After service in the Ever Victorious Army under Lieutenant Colonel Charles “Chinese” Gordon during the Taiping Rebellion, Kum Tiy arrived in Sydney around 1864–1865. He immediately set up the merchant business Sun Kum Tiy & Company, Sydney. In time, his merchant empire included some dozens of branch stores in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, New Zealand and one in the Pacific Islands. He was to become one of Sydney’s and New South Wales’s wealthiest and most influential merchants of the late colonial period.
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