Dr. Richard Gordon Num


Richard Num arms

Artist: Dennis Ivall

Registered in The Chinese Armorial, October 25, 2011.

The arms were originally granted by Lord Lyon and later by the College of Arms with slight changes in the blazon, which are shown in square brackets.

Arms: Or, a Chinese Dragon inverted and torqued with tail erect Vert, armed and langued Gules, on a chief Sable a star of five points between four Stars [in cross] of seven points Or.

Crest: [upon a helm with a wreath Or and Vert] A Numbat [(myrmecobius fasciatus)] sejant Proper grasping in its dexter paw a Cross Ansated Sable held saltirewise with its lower limb pointing upwards and issuant from each interstice of the cross a Ray Or.

Motto: Num Superabimur.

Court of the Lord Lyon, grant, October 25, 1990.
College of Arms, grant, February 14, 1995.

Background and History:

Dr. Num, a radiologist, designed his coat of arms, full of symbolism about his ancestry, family history, home, and profession. The attractive design is remarkable for telling much family history and personal information without clutter by using symbols and colours with double meanings.

Dr. Num’s grandfather was Poon Pak Num (later called Daniel Poon Num; the family name should be Poon but was later recorded as Num).  He moved from Canton to Australia circa 1900.  The green Chinese dragon is shown inverted, heading towards the bottom of the shield, to symbolize Daniel and all of Dr. Num’s ancestors going south to Australia. Daniel brought an inkwell with an intricately-carved dragon on its lid to Australia, so the dragon is not only an ethnic symbol but also on a personal possession of the first of Dr. Num’s Chinese ancestors in Australia.

The numbat is an endangered species, an Australian termite eater.  It symbolizes Australia and Dr. Num’s family with a pun on the family name.  It symbolizes his family in another way; “The Num family is very small in numbers,” he once wrote.  The numbat holds a black cross ansated or ankh with gold rays coming from its angles.  The ankh is the ancient Egyptian symbol of life.  The gold rays represent Dr. Num’s profession of radiology.

The Southern Cross (the five-star constellation) symbolizes Australia and also the Num family; Num means “south” in Mandarin.

The colours symbolize the diverse ethnic backgrounds of Dr. Num and his family. Daniel Poon married an Australian-born girl of Anglo-Irish and Cornish ancestry. Their son Gordon (Richard’s father) married a lady of German and Welsh ancestry. Dr. Num married a Nigerian. To show all these ethnic backgrounds, Dr. Num used the following colours:

Green and gold: the sporting colours of Australia
Gold: one of the traditional colours of China
Green: from the national flags of Nigeria and Ireland
Black: from the national flag and coat of arms of Germany
Black and gold: from the coat of arms of Cornwall
Green and red: from the dragon flag of Wales.

The Latin motto translates to “Surely we shall not be defeated?” and has a pun on the Num name.


Personal Arms