Wong Kong Ying et al
As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths. They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.
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Q. 34 They were pretty well reduced to rice and cabbage? One of them mentioned cabbage, did you see cabbage?
Q. 35 Going on for four weeks?
A. Three weeks.
Q. 36 Rice, very refined?
A. Yes, just the white rice.
Q. 37 The best part of the food is taken out and thrown away?
A. Yes. The groceries were delayed a little. The Maquinna did not call, when I think back, from Saturday to Wednesday.
Q. 38 During the last three weeks, even the last two weeks, did you notice anything particular about these men?
A. I was down in Vancouver for Christmas, from the 20th December to the 4th January; only there a couple of days; went down to Vancouver; went up again on the 12th. I got up to Camp and they remarked about being low in groceries. I went over to Sechart. I figured the Maquinna had been in; going to bring them back. The Maquinna didn't call in back until the following Wednesday. I wasn't there for two weeks and a half.
Q. 39 Did you notice any change in the men?
A. Not particularly. They are always more or less the same.
Q. 40 Were they working?
A. Working days they could work; didn't work very often in the rain.
Q. 41 The Chinamen are responsible for their own food supplies?
A. Yes, they have to do their own ordering.
Q. 42 Had there been any trouble about the finances to get food supplies?
A. Maybe there has.
Q. 43 Hasn't it been rather chronic?
A. It was for some time; got it straightened away; very good this last little while.
Q. 44 We will go back to October. Were you at the camp when Corporal Dunbar was there?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. 45 Food supplies were pretty low then?
A. They were a bit that way.
BC Archives GR-0431/Box 13 File 6/BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL./Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.