Plumber Gawler – The First Asian Plumber to Find Work in Australia

The nameplate of plumber Gawler is derived from the bible “Psalms of Moses” as it describes the story of a plumber who was so dedicated to his work that he would go to the river to wash the dirty pots from the house of the Lord. It is said that he never got sick of washing the dirty pots. The story further states that the Lord washed the pots in the river and came back clean. This eventually became the tradition for many plumbers to use God’s recipe when doing their plumbing services. The plumber was also known to be a very devout Christian, and he did not reject his faith at any point.


Being a plumber was an honourable one for many years until the Second World War broke out. During this time, people had no confidence in doing plumbing services. The war resulted in many plumbers leaving their jobs as they were needed in the war field. The plumber then had to find another way to earn money by setting up business in other cities; hence he had to travel a lot, settling down in Adelaide.


There was a problem finding a plumber Gawler. The only plumber available was a Chinese man called Ngoc Loan Khom. He was only 18 years old and could only speak English. He also lacked the skills that would help him to perfect his plumbing skills. There was no job for him, and it was pretty difficult for him to adjust to his new surroundings.


Eventually, a plumber named Alfred Degroot was asked to fix a drainage problem in the City of Adelaide. He was very accommodating and welcomed into the family. He took charge of fixing the drainage problem and even helped with some minor plumbing jobs at the family home. He became a valued member of the household.


Plumbing had become a lucrative career in Adelaide, and plumbers from all parts of the country sought jobs in Adelaide. 34 - Plumber Gawler - The First Asian Plumber to Find Work in AustraliaOne of them was a Chinese plumber called Ngoc Loan Khom, who went to Australia in 1920. He had left China due to the revolution and wanted to seek a job. As a result, he was one of the first plumbers to be educated in Australia. He was also one of the first people to learn the use of modern plumbing machines.


Eventually, Ngoc Loan grew to become a very successful plumber Gawler in Australia and was appointed as the first Head Plumber in Adelaide in 1924. He was so popular that he was nominated for the Order of the Bath and the Order of the Master of Arts. Eventually, he retired to take care of his sick mother. He also opened a school to teach the younger generation about plumbing. Many plumbers from other countries have also been trained in Adelaide.