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Immigration Reform and Family Reunification

Jean gained a national profile through her work in challenging discriminatory immigration legislation. For twenty-four years, the Chinese Immigration Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, halted the entry of Chinese into Canada. The result was a bachelor society, absent of women and children. After this legislation was repealed in 1947, there was hope […]


A Passport of First World War Canadians

Nothing would stop Wee Tan Louie from volunteering in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, an astonishing display of patriotism and commitment to equal rights at a time when racial discrimination was at its height in British Columbia ̶ disenfranchisement, the head tax, and countless other anti-Chinese laws. Rejected by the army because he was Chinese (although […]


A Prescription For Living

When Canada joined Britain and France in the war against Germany, the Chinese across Canada were strongly divided. Should they volunteer to fight for a country that treated them so poorly? On the other hand, the war opened a door for them to prove their patriotism and ultimately gain the right to vote. To this […]


The Last Spike

“In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.  The driving of the last spike at Craigellachie, British Columbia, took place on the cold morning of November 7 at 9:22 a.m. This historical event was attended by a crowd of politicians and other dignitaries. Donald Alexander Smith, Canadian Pacific Railway director, raised and struck his hammer […]


Save Chinatown Committee

In the late 1960s, Jean helped in a campaign to save Toronto’s Chinatown. She was in charge of representatives from over 40 Chinese organizations who went to City Hall to save their Chinatown. Wealthy Save Chinatown Committee with their own ideas about improving the downtown area wanted to tear it down and build expensive high-rise […]


Chinese Woman comes to Toronto

“In the 1920s, Toronto was bigger and busier than ever. People had steady jobs and families had a place to live. There was plenty of food to go around. Until that time, most people living in Toronto had a British background but now thousands were arriving from other parts of Europe to live and work […]


Jean Lumb at the 1990 Dragon Ball

“As [Jean] said so well herself at the Dragon Ball in 1990, honouring her accomplishments – speaking to an audience of over 1,200 people – “Through the hard work and sacrifices of our forefathers, they have passed on a legacy of loyalty, honour, obedience, and respect. Through education, through the strength of family unity, and […]


The first Chinese man in Toronto

“By the late 1800s, Toronto was growing by leaps and bounds into a major urban centre. Newcomers from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Italy poured into the city. This growth was largely due to the railway that linked Toronto with everywhere else in Canada. New factories sprang up to serve the rail industry, and new […]


A country that does not remember its past has no future

“There’s an old expression: A country that does not remember its past has no future. We need to look to the past to move forward. Chinese Canadians have added to the rich fabric of Canadian life in so many ways. Each wave of Chinese immigrants has been unique. The early immigrants were the most homogeneous […]