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Ming Sun

Vancouver’s Ming Sun Reading Room Society 民星總社

… a pioneer organization in Vancouver, Canada.

The Ming Sun is seeing its twilight …

Now named the Ming Sun Benevolent Society (民星總社), the organization was a clan association for people were from the Wong family clan, originating in Hoiping (Kaiping) county, Guangdong province, China.

Founded in 1925, the Ming Sun Reading Room and similar organizations provided a place where ideas could be shared and discussed. The words “Ming Sun (民星)”, means “People’s Star“. It probably alluded to the idea of a News organization – not unlike, the Vancouver Sun, the Toronto Star, or the Observer. An appropriate name for a news and reading room society.

My generation is the last link to Vancouver’s Ming Sun Reading Room, and to Vancouver’s pioneer Chinese Canadian community.

Even the old name for Vancouver is seldom heard these days. It used to be called “Saltwater City” (ie. “Hahm Sui Fahw”) by the early Cantonese settlers to Vancouver.

And how our City has benefited from being the crossroads of the Global Village!

Vancouver has enjoyed the interaction and sharing of ideas and cultures – and the Ming Sun Reading Room Society, along with many other diverse organizations like it, has helped shape our City to become the synergetic creative enclave with cultural fusion(s), ideas and openess.

I’ve scanned in anniversary photos of the Ming Sun society over the years, and of particular interest is what the photos show. Or better, what it doesn’t show … women and children.

Why?

America’s and Canada’s Chinese exclusion laws prevented their entry, and thus, the absence of families.