Posts filed under chinese

Wing Chung

Wing Chung and grandchildren, 1955.

Wing Chung and grandchildren, 1955.

Dates: b. China, 1863 d. Vancouver, 1955

Cemetery Location: Block F, Row 3, Plot 29

Profile:

Wing Chung is widely regarded as the patriarch of Revelstoke’s early Chinese community. He immigrated to Canada at the age of 16 to work on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and according to his obituary, was present at the driving of the last spike.

Settling in Revelstoke in the mid-1880s, Wing operated a general store on Front Street importing goods from China for the local Chinese community, as well as groceries, fruit and candy for the Europeans. Later, the Wing Chung store was relocated to a large building uptown on 200 Block, First Street West, and his family lived in the back of the building.

Wing’s first wife battled with sickness and died on December 18, 1910, at the age of 38. His second wife Jung Ling gave birth to four sons: Hai (Henry) Quan Sam, Hong Sham Ging (Jack Sam), Mee Lai Sham Ging (Sham Lai Mee) and Ark Sham Ging (Kaye Sam). Wing also had a daughter in China. During a trip to their home country, Jung Ling succumbed to asthma and died in December 1920, on board the ship back to Canada. Wing Chung’s third wife had another two sons: Owen Sam and Ming Sam.

Active in Revelstoke business organizations, Mr. Chung was secretary of the Chinese Freemasons. In later life, Wing Chung moved to Vancouver to live with his son Lai Mee, and died in Vancouver in 1955, at the age of 92.

Kwong Family

Wong Kwong at left, Yee Von Kwong seated in centre, and their children Sam and Jean to her left, circa 1914.

Wong Kwong at left, Yee Von Kwong seated in centre, and their children Sam and Jean to her left, circa 1914.

Dates:

Wong Kwong: b. China 1876 d. 10 February 1932

Yee Von Kwong: b. China, 21 August 1877 d. 16 July 1973

Cemetery Location:

Wong Kwong: Block F, Row 1, Plot 13

Profile:

Wong Kwong was in Revelstoke in the late 1890s. He could read and write both Chinese and English and became a labour contractor for the CPR. Wong also operated stores and a laundry in town.

He brought his wife, Yee Von Kwong to Revelstoke in about 1907, and their ten children were born here. One died as a child. Wong Kwong died in 1932, when the youngest son, Jimmy, was just five.

Mrs. Kwong continued to run the laundry, and paid off all her husband’s debts. Her feet were bound in the old Chinese tradition, and she used canes to help her walk. All of the children were educated, and oldest daughter Jean became the first nurse of Chinese ancestry to graduate in Canada in the 1930s. Son, Johnny Kwong, once owned Mannings Restaurant and Chalet Restaurant.

Charlie Sing

Charlie Sing, 1942.

Charlie Sing, 1942.

Dates: b. China, 29 January 1885 d. Vancouver, 18 October 1954

Cemetery Location: Block G, Row 4, Plot 14

Profile:

Prior to the Three Valley mill fire in 1913, Charlie Sing (Low Wai Jing) supplied fresh produce to the villagers from his Chinese market garden located half way around the lake, 21 kilometers west of Revelstoke.

In 1913, Charlie moved to Revelstoke and took over the Fraser farm on Powerhouse Road, living in one of the small buildings on the property.

Everyone knew Charlie. Every week, spring, summer and fall, he drove his horse and cart through the back lanes of town selling fresh produce. When school was out he often had children tagging along for a ride (he would always carry candies for the children along his route.)

At Christmas, Charlie would give a brightly embroidered Chinese silk handkerchief and a lily bulb to his female customers, and when a family member suffered from illness, Charlie would leave a gift of fruit or vegetables at their door.

For a while, after the Japanese invasion of China, Charlie lost track of his wife and family. At one point his teenage son, Bing, came from China to join him in Revelstoke, but he did not like farm work and eventually moved to Vancouver.

When Charlie’s health deteriorated, he was transferred from Queen Victoria Hospital to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, where he died on 18 October 1954.

Charlie Sing with children, date unknown.

Charlie Sing with children, date unknown.