Transcription Page

Vancouver Coal Company

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.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives GR-0431

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.

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I felt the rush I exclaimed “My God! Boys! What is raining on us now?” I then ran or jumped out of the cabin. I have no memory of the explosion after that. I was a sinker and I worked principally about the shaft. I was once down the main shaft. I knew the deceased John Lim. I worked with him. He was a sinker. At the time of the explosion J Lim, W Davis, W Craven and F Mathison were with me in the cabin – we were having supper – I do not remember when Lim went out of the cabin. At that time I was in the employ of the Vancouver Coal Company ten months – and all of that time I was working in the neighborhood of the No two Shaft – My shift was 2 P.M. until 10 P.M. There was good air when we were working. Sometimes we could not keep our lights burning from the strong current of air in the upcast. There was always plenty of air in the place in which I was working. About twice a week I was on top in the vicinity of where the fan was working – The fan was always kept running but slowed down occasionally when we were firing shots at the bottom of the shaft. The “slow down” would last about ten or fifteen minutes. We had fired no shots that day – the morning shift had fired shots before we went there.

Drake Q.C – The cabin is about fifteen yards from the fork of the shaft – We were sinking the shaft – below the level of the workings. The men who were with me and whose names I have given were all working on the sinking – there were about five chinamen there – I saw no fire about of any kind – I was knocked senseless. When I got outside of the cabin – I believe I was on the track when I was found – I did not come to my senses until nine o’clock in the evening – when I found I was in the old school house. The mine

BC Archives, GR-0431 Box 4 File 3 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Inquisitions / inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.

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