LETTER: Series laid groundwork for heritage recognition

Claus Schunke is certainly to be praised for his doggedness in getting Nelson’s Chinatown acknowledged as a BC historical landmark.

Claus Schunke organized the creation and placement of the stone marker at Hall and Vernon that commemorates Nelson's former Chinatown. He's pictured here in his Chinese Liberation Army coat. Schunke is hoping to build a traditionally-styled gazebo on the site.

Re: “Province recognizes Nelson’s Chinese heritage”

Claus Schunke is certainly to be praised for his doggedness in getting Nelson’s Chinatown acknowledged as a BC historical landmark, a recognition long overdue.

I was proud to have perhaps laid the groundwork for Claus’s initiative when I was writing my Heritage Beat column for the Nelson Daily News, in which I authored 10 articles about the Chinese history of Nelson. Up to that time, very little had been written on the subject, as if the lingering racism of the 19th century was still persisting.

I remain grateful for the generous help and friendship of the Lawrence Mar and Cam Mah families in unearthing aspects of that history, including artifacts, that had previously been forgotten. I worked hard to be as accurate as possible in my historical writing, devoting up to 20 hours of research for every column. So it won’t surprise you that I am a stickler for the facts when it comes to history.

Therefore, to say there were once 1,000 Chinese in Nelson is not entirely accurate. In my February 18, 2000 column, I wrote: “The Chinese community in the West Kootenay once boasted 600 members in Nelson and possibly another 300 between Trail, Castlegar, and Rossland.”

Even so, because they were considered an underclass, truly accurate population figures for the historical period are hard to come by. Thanks to the Star for running this important story.

Art Joyce, New Denver

Just Posted

Archie in Nelsondale hits the stage Nov. 28 with inter-generational cast

Nelson’s annual Christmas Pantomime features ‘one-liners, familiar songs, and general silliness’

Former Esso site on Nelson Avenue to be sold

Imperial Oil says remediation work is underway

Nelson police remove impaired drivers during weekend blitz

Seven people lost their licences and had their cars impounded

Leo Grypma advances to next round of CrossFit Games qualifying

The Power By You coach finished 62nd out of 26,000 people in his age division at the Open

Nelson seniors take the chill out of winter with home energy upgrades

Over 100 seniors have signed up for free energy efficiency installations

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperate breeding program

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

29 B.C. students in Hong Kong amid tense protests, university siege

Eight UVic and 21 UBC students still in Hong Kong

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave Indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Most Read