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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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for getting up a dinner. Next meeting to be held January 16th, at 8 o`clock. Resolved that secretary be instructed to buy liquor and cigars for members` use and to "be sold at ten percent profit." 860.Q. What is the English date at which this meeting was held? A, I have to look at the Chinese calendar. 261.Q. What would it be in English? A. I would have to refer to the Chinese calendar. 262.Q. When did you adjourn to? A. It was arranged to hold a meeting the next night before the raid. 263.Q, How long after the first meeting was it arranged to have the second meeting? A. One month. 264.Q. So that the first meeting would be about the 16th or 20th of December in English? A.It is December 16th in Chinese. 265.Q. About what would that be in English? A. It is very hard to say. 266.Q. It would be about a month before the raid? A. A month before the raid, less one day. 267.C. Was there a roll prepared for applications for membership? A Yes. 268.Q. Is this the roll? A. Yes. Roll put in as Ex. M. 269.Q. How does this read? A.This is the constitution and then the names are here. 270.Q. What is the heading of the roll? A. "Vancouver Chinese Club, for the purpose of social gathering, reading books, recreation, playing according to by-laws. There will be no dealer or banker, It is solely for the purpose of smoking and drinking and talking and there is gambling for pleasure only. All members making application to the Vancouver Chinese Club, initation fee would be $2., and the subscription of $2. per year for the expenses of the club. Chan Lung, Wo Chung, Soon Ching, Wo Chung, Chu Hang decline to admit an outside member and they are to notify that the said applicant is not a member." BC Archives GR-0419 Box 106 File 1905/9 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.

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