do not have his parents' names in my records. I can see Henry Thom Sing was born on 14th March, 1844 in Canton, China.
I am a descendent of Tom Ah Sing (Seen) of Beaconsfield Tasmania.
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