THE DEAD don't always remain undisturbed, historians say 155 years after grave diggers arrived with shovels at the White Hills cemetery.
A body was taken, this month, a century and a half ago.
Its bones were carefully placed on the cool ground, under the late autumn sun.
"Every particle of flesh had disappeared, but the skeleton and the clothes were quite perfect," a Bendigo Advertiser journalist there that day would write.
Every bone was cleaned, parcelled and put in a box.
"The box, with its strange contents, was then taken to the Chinese Camp at Epsom, where there are some dozen more skeletons ready for exportation, one or two of which having the flesh upon them are preserved in gin," the journalist reported.
The body belonged to Quang Yang, a Chinese miner who had died 14 months earlier, his body ravaged by pneumonia, thousands of kilometres from his home village.
He was not yet 20 years old.
Quan Yang was one of the many Chinese people whose remains made it home to China, historians told podcasters for a new episode of Voices of Real Australia.
The episode airs on Thursday and has been made by Advertiser journalists and Australian Community Media's podcast team.
It's about the Chinese people who came to Bendigo for gold and never left.
Quan Yang was one of the lucky ones whose remains made it back home to their Ancestral tombs in China - an important thing for many Asian miners of the era - Golden Dragon Museum historian Leigh McKinnon said.
"It has been estimated by another researcher, Carol Holdsworth, that perhaps 10 per cent have been exhumed," he said as he stood in the Chinese section of White Hills' cemetery, in the area Quan Yang's body once rested.
"So a majority are still most likely laying where they were laid to rest."
The podcast episode charts the story of Chinese miners on the goldfields as well as the descendants who still call Bendigo home.
Chinese immigrants made their fortunes here. Some set down roots and helped build the gold rush city from the ground up.
As Bendigo resident Dennis O'Hoy told podcasters, "Grandfather and Father were very quick to be part of the community and they were very generous with their time - and of course, money".
Correction: A previous version of this story stated the episode will air on Wednesday. It will air on Thursday.
This is the latest story in the Bendigo Advertiser history series entitled: WHAT HAPPENED?
To hear Voices of Real Australia episodes, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.
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