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Lily Ah Toy
Biographical Information
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Lily Ah Toy photo
Northern Territory Pioneer, Born 1917, Darwin NT, Died 2001

Lily Ah Toy was born in Darwin in 1917 of Chinese parents and schooled in all the old Chinese traditions. She became a housemaid for a European family after leaving Darwin Public School at 14. Then she met Jimmy, a hawker with his own market garden and truck. Lily and Jimmy married and moved to Pine Creek to set up a general store.

Apart from supplying the Pine Creek population with provisions, Lily bore five children and raised another five adopted children. She and Jimmy were also responsible for rescuing many people stranded by floods or lost in the bush.

When Darwin was bombed by the Japanese, the family was evacuated to Adelaide and did not move back to Pine Creek until 1945. Lily then ran the Pine Creek store while Jimmy opened a new shop in Darwin. That shop, like most of Darwin, was devastated by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

In her later years, Lily spent her time with her children and grandchildren, whom she describes as 'the lucky generation'. Her philosophy for a happy life was 'Work hard, always be honest and don't keep guilty secrets.'



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