Sym Choon Shops

Built in 1898, these Rundle Street shops were occupied between 1908 and 1985 by some of the East End's most colourful inhabitants - the Sym Choon family. 

John Sym Choon and his wife, So Yung Moon, migrated from China to South Australia in the 1890s. Their four children, George, Dorothy, Gladys and Gordon, were born here in Adelaide. In 1908, the family moved to Rundle Street. The Sym Choons were the only Chinese-Australian family to live in the area. Many of the city's other Chinese residents resided in the Hindley Street/Morphett Street area. 

In 1925-1926, John bought each of his four children a shop. Gordon, traded in peanuts, was an agent for Wrigley's chewing gum, and sold fireworks from China and England. He also had a reputation as a "bookie" in the East End market. 

At the tender age of 18, Gladys opened her shop, China Gift Store. Renowned for her eastern exotic shop, Gladys imported luxury goods from China, Southeast Asia and Russia. After her shop closed in 1985, her name was retained by the present fashion house, Miss Gladys Sym Choon.


229-237 Rundle Street, 2014

229-237 Rundle Street, 2014

Creator: Photograph by Jessica Cronin View File Details Page

Wedding of Gladys Sym Choon and Edward Chung Gon, 1939

Wedding of Gladys Sym Choon and Edward Chung Gon, 1939

The wedding of Gladys and her husband Edward in 1939 at St Paul's Church on King William Road featured prominently in several South Australian newspapers. | Source: "Oriental Atmosphere at Chinese Wedding", The Advertiser, 14 August 1939, p.7. View File Details Page

Street Address:

229-237 Rundle Street, Adelaide [map]

Official Website:

Cite this Page:

Adelaide City Explorer Team & East End Coordination Group, “Sym Choon Shops,” Adelaide City Explorer, accessed June 26, 2017,

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