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Wong Boo Chow - c. 1920

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. early 1920s, Vancouver. Photo of Wong Boo Chow. He arrived in 1912 and worked in the logging industry primarily on Vancouver Island. In 1923, the Chinese Exclusion Act became law and he lost hope that he could ever bring over his family over from China. By November of 1923, he arranged to marry a much younger, Canadian-born Chinese woman -- Mah Suey Hang, the daughter of a merchant from Cumberland Chinatown. After three children and a difficult marriage, their fight over custody of the children made newspaper headlines in 1931 in both Chinese and English-language papers. The Wong Benevolent Society came to Boo Chow's rescue and helped him finance his custody battle. In the end, Boo Chow managed to keep two of his children, his sons, with him in Canada. Although he more or less neglected them and the two boys grew up in boarding houses without much oversight.”

Wong Mow - 1941

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1941, Vancouver. Photo of tailor Wong Mow who ran the Modern Silk Shirt Company on Main Street in Vancouver's Chinatown. His actual name was Wong Quon Ho. And he was 20 years old when he arrived in Canada in 1911 on the Chicago Maru. He lived in the back of his shop on Main Street in Chinatown. He had a wife and one child in China. And here in Canada, with his second wife he fathered four children: Wah Wong; Git Wong; Larry Wong and Jennie Wong.

Lim - Herb Lim in uniform - 1944

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1944, Vancouver. Photo of Herb Lim in his Army uniform. Herb was recruited to join Force 136, the clandestine group of soldiers who were trained by the British and were destined to be dropped in behind Japanese lines in Southeast Asia. After the war, Herb became a businessman and owned a gas station as well as other businesses in and around Chinatown.”

Mah George Fook Yu - 1945

Collector/curator’s original description reads: “1945, Vancouver. Portrait of George Fook Yu Mah in uniform. The photo has been hand colourized. The handwritten inscription reads ‘To Mamie with love, George, 1945.’ George Fook Yu Mah was born in Vancouver on October 5, 1917. His family ran a Chinese grocery and dry goods store in Shanghai Alley in Vancouver’s Chinatown. During WWII, George signed up to support Canada’s work effort. He enlisted in the Army and the insignias indicate he was attached to the WWII 2nd Armoured Brigade Tank Division. Shortly after the war, in 1947, he married Mamie Mei Ching Wong. Together, the couple would have three children: Georgina, Geoffrey and Roxane. To support his family, George worked as a foreman at the Canadian Fishing Company in Prince Rupert, BC. He was described by his children as a fun-loving character who enjoyed socializing and having a good time with friends. He liked football games, cooking and eating good food! His children recall with fondness the day George returned home from a trip to Edmonton, Alberta. He proudly showed up at home driving a 1962 Oldsmobile 98. Unfortunately, George died young. On February 9, 1965, when he was only 47, he passed away from a brain hemorrhage.”

Con Winnie - late 1930s

Collector/curator’s description, reads: “Late 1930s, Vancouver. Photo of Winnie Con as a bridesmaid in the wedding of Edward Wong and Adeline Mah. Winnie would later marry Quon Wong, a businessman based in Vancouver's Chinatown.”

Lane - Leonard and Adeline - wedding - 1949

Collector/curator’s description reads: “October 1, 1949, Vancouver (518 Main Street). Wedding portrait of Leonard and Adeline Lane. Bio Leonard Lane: Leonard was a staff person in the BC Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. He was also one of the original members of the Unity Credit Union, which extended loans to members of the Black community. He was the Credit Union's treasurer for 8 of its 9 years. Lenora, the daughter, asked Adeline about her memories of Yucho Chow and the day the photo was taken. Adeline "...doesn't remember that much but she said my dad asked some other Black people in the community where they should go for pictures and Mr. Chow's name came up. They went to his studio to have the photos taken. A good guess would be that his studio was in Chinatown as the community around the AME church was not very far from there. My mom says he was very nice and made them feel comfortable and welcomed. She doesn't remember if he spoke good English but says it must have been pretty good as there was no problem understanding each other. She remembers when they got there he had them remove their coats and said Okay, let's get to it! She remembers someone showing them where and how to stand but whether it was Mr. Chow or someone else she doesn't know.’"

Sierpina - Walter and Mary - wedding - 1949

Collector/curator’s description reads: “November 12, 1949, Vancouver (518 Main Street). Photo taken 2 days after the sudden death of Yucho Chow. Photo likely taken by one of his sons. Wedding of Walter and Mary Sierpina. They were married at St. Casimir's Church at 27th and Fraser. But then came to Chinatown for their photos. L to R: Jean Berger; Zygmunt Joblonski, Ann Faye; John Kubat; Walter Sierpina; Mary (?) Sierpina; Violet Hopkins; Anton (last name not provided); and Kay Kozakiewicz.”

Sierpina - Walter and Mary - wedding - 1949

Collector/curator’s description reads: “November 12, 1949, Vancouver (518 Main Street). Photo taken 2 days after the sudden death of Yucho Chow. Photo likely taken by one of his sons. Wedding of Walter and Mary Sierpina. They were married at St. Casimir's Church at 27th and Fraser. But then came to Chinatown for their photos.”

Young Norman and Elsie - wedding - 1942

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1942, Vancouver. Wedding photo of Norman Young and Elise (Lim) Wong. Yung Woon Won (Norman Won Young) arrived in Canada in September 1923. He was one of the last to enter Canada as the Chinese Exclusion Act [Chinese Immigration Act, 1923] had gone into effect on July 1, 1923. A provision in [the] Act allowed people already in transit to enter Canada. Norman worked at the famous banquet restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown called the W.K. Gardens.”

Artwork - 1934 - family tree

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1934. Artwork of Family Tree created by Yucho Chow. Top row: Yip Shee Quon (aka Mrs. Yucho Chow wife #2); Mrs. Yucho Chow (wife #1); Yucho Chow. Middle row (left to right): Jessie; Rose; Bick Lin; Mabel; Peter. Bottom row: Henry; Philip; Jack; Samuel.”

Chow, Yucho

Chinatown Business men - Larry Wong

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1920s, Vancouver. Photo of several men who were part of a Chinese business association. Wong Mow (owner Modern Silk Company; later called Modern Shirt Company) is second from left. Yucho Chow (studio photographer) is fifth from left.”

Chow Jack Kinn - 1927

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1927, Vancouver. Portrait of Jack Kinn Chow, the second Canadian-born son of photographer Yucho Chow. Jack would train as an optometrist and would open and operate his own optical shop in Chinatown.”

Jack Chow and Ying (Ng) Chow wedding - 1938

Collector/curator’s description reads: “October 28, 1938, Vancouver. Wedding photo of Jack and Ying (Ng) Chow taken on their wedding day. Jack was the second Canadian-born son of Yucho Chow and became one of the first Chinese optometrists. He owned and operated an optical store in Vancouver’s Chinatown for many years.”

Jack Chow - circa 1937

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1937, Vancouver. Portrait of Jack Kinn Chow, the second Canadian-born son of photographer Yucho Chow. Jack would become one of the first Chinese optometrists, and opened a store in Vancouver’s Chinatown which he operated for many years.”

Rose and Jessie front of studio - c. 1942

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. 1942, Vancouver. Rose (left) and Jessie (right) Chow standing in front of Yucho Chow Studio at 518 Main Street, Chinatown, Vancouver. Rose was the second daughter of photographer Yucho Chow and Jessie was his third and youngest daughter. Jessie worked for years in the studio as the colourist: hand painting black and white photos with coloured oil paints. (Note: Next to the street number "518" is the designation CHINESE PHOTOGRAPHER.)”

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