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Chinese New Year An Old Tradition in British Columbia

February 8, 2016

An item from the newspaper, New Westminster BC, January 1887:

At a school one day last week, where the children are carefully instructed with regard to Church of England affairs, the teacher asked what would be the next festival. Little Jennie Peele’s hand went up at once and she replied: “Chinese New Year!”

Jennie, or Jeanette Peele was about 4 years old, the daughter of chemist Adolphus Peele, who had a drug store on Columbia Street. He was also the Dominion Meteorologist.

The festivities of the previous year evidently had made an impression on Jennie Peele’s memory.

“In 1886,” wrote Jim Wolf in Yi Fao: Speaking Through Memory, “hundreds of citizens witnessed a grand display of fireworks put on by the local Chinese community and happily participated in their New Year celebration.”

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