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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 17, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 10 THE LETHBBIDGE HERALD Tuesday, December 17, 1974 Biographies illustrate experience VANCOUVER (CP) The history of the Chinese in British Columbia can be illustrated with biographies of four people. In 1858, Ah Son bought about 25 acres of land near Esquimau, B.C., for He was the first Chinese landowner in the province. Szeto York-ching was the first of a new wave of Chinese immgrants to enter Canada -under an agreement reached last October between Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai. She married a' fiance she had never met, her widowed brother-in- A Thought For The New Year! BUY BEFORE THE NEW YEAR FOR INCOME TAX DEPRECIATION ALLOWANCE! MADGE EQUIPMENT LTD. Milk River, Alberta 647-3838 law. The other two are name- less. Their obituaries were recorded in 1861 by the Vic- toria colonist: "Yesterday, two Chinese were shot to death by one Westerner in Yale, which is inhabited by more than 500 Chinese There are some 16 million so-called overseas Chinese around the world. They have immense inner resources of racial confidence, centuries ago the Chinese considered their homeland the Middle centre of the world. Conflict A great deal of the dis- location today between China and the rest of the world can be explained in terms of the collision of this sublime certainty with the reluctantly-ac- knowledged technological and commercial superiori- ty of the barbarous West. In 1858, three to four thousand Chinese miners were attracted to British Columbia by the gold rush. To many of the white set- tlers, they were wage- cutting, disease-bearing heathens. By 1871, when B.C. entered Confederation, Chinese and Indians together outnumbered whites four to one. Chinese were allowed entry because they were needed. Labor was desperately scarce and they worked better for lower wages at heavy jobs than whites. In 1880, when construc- tion of the B.C. section of the Canadian Pacific Railway was about to begin, an Anti-Chinese Association demanded a ban on employment of Orientals. Inferior Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald crisply delivered an ultimatum: "It is simply a matter of alternatives. Either you must have this labor or you can't have the railway." In 1882, about laborers were imported from Kwantung, China's southernmost province. They were paid a day while whites received to But the going rate in Kwangtung then was seven cents a day. Feeling against the Orientals climaxed in 1907 when whites wreck- ed Chinatown's Pender street, beating those Chinese who had not fled. In 1923 Parliament pass- ed the Chinese Immigra- tion Act which prohibited entry of all persons of Chinese ethnic origin ex- cept merchants. It was on the books for nearly a quarter of a century. The immigration regu- lations were changed in the late 1940s to provide entry on humanitarian grounds, usually for family members. The rules led to a large and lucrative system of il- legal immigration from Hong Kong. But it was not until 1962 that the im- migration laws were ex- punged of all racial dis- crimination, except the privilege of allowing Eu- ropeans to sponsor a wider range of relatives. In 1971 the census show- ed people of Chinese origin in the country, of them in B.C. But the long record of prejudice has helped make the Chinese wary of the larger community. An attempt to penetrate the barrier will be made in a research project being carried out by the Univer- sity of B.C. It will study in part the change in the Vancouver Chinese community since immigration regulations were altered in 1962. Specialists in all types of Engines ENGINE REBUILDING CYLINDER BORING AND RESLEEVING CRANKSHAFT REGRINDING WISCONSIN ENGINE and Service Centre CUSTOM ENGINE PARTS LTD. 160S 3rd Avtnua South 328-8181 ;