James' father was able to afford to enrol him as a resident of Trinity College. He is seated here in his study; already surrounded by books, which were to be one of the great loves of his life. The conditions of college life during his time of residence are treated in detail in John Poynter, Doubts and Certainties: A Life of Alexander Leeper, Melbourne University Press, 1996. Leeper, the College's first warden, defended Cheong in the face of racial discrimination on the part of some other residents. It was at Trinity that Cheong consciously embraced Anglicanism; until then, he had identified himself as a Presbyterian.
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