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Miss Gladys Sym Choon

Gladys Sym Choon's parents migrated to Adelaide from Guangdong province in southern China in the late 19th century. Her father worked as a fruit and vegetable hawker, collecting produce from the East End Markets and selling it door to door in the suburbs of Adelaide.

Gladys opened her shop in Rundle Street in 1923 at the age of 18. She had studied bookkeeping at Adelaide High School - quite unusual for that era and particularly for a Chinese girl. Gladys's siblings also ran businesses in Rundle Street. Her shop, the China Gift Store, sold napery, embroidery and other fine cloths, lingerie and decorative china. Much of Gladys's merchandise was imported from China and she travelled there each year to purchase goods. Gladys married Edward Chung Gon from Tasmania in 1939. After their wedding she moved to Hobart where Edward had a shop which sold similar goods to the China Gift Store. From Hobart, Gladys continued to manage her shop in Rundle Street. She passed the business to her daughter, Mei Ling, in 1979 who managed it until its closure in 1984. After Gladys's store closed, the shop was occupied by a men and women's clothing store called Miss Gladys Sym Choon in her honour.

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Miss Gladys Sym Choon's shop
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Window of Miss Gladys Sym Choon's shop
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Window of Miss Gladys Sym Choon's shop
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