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1905/9 Rex vs. Soon Ching – keeping a gaming house (Vancouver)

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here. 

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. 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.
*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 G-0419

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-21- 256.Q. Were minutes kept of the first meeting? A. Yes. 257.Q. Have you the minutes here? A. Yes (Minute book presented.) 258.Q. Does this book contain the minutes of the first meeting x of the trustees? A. Yes.

Minute book put in evidence as Ex. L.

(Russell) I have just got a translation of the minutes and I would like to know if my learned friend would accept this or whether it will have to be interpreted by Mr. Cumyow. ([?]) I think it is best to have it interpreted.

259.Q. Mr.Cumyow, will you kindly translate these minutes into English? A. Yes sir.

"Vancouver Chinese Club. Chinese December meeting. "Present: Ho Chung, Chan Ling, Soon Ching, Fung Wong, Chu Hang. President Chan Ling; Secretary Soon Chin. Reported from the president Chan Ling that lawyer has the club incorporated in Victoria. Song Ching, Fung Wong and Shu Hang, they were to interview the lawyer and ger the by-laws. It was resolved that Chan Lung, Soon Ching be directed to rent the second store, No. 41 and 45, Dupont street, and rent at $65. from Sang Lung. Chan Lung, president; Soon Chung, secretary. Secretary be directed to buy newspapers, dominos and cards. By_laws not ready. Resolved that all applications for membership of good character will be considered, and each application must be signed by two member and the admittance initation fee of $2., and $2.every year. In the event of five members declining to accept such member he must be notified within ten days. An xxxxxxxxxxx applicant can be admitted inside of ten dayd. Clause 10: No members are permitted to smoke opium. Resolved that no gambling be allowed. In case members should play, no percentage. In case there is any percentage it is to be used

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