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2 records – page 1 of 1.

Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
2018
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20180016001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
2018
Materials
METAL, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
127
Length
40.8
Width
11.5
Description
SINGLE-SPACE DUPLEX PARKING METER WITH AN ELECTRONIC MECHANISM. THE METER CASING IS GREY FEATURING TWO GREEN DOMES IN THE SHAPE OF MICKEY MOUSE EARS. THE METERS ARE LABELED “30-61” AND “30-62” ON THE FRONT AND ATTACH TO A HOLLOW, METAL POLE. A STICKER NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE CASING READS “THIS CAR – INSERT VALID COINS ONLY – DISPLAY INDICATES TIME PURCHASED – CITY OF LETHBRIDGE – THIS CAR.” BOTH METERS HAVE A COIN SLOT AND A LABEL WHICH SAYS “FREE PARKING – WEEKDAYS AFTER 5:30 PM – ALL DAY WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS.” THE DIGITAL METERS ARE VISIBLE AT THE TOP OF THE HOUSING, BEHIND SEMI-TRANSPARENT PLASTIC. ON EITHER SIDE OF THE METER'S TIME DISPLAY, THE WORDS “MACKAY" AND "GUARDIAN” ARE INSCRIBED VERTICALLY. A METAL PLATE FASTENS TO THE REAR, AND TWO KEYHOLES PROTRUDE ABOVE IT. THROUGHOUT, THERE ARE MANY SCRATCHES AND PAINT CHIPS. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
REGULATIVE & PROTECTIVE T&E
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
History
ON JULY 4TH, 2018, THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE REMOVED THIS PARKING METER FROM THE 300 BLOCK OF 3RD STREET SOUTH AND DONATED IT TO THE GALT MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES. ALL OF THE COIN-OPERATED PARKING METERS IN LETHBRIDGE’S DOWNTOWN CORE HAVE SINCE BEEN REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH MULTI-SPACE PARKING KIOSKS. IN DECEMBER 2015, THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE HOSTED AN INFORMATIONAL SESSION INFORMING LETHBRIDGE RESIDENTS ABOUT AN IMPENDING UPGRADE TO THE DOWNTOWN PARKING SYSTEM. VAL FELLGER WAS THE 2015 INITIATIVE’S PARKING COORDINATOR. FELLGER OUTLINED REASONS FOR UPDATING THE EXISTING PARKING SYSTEM IN A 2018 CITY OF LETHBRIDGE MEDIA RELEASE. THE ANNOUNCEMENT SAYS, “THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF PAID AND TIME ZONED PARKING IN DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE IS TO ACHIEVE PARKING TURNOVER WHICH RESULTS IN EQUITABLE AVAILABILITY OF PARKING TO SHOPPERS AND VISITORS TO DOWNTOWN…THERE ARE CURRENTLY A LITTLE OVER 1500 PARKING METERS IN THE DOWNTOWN. APPROXIMATELY 95 PERCENT OF THE PARKING METER INFRASTRUCTURE, PARKING METER HOUSINGS AND SUPPORT POLES ARE GREATER THAN 25 YEARS OLD. THESE HOUSINGS AND POLES ARE STARTING TO SHOW SIGNS OF WEAR AND LOOK UNKEMPT. MANY OF THE METERS CANNOT BE REPROGRAMMED TO ACCEPT NEW COINS OR OTHER PAYMENT OPTIONS.” THE CITY PONDERED THREE OPTIONS FOR THE IMPROVED SYSTEM: 100 PERCENT SINGLE-SPACE METERS WITH FOOT PATROL ENFORCEMENT, 100 PERCENT PAY-BY-PLATE MULTI-SPACE SMART MACHINES WITH MOBILE LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION ENFORCEMENT, AND A HYBRID SYSTEM COMPRISED OF PAY-BY-PLATE MACHINES WITH MOBILE LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION ENFORCEMENT AND IN ISOLATED LOCATIONS, INCLUDING BARRIER-FREE PARKING STALLS, SINGLE-SPACE SMART METERS WITH FOOT PATROL ENFORCEMENT. IN THE DOWNTOWN PARKING METER REPLACEMENT PROJECT STAKEHOLDER & PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT REPORT, 80 PERCENT OF THE PUBLIC SELECTED THE HYBRID SYSTEM. IN AUGUST 2017, THE CITY CHOSE A VENDOR, AND BY JUNE 2018 THE NEW SYSTEM WAS UP AND RUNNING. AS A RESULT, 1526 COIN-OPERATED PARKING METERS WERE REMOVED FROM DOWNTOWN STREETS AND 170 MULTI-SPACE KIOSKS WERE INSTALLED. IN A CITY OF LETHBRIDGE MEDIA RELEASE FROM MAY 28, 2018, MAYOR CHRIS SPEARMAN SAYS, “THIS IS ANOTHER SIGN OF HOW OUR CITY IS GROWING UP. WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A “SMART CITY” AND USING TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE US MORE EFFICIENT. THAT’S WHAT THIS NEW SYSTEM DOES.” FELLGER ADDED, “THE KIOSKS ARE SOLAR POWERED MAKING THEM MORE COST EFFECTIVE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TO OPERATE THAN THE PREVIOUS PARKING METERS THAT USED AA BATTERIES.” ON DECEMBER 12, 2018, KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE’S ACTING PARKING COORDINATOR PHILLIP BERG. BERG ASSISTED FELLGER WITH THE PLANNING OF THE NEW PARKING SYSTEM. CONCERNING THE ROLLOUT OF THE METER REPLACEMENT PROJECT, BERG SAID, “IT WAS PRETTY HECTIC. PEOPLE WERE STILL A LITTLE RESISTANT TO CHANGE. WE HAD CONDITIONED PEOPLE TO A PARKING STYLE FOR THE LAST 50 TO 60 YEARS, AND IN ONE NIGHT WE CHANGED EVERYTHING OVER. SO THERE WAS A LOT OF RESISTANCE.” TO DEAL WITH THE RESISTANCE, BERG KEPT AN OPEN DIALOGUE WITH THE PUBLIC. “THERE WERE TIMES THAT MY PHONE DIDN’T STOP RINGING FOR DAYS, BUT WE’VE MADE A LOT OF CHANGES TO SCREEN DISPLAY AND SIGNAGE. [WE’VE DONE] EVERYTHING WE CAN POSSIBLY DO TO FACILITATE THE BEST PARKING MANAGEMENT STRATEGY WE CAN.” PRIOR TO THE PROJECT, BERG WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE COIN-OPERATED PARKING METERS AS LETHBRIDGE’S PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNICIAN. HE SAID, “I DID ALL THE REPAIRS, MAINTENANCE, AND PROGRAMMING THAT HAPPENED WITH THESE SINGLE-SPACE METERS FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. ANYTHING FROM RE-BUILDING HOUSINGS [TO] PUTTING THEM TOGETHER FROM DIFFERENT PIECES TO RE-PROGRAMMING THEM…THEY WERE BROKEN. THERE WAS A LOT OF PIECES THAT WERE ‘FRANKENSTEINED’ TOGETHER TO ALLOW THE METERS TO FUNCTION. THERE WERE TIMES THAT I WAS TAKING AND GRINDING DOWN PARTS TO MAKE THEM WORK. WHEN I FIRST STARTED, I CALLED THE MANUFACTURER OF THE HOUSINGS [AND ASKED TO ORDER PARTS]. THEY LAUGHED AT ME AND [SENT ME EVERYTHING THEY HAD LEFT FOR FREE]. I GOT ALL THESE OLD DUSTY BOXES WITH PIECES WRAPPED IN NEWSPAPER, AND I WOULD BUILD WHATEVER I COULD TO GET THEM OUT ON THE STREET.” BEFORE BERG, LARRY WYROSTOK WAS THE PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNICIAN FOR SEVEN YEARS, AND MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HIM ON DECEMBER 20, 2018. WYROSTOK SUGGESTED THAT THE TWO MAIN REASONS THAT THE PARKING METERS BROKE DOWN WERE THEIR AGE AND VANDALISM. REGARDING VANDALISM, HE SAID, “WE USED TO HAVE QUITE A BIT. [ONE TIME I WAS DRIVING BY THE COURT HOUSE] AND SOMEONE USED A ROLL OF DUCK-TAPE ON A METER, [AND] THEY JUST COVERED UP THE WHOLE THING. IT WAS PROBABLY TWO OR THREE INCHES THICK, JUST SO THAT THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PLUG IT. I TOOK ALL THE DUCK-TAPE OFF, AND THE METER SEEMED TO WORK FINE. YOU SEE ALL KINDS OF STUFF [ON THE STREET.]” WYROSTOK SUGGESTED THAT ANOTHER ASPECT OF THE JOB WAS COLLECTING THE COINS FROM THE METERS. HE SAID, “[I SPENT] A COUPLE OF DAYS A WEEK COLLECTING IN ALL KINDS OF WEATHER; RAIN, SLEET, AND SNOW. I CAN REMEMBER [DAYS THAT WERE] 35 DEGREES BELOW. [I WOULD PUT MY] METER KEY IN THE VAULT DOOR, AND IT WOULDN’T OPEN. IT WAS FROZEN SHUT. [SO I WOULD TAKE] A RUBBER MALLET AND GIVE THE [VAULT DOOR] A LITTLE TAP AND THEN [I WOULD] SPRAY SOME ETHER ON IT. IT COULD BE QUITE TEDIOUS BECAUSE [I HAD] 1500 METERS TO COLLECT FROM.” LIKE PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNICIANS, PARKING COMMISSIONAIRES ALSO HAD TO WORK IN ALL KINDS OF CONDITIONS. ON DECEMBER 18, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RETIRED PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE, MAVIS BASTIE ABOUT HER TIME WORKING WITH THE PARKING METERS IN LETHBRIDGE’S DOWNTOWN CORE. BASTIE MOVED FROM HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA TO LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA IN 1993. SHE SAID, “WHEN I ARRIVED HERE THE VERY FIRST THING I DID THAT WEEK WAS GO OVER TO THE CORPS OF COMMISSIONAIRES HERE IN LETHBRIDGE AND SAID THAT I WANTED TO BECOME A COMMISSIONAIRE. I WAS IMMEDIATELY GIVEN A JOB, AND THAT JOB HAPPENED TO BE GOING OUT AND DOING PARKING, WHICH MEANT WALKING THE STREETS…WALKING THE STREETS WAS DOING THE METERS AND CHECKING VEHICLES.” BASTIE WORKED AS A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE FOR APPROXIMATELY TEN YEARS. DURING HER INTERVIEW, SHE EXPLAINED THAT THERE WERE FOUR PARKING BEATS WITHIN LETHBRIDGE, “THE FIRST ROUTE WAS MAINLY WALKING AROUND AND DOING THE TICKETING OF THE CARS THAT WERE AT METERS THAT WERE EXPIRED...BEAT ONE WAS DOWNTOWN, AND IT CAME OUT OF THE OLD POLICE STATION [TO THIRD AVENUE]…THIRD AVENUE BECAME BEAT TWO AND THEN BEAT THREE WAS A DRIVING [AND WALKING] AREA…BEAT THREE WOULD BE MORE OVER TOWARDS THE HOSPITAL…BEAT FOUR WAS JUST THE DRIVING, THAT MEANT DRIVING AROUND THE HOSPITAL.” BASTIE SUGGESTED THAT ONE OF THE BUSIEST TIMES OF YEAR TO BE A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE WAS DURING THE WHOOP-UP DAYS PARADE, “YOU’RE JOB IS TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THAT JUST BECAUSE IT’S WHOOP-UP DAYS DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH [PARKING ILLEGALLY]. YOU STILL HAVE TO PLUG THE METERS. IF THAT METER EXPIRES AND YOU DON’T MOVE YOUR VEHICLE YOU GET A TICKET.” BASTIE WAS THE ONLY FEMALE PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE IN LETHBRIDGE DURING THE 1990S. SHE SUGGESTED THAT DUE TO THIS SHE RECEIVED SUPPORT FROM HER COLLEAGUES AND THE LETHBRIDGE POLICE DEPARTMENT, “[IF SOMEONE WAS HARASSING ME] I JUST HAD TO PICK UP THE RADIO… THEY WERE THERE FOR YOU, AND I KNEW THAT NOBODY WOULD EVER HURT ME. THEY WOULDN’T DARE. IT WASN’T BECAUSE I COULDN’T TAKE THEM ON, BUT IT WAS BECAUSE THESE GUYS [WERE LOOKING OUT FOR ME]…YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT THERE BEHIND YOU, AND I HONESTLY HAVE TO SAY THAT WHEN I WORKED FOR THE CORP BACK IN THOSE YEARS, WE HAD THE MOST SENSATIONAL POLICE OFFICERS THAT I HAVE EVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH.” FOR BASTIE THE BEST PART OF BEING A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE WAS WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC. SHE SAID, “[WORKING PARKING WAS] A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW PEOPLE...[IT] WAS SOMETHING THAT I NEVER EXPECTED AND I DON’T THINK PEOPLE THINK OF WHEN THEY THINK OF PARKING… [I GOT TO] ASSOCIATE WITH SO MANY PEOPLE, AND IF [I SHOWED] THEM RESPECT THEY [SHOWED ME] RESPECT BACK…I FOUND YOU HAD TO HAVE A GOOD RAPPORT WITH THE BUSINESS OWNERS BECAUSE THE BUSINESS OWNERS APPRECIATED YOU. IF YOU NEEDED HELP, THEY WERE THERE FOR YOU. IF THEY NEEDED HELP, YOU WERE THERE FOR THEM.” OVERALL, BASTIE ENJOYED HER TIME WORKING AS A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE. SHE SAID, “WHEN I WORKED THE METERS, I LOVED IT. I ENJOYED WORKING PARKING AND EVERYTHING [THAT] IT INCLUDED…IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER, WOULD I DO IT [AGAIN]? DARN RIGHTS I WOULD.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, CITY OF LETHBRIDGE MEDIA RELEASES, AND FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS.
Catalogue Number
P20180016001
Acquisition Date
2018-07
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLYWOOD, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20110031021
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1950
Materials
PLYWOOD, PAINT
No. Pieces
5
Height
303.5
Length
114.3
Description
STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER, IN FIVE PANEL PIECES. .001 TOP CENTRE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. GREEN BACKGROUND WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. TWO FLAGS IN THE CENTRE: THE KUOMINTANG/NATIONAL LEAGUE FLAG IS ON THE LEFT (NAVY BLUE WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE MIDDLE) AND THE FLAG OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA IS ON THE RIGHT (RED BODY, WITH A NAVY BLUE RECTANGLE IN THE TOP LEFT CORNER AND A GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS NAVY SECTION). BETWEEN THE FLAGS IS A NAVY BLUE, ROUGHLY OCTAGON SHAPE, WITH ANOTHER GOLDEN YELLOW SUN IN THE CENTRE. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL IS A SMALL RECTANGULAR PIECE, ATTACHED WITH WIRE, ROUGHLY 19CM X 7.6CM. PANEL IS 241.6CM X 47.6CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. PANEL IS WELL WORN, THE COLOURS ARE FADED, AND THE PAINT IS CHIPPED IN SEVERAL SPOTS. .002 TOP SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL ARE THE TOPS OF TWO COLUMNS. A SMALL PINK/RED FLOWER ON A GREEN VINE IS VISIBLE ON THE COLUMN. TO THE LEFT OF THE COLUMNS IS A SECTION OF GREEN WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. BELOW THE RED AND YELLOW SECTION IS A NAVY BLUE SECTION, WITH A YELLOW SECTION JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE COLUMN. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. PANEL IS 200.7CM X 56.2CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. PAINT SCRATCHED OFF, ESPECIALLY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GREEN FLOWER SECTION. NOT AS FADED OR AS WORN AS .001. TAPE REMNANTS IN THE GREEN SECTION TO THE RIGHT OF COLUMNS. .003 TOP SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PANEL ARE THE TOPS OF TWO COLUMNS. TO THE LEFT OF THE COLUMNS IS A SECTION OF GREEN WITH PINK/RED FLOWERS. ALONG THE BOTTOM IS A REPEATING PATTERN IN RED AND YELLOW OF TWO DOTS, A LINE, AND A DOT. BELOW THE RED AND YELLOW SECTION IS A NAVY BLUE SECTION, WITH A YELLOW SECTION JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE COLUMN. SCREW HOLES ALONG THE TOP AND SIDES FOR MOUNTING. PANEL IS 243.2CM X 55.2CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. TAN PAINT ALONG THE BOTTOM, OVER THE GREEN SECTION, IN SEVERAL AREAS. THE NAVY BLUE SECTION HAS A LOT OF HAIRLINE CRACKS IN THE PAINT. .004 SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANEL IS A RECTANGLE IN THREE SHADES OF BROWN/TAN. ALONG THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PANEL THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS, WHICH HAVE PINK/RED FLOWERS ON GREEN VINES WRAPPED AROUND THEM. NAVY BLUE CURTAIN TO THE RIGHT OF COLUMNS. THERE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE OVER THIS NAVY CURTAIN. THE RECTANGLE HAS A LIGHT BLUE/GREEN BACKGROUND AND HAS SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN YELLOW. THERE IS ORNAMENTATION AROUND THIS RECTANGLE. THE NAVY CURTAIN IS HELD BACK WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW TIEBACK NEAR THE TOP. ON THE FAR RIGHT SIDE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE WITH AN ORANGE BACKGROUND AND SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN BLACK. SCREW HOLES FOR MOUNTING AROUND EDGE OF PANEL. PANEL IS 303.5CM X 114.3CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. IN WORSE CONDITION THAN .005. LOTS OF LITTLE HOLES, ESPECIALLY ON THE NAVY CURTAIN. LOTS OF WALL PAINT FLECKS, ESPECIALLY ON THE COLUMNS. THE BLUE VERTICAL RECTANGLE IS MORE GREEN THAN ON .005 AND THE PAINT IS VERY, VERY WORN. .005 SIDE PANEL. RECTANGULAR. VERY THIN PLYWOOD. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANEL IS A RECTANGLE IN THREE SHADES OF BROWN/TAN. ALONG THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PANEL THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS, WHICH HAVE PINK/RED FLOWERS ON GREEN VINES WRAPPED AROUND THEM. NAVY BLUE CURTAIN TO THE LEFT OF COLUMNS. THERE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE OVER THIS NAVY CURTAIN. THE RECTANGLE HAS A LIGHT BLUE/GREEN BACKGROUND AND HAS SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN YELLOW. THERE IS ORNAMENTATION AROUND THIS RECTANGLE. BELOW THIS BLUE RECTANGLE, ON THE NAVY CURTAIN, ARE SEVERAL CHINESE CHARACTERS ON A DIAGONAL, PAINTED ON IN RED. THE NAVY CURTAIN IS HELD BACK WITH A GOLDEN YELLOW TIEBACK NEAR THE TOP. ON THE FAR LEFT SIDE IS A VERTICAL RECTANGLE WITH AN ORANGE BACKGROUND AND SEVEN CHINESE CHARACTERS IN BLACK. SCREW HOLES FOR MOUNTING AROUND EDGE OF PANEL. PANEL IS 303.5CM X 114.3CM POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. LOTS OF CHIPPED PAINT. PANEL IS FADED/DISCOLOURED. BOTTOM BACK IS IN ESPECIALLY POOR CONDITION AND IS VERY DIRTY.
Subjects
PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE
Historical Association
ASSOCIATIONS
FINE ARTS
LEISURE
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ARTIFACT COMES FROM INTERVIEWS HELD WITH MAY LEE AND JUDY CHAN, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG AND JANICE WONG. PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE LIVES OF MAY LEE, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG THEIR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA ARE FOUND BELOW THE ARTIFACT DETAILS AND BELOW THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY BUILDING. MAY RECALLED THAT THERE WERE OPERAS AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING, BUT THAT THEY DIDN’T COME VERY OFTEN. SHE DIDN’T RECALL ATTENDING MANY OPERAS, BUT DID REMEMBER THAT “HONG WONG WAS SINGING THERE.” RICHARD, MEANWHILE, THOUGHT THAT THE OPERAS WERE FINISHED BEFORE HE ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. HE NEVER SAW AN OPERA PRODUCTION AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING, BUT DID RECALL THAT PROJECTION FILMS WERE SHOWN. RICHARD SUGGESTED “ASK HONG. HE LIKED A LITTLE BIT OF OPERA TOO … HE SANG IN STUFF LIKE THAT.” HONG INDICATED THAT THERE WAS NO OPERAS AT THE SOCIETY BUILDING WHEN HE CAME IN 1951, BUT THAT THE SOCIETY DID STAGE PRODUCTIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY. ASKED WHERE THE COSTUMES CAME FROM, HONG SAID “WE GOT THEM FROM CALGARY AT THAT TIME, WELL, ACTUALLY WE JUST BORROWED THEM. WE DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY THEM.” HONG CONTINUED SAYING THAT THIS STAGE PERFORMANCE BORDER WAS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A LARGE MURAL (SEE P20010027000) AND A STAGE. A SERIES OF ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD GIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY AND ITS BUILDING: THE BUILDING THAT HOUSED THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCIETY WAS BUILT IN 1909-1910 IN THE 300 BLOCK OF 2 AVENUE SOUTH AND IT WAS ORIGINALLY A RESTAURANT. BY 1915 IT HAD BECOME THE HEADQUARTERS FOR THE LETHBRIDGE BRANCH OF THE KAO MIN TANG (ALTERNATIVE SPELLINGS INCLUDE KUOMINTANG, KUO MIN TANG, GUOMINDANG, AND GUO MIN DANG). THE BUILDING WAS DESIGNATED AS A PROVINCIAL HERITAGE RESOURCE IN 1995 BECAUSE OF ITS VALUE AS A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CENTRE FOR THE LETHBRIDGE CHINESE COMMUNITY. THE BUILDING WAS USED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS BY THE SOCIETY AND INCLUDED, AT VARIOUS TIMES, A RESTAURANT, A SCHOOL, AND LIVING ACCOMODATIONS. IN FEBRUARY 2011 A SECTION OF THE BRICK FAÇADE FELL OFF THE BUILDING AND CITY INSPECTORS DETERMINED THAT THE TIMBER AND RED BRICK STRUCTURE WAS POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE. THE BUILDING WAS TORN DOWN A SHORT TIME LATER. LETHBRIDGE'S CHINATOWN EMERGED IN 1901, A RESULT OF THE CHINESE POPULATION BEING RELEGATED TO A SECTION OF THE CITY BETWEEN GALT GARDENS AND THE COULEES. IN A JANUARY 7, 2002 ARTICLE ALBERT LEONG EXPLAINS THAT NO ONE REALLY WANTED CHINESE PEOPLE AROUND AND THAT “’ THEY WERE TOLD THAT THE ONLY PLACE THEY COULD START BUSINESSES WAS BETWEEN THE COULEES AT THE PARK, BECAUSE THE CITY DIDN’T WANT ANY COMPETITION FOR THE WHITE BUSINESSMEN … BUT ‘GHETTO-IZED’ OR NOT, THE CHINESE WHO CAME TO LETHBRIDGE FORMED AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE BACKBONE OF THIS CITY, [AND MADE] NOTEWORTHY [CONTRIBUTIONS] TO THE HISTORY OF THIS PLACE.’” BUSINESSES SUCH AS LAUNDRIES, MARKET GARDENS, AND RESTAURANTS WERE OPENED IN CHINATOWN, WITH THE RESIDENTS LIVING IN ROOMS ABOVE THE BUSINESSES. IN 1912 THERE WERE ABOUT 100 PEOPLE LIVING IN CHINATOWN AND BY THE 1930S, IT WAS A BUSTLING COMMUNITY. THE POPULATION OF CHINATOWN DWINDLED FOLLOWING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. JANICE WONG, PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY IN 2015, GAVE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOCIETY IN AN INTERVIEW: AS OF 2015, THE SOCIETY EXISTS MORE AS A SOCIAL CLUB AND THE SOCIETY HOLDS THREE CELEBRATORY DINNERS EACH YEAR, USUALLY HELD AT THE NEW DYNASTY RESTAURANT. THE SOCIETY ALSO VISITS THE CEMETERY ON A YEARLY BASIS “TO HONOUR THE ANCESTORS, CLEAN THE TOMBS, BRING FOOD, DO THE USUAL THINGS THAT WE USED TO DO – EAT ON GRAVES, BURN THE INCENSE. WE DO THAT EVERY YEAR STILL TO HONOUR OUR ANCESTORS. IT IS USUALLY IN THE SPRING … IN APRIL.” JANICE BRIEFLY DISCUSSED THE FUTURE OF THE SOCIETY, INDICATING THAT THERE IS SOME TALK ABOUT RE-BUILDING “BUT THAT INVOLVES A LOT OF PLANNING, AND MONEY, AND FUNDRAISING” AND SHE QUESTIONS WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS ENOUGH OF A MEMBERSHIP BASE TO GO FORWARD WITH RE-BUILDING. SHE ALSO EXPLAINED THAT PREVIOUS CHINESE IMMIGRANTS HAD TENDED TO COME FROM THE SAME GEOGRAPHIC REGION, BUT THAT PRESENTLY IMMIGRANTS ARE COMING FROM ALL OVER CHINA: “THERE’S A LOT OF INFLUX OF PEOPLE FROM CHINA THAT AREN’T FROM THE SAME AREA, BECAUSE TRADITIONALLY, THE PEOPLE WERE ALL FROM THE SAME AREA AND SPOKE THE SAME DIALECT AND HAD THAT SORT OF THING KEEPING THEM TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY OVERSEAS FROM CHINA.” PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE LIVES OF MAY LEE, RICHARD LOO, AND HONG WONG AND THEIR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA ARE BELOW: MAY LEE: MAY WAS ACTUALLY BORN IN CANADA AND IS KNOWN AS A GOLD MOUNTAIN GIRL, BECAUSE SHE IS A CANADIAN-BORN CHINESE WOMAN. MAY EXPLAINS: “I WAS BORN IN CANADA. I WAS BORN IN NANOOSE BAY. WHEN I WAS 4 YEARS OLD, WE MOVED TO VICTORIA. WHEN I WAS 9 YEARS OLD AND THE WHOLE FAMILY, IN 1930, GO BACK TO CHINA.” DURING THE WAR, THE JAPANESE BOMBED THE GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL IN TOCSIN CITY AND MAY’S MOTHER DECIDED TO SEND MAY AND HER BROTHER TO HONG KONG TO START THE PROCESS OF COMING TO CANADA. MAY STARTED ENGLISH SCHOOL IN HONG KONG, BUT OFTEN MISSED CLASSES BECAUSE SHE WAS SICK FROM THE HEAT. SHE SAYS THAT SHE’S LEARNED MOST OF HER ENGLISH FROM HER HUSBAND, HER CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, AND EVEN GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN. SHE WAS MARRIED TO HOM MEN LEE, AKA JIMMY LEE, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1938 IN VICTORIA, BC. JIMMY WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE AT THE GALT HOSPITAL, BUT WAS SENT BACK TO CHINA AS A CHILD FOR HIS EDUCATION. JIMMY’S FAMILY HAD COME TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1914 AND OWNED LEE-DUC CLEANERS. THE LEE FAMILY LIVED ABOVE THE SHOP, WHICH WAS ON 13TH STREET NORTH, NEAR HIGA’S JEWELERS. MAY’S MAIN MEMORY OF CHINATOWN: “ALL I REMEMBER IN CHINATOWN, IN SUMMERTIME, LOTS OF OLD GUYS SITTING IN FRONT OF GUOMINDANG. AUNTIE HELEN GREW UP IN CHINATOWN. I THINK SHE KNOWS MORE ABOUT CHINATOWN. IN THE OLDEN DAYS, I HARDLY GO OUT, JUST TO BUY GROCERIES.” JUDY ADDED THAT MAY HAD 8 CHILDREN AND WAS KEPT BUSY AT HOME RAISING THEM. RICHARD LOO: RICHARD ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1953, HAVING LEFT THE MAINLAND OF CHINA IN 1949. RICHARD’S GRANDFATHER HAD MOVED TO CANADA IN EITHER LATE 1800S OR THE EARLY 1900S AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE HEAD TAX. HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED AS A COOK IN RESTAURANTS, EITHER IN LETHBRIDGE OR IN TABER (ACCORDING TO RICHARD, HIS GRANDFATHER WORKED THROUGH THE WAR YEARS IN TABER). RICHARD’S GRANDFATHER HAD PLANNED ON MOVING BACK TO CHINA WHEN HE RETIRED, BUT THEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER, AND HE ELECTED TO STAY. AT THAT TIME, HE INVITED RICHARD TO MOVE TO LETHBRIDGE AS WELL. RICHARD LEFT HONG KONG, AFTER LIVING THERE FOR 8 MONTHS, ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT 2PM LOCAL TIME. HE FINALLY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. HE WAS LUCKY IN THAT HE WAS ABLE TO GET HIS FLIGHTS ON SALE. NORMALLY A TICKET FROM HONG KONG TO VANCOUVER WOULD HAVE COST $700, BUT RICHARD WAS ABLE TO SECURE A FLIGHT FOR ONLY $500. HE ALSO INDICATED THAT HIS FLIGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WAS ONLY $39.95. ON RECALLING HIS FIRST TIME IN LETHBRIDGE, RICHARD RECOUNTED THE FOLLOWING STORY: “SO, BY THE TIME I GOT TO THE AIRPORT, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY NOTHING. DIDN’T KNOW – MAYBE COULD SAY ‘GOOD MORNING’ – THAT’S ALL YOU COULD SAY, JUST ANYWAYS HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO’ – SO, ANYWAY, SO IN THE MEANTIME, THE FELLOW AT THE AIRPORT MUST HAVE KNOWN ZEKE, YOU KNOW ZEKE QUAN [OWNER OF] THE LOTUS INN [RESTAURANT], AND HE PHONED HIM UP. HE SAYS, ‘ZEKE.’ I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT – NOTHING. AND THEN HE SAYS, ‘HEY, THIS IS A CHINA BOY HERE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH HIM?’ SO, ZEKE SAYS, ‘OH, JUST TAKE HIM TO CHINATOWN AND DUMP HIM.’ NOW, I DIDN’T KNOW THOSE, NOT UNTIL LATER ON. ZEKE’S SON GO TO SAME SCHOOL I DID – CENTRAL SCHOOL.” RICHARD INITIALLY LIVED IN THE SOCIETY BUILDING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OCCUPYING A ROOM THAT HAD BEEN RECENTLY VACATED BY ANOTHER MAN NAMED LOO WHO HAD GONE TO WORK IN PICTURE BUTTE. RICHARD RECALLED THAT THE SOCIETY WAS A GOOD PLACE TO FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND THAT IT WAS A WELCOMING PLACE FOR NEW CHINESE IMMIGRANTS, A PLACE WHERE THEY WEREN’T DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. HONG WONG: HONG ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1951 AND WAS INVITED TO THE CITY BY HIS UNCLE SHUEY WONG, WHO WAS ALREADY LIVING HERE. UNCLE SHUEY HAD COME TO CANADA SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE AND HAD HAD TO PAY THE $500 HEAD TAX. HONG TRAVELED WITH HIS BROTHER FROM MAINLAND CHINA TO HONG KONG, IN ORDER TO GO TO THE CANADIAN EMBASSY. ON HIS FERRY RIDE TO HONG KONG, HE WAS SHOT BY BANDITS AND WAS REQUIRED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME TO RECOVER. HIS BROTHER ELECTED TO REMAIN IN HONG KONG, AS HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW LIVED IN THE CITY AND GOT HONG’S BROTHER WORK IN A THEATRE. TO GET TO CANADA, HONG FLEW FROM JAPAN TO GUAM, TO VANCOUVER, AND THEN FINALLY TO LETHBRIDGE. HIS FIRST IMPRESSION OF LETHBRIDGE: COLD. HONG SAID: “’WELL, IN HONG KONG IT WAS AROUND MAYBE 20 SOME 30 ABOVE. AND HERE, AT THAT TIME, MAYBE 20 BELOW, OR 20 SOME BELOW. I DIDN’T HAVE THE EAR MUFFS. I SAID, ‘GEE, I’M NOT SO HAPPY HERE, IT SEEMS SO COLD.’” UNCLE SHUEY TOLD HONG THAT IT WAS ONE OF THE COLDEST WINTERS HE COULD REMEMBER. HONG WORKED FOR HIS UNCLE IN HIS SHOP ON 9TH AVENUE, DOING CHORES AROUND THE STORE, UNTIL HIS ENGLISH HAD IMPROVED ENOUGH SO THAT HE COULD SERVE CUSTOMERS. HE JOINED THE CHINESE NATIONALIST LEAGUE SOCIETY ALMOST AS SOON AS HE ARRIVED: “WHEN I CAME HERE, I JOINED IN THE SAME YEAR BECAUSE MY UNCLE WAS A MEMBER. SO THAT’S WHY HE GOT ME IN TO BE A MEMBER. OH, AT THAT TIME, I BET, 95% OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE THEY BELONG TO THE CHINESE NATIONAL LEAGUE, I BELIEVE.” HE CONTINUED, SAYING THAT YOU COULDN’T BE A MEMBER OF BOTH THE SOCIETY AND THE MASONS, AND HE BELIEVES ABOUT 5% OF THE CITY’S CHINESE POPULATION WOULD HAVE BELONGED TO THE MASONS. HE ADDED: “BUT WE ARE STILL FRIENDS, STILL FRIENDS. WE’RE NOT ENEMY OR ANYTHING BUT, IT’S JUST THAT THE ORGANIZATIONS ARE DIFFERENT. THAT’S ALL.” HONG ENJOYED THE CAMARADERIE OF THE SOCIETY. HE SAID: “I REMEMBER, I LIKE IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE PARTY AND SO MANY PEOPLE. AND THEN YOU MEET ALL THE CHINESE PEOPLE THERE IN THE ONE GROUP. WELL, ANYWAY, WHEN YOU SEE SO MANY PEOPLE IN ONE PARTY, AND THEN WHEN THEY COME OUT MOSTLY THE PEOPLE THAT PARTY AND IT FEELS LIKE A LOTS OF FRIENDS OR EVEN LIKE THE FAMILY. SO YOU FEEL GOOD, YOU FEEL BETTER, AND THEN, WELL, MY UNCLE BELONGS THERE TOO AND THEN THE OTHERS BELONG THERE TOO, YEAH, EVERYBODY LIKE IN THE BIG FAMILY. YES, NICE, OTHERWISE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS, YOU DON’T MEET ANYBODY, IF YOU NOT BELONG THERE, I THINK NOT SO FRIENDLY TO YOU.” HONG INDICATED THAT WHEN A SPECIAL MEAL WAS HELD AT THE SOCIETY, IT WAS THE MEN WHO DID THE COOKING: “AT THAT TIME JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY KNOWS HOW TO COOK BECAUSE MOSTLY WE WORK IN THE KITCHEN WHEN THEY CAME HERE.” HE SAID THAT DINERS WOULD PAY A SMALL FEE TO EAT AT THE LEAGUE WHEN SPECIAL MEALS WERE PUT ON. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES AND FOR INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS.
Catalogue Number
P20110031021
Acquisition Date
2011-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail