the Chinese population matured into a local community, a new Canadian-born generation
emerged. In 1920, Canadian-borns formed 7% of the Chinese community; by 1951,
they made up about 37%. Growing up between two worlds, the Chinese community
and Canadian mainstream society, they had to switch back and forth constantly
between the two. At home and in Chinatown, they spoke Cantonese or village dialects
of their parents; at school and outside Chinatown they spoke English. They attended
regular public school during the day, where they learned the alphabet, grammar
and pronunciation of English words, wrote with pen and ink, and absorbed Western
knowledge and Canadian culture. In Chinese school at night, they studied Chinese
characters, memorized and recited texts, practiced calligraphy with brush and
Chinese ink, and were instilled with Chinese traditions and values.
Oikwok Hoktong [Aiguo Xuetang], or "Patriotic School," established
in 1900, was the first Chinese school in Vancouver. It was housed in the Empire
Reform Association building on Carrall Street and attended by children living
in and outside of Canton and Shanghai Alleys. Classes met Monday through Friday,
from seven to nine in the evening.
the education in Chinese school, parents hoped their children would learn their
cultural heritage and be proud of being Chinese. The Chinese language and cultural
skills would also enable them to work in Chinatown or in China, since opportunities
for their young were very limited in the larger Canadian society. By 1937, there
were ten Chinese schools in Chinatown with an enrolment of about 700 students.
Chinese Students' Soccer Team wins the B.C. Mainland Cup and sparks
exuberant celebration in Chinatown.
Vancouver's Chinese population is 13,011, according to the federal census.
Depression Era begins.
80% of Chinese workers are unemployed. The Chinese Benevolent Association
appeals to City Council for assistance. Anglican Church Mission sets
up soup kitchen in Chinatown.
Provincial Workers Council and Chinese Workers Protective Association
petition jointly for the relief of unemployed Chinese. The Labour Department
sends 217 destitute Chinese back to China because cost of passage is
deemed cheaper than ongoing relief payments.
Chinese celebrate Vancouver's 50th anniversary with an imported arch,
pagoda and glittering displays in Chinatown. The site is located at
the southeast corner of Pender and Carrall.
The community has several schools, 12 large societies, 4 churches, 6 hotels, 1 theatre, 2 cabaret halls, 9 cafes, 6 butcher shops, 11 restaurants, 18 tailor shops, 12 barber shops, 24 merchandise stores, 2 jewellery stores, 1 antique store, a Chinese-language branch of Bank of Montreal, Chinese Times Newspaper, agencies of the Canadian Pacific, Blue Funnel, and Admiral steamship lines, a doctor's office, St. Joseph Hospital, a number of lodging houses and various other small businesses, such as laundries, shoemakers, booksellers, gambling houses, and pawnshops.
The first English language newspaper, THE CHINESE NEWS WEEKLY, is published.
Sino-Japanese War erupts. Chinese Communists and Nationalists unite
to resist Japan's advances into North China. Between 1937-8, Chinese
raise $230,000 in Canada for war relief.
Chinese hold licenses for 133 of the 156 greengroceries in Vancouver
and 26 of the 40 laundries. Both of these trades are mostly outside
Second World War begins in Europe. The fundraising events of the Moon
Festival and "One Bowl of Rice" drive collect $25,000 for
China's war efforts.
The Chinese community sets up its own Air Raid patrol and trains 100
wardens. $200,000 of Canadian war bonds is purchased.
Chinese Canadians are not summoned for compulsory military service because
B.C. politicians fear granting the voting right to them, but many volunteer.
The Chinese population in Vancouver is now 7,174, according to the federal
Roger Cheng becomes the first Chinese Canadian to receive a commission
in the Canadian Army.
The young generation enjoyed celebrations and activities of both cultures. They celebrated traditional Chinese festivals, watched Chinese opera, and attended functions of clan associations. As well, if they could afford it, they watched silent movies in nearby theatres: the Pantages, the Rex, the Lux, the Royal and the Star; participated in activities such as roller-skating parties, annual picnics, and Christmas dances organized by the Youth Groups of the Protestant churches in Chinatown and Christian associations such as YMCA.
They also formed their own recreational and social clubs. The Chinese Canadian Club, for example, was founded in 1915 by local-borns, China-borns who emigrated while young, and students from China. Others included the Chinese Aero Club, formed in 1932 and the Chinese Tennis Club in 1937. The Chinese Students' Soccer Team, established in 1919, won the B.C. Mainland Cup in 1931.