Chinese Freemasons

Benevolent societies and associations formed an important foundation to early Chinese-Canadian society.  Such organizations provided social welfare to immigrants in need and to the thousands of Chinese labourers thrown out of work after the completion of the railway. Also, they protected the Chinese against racism in an increasingly hostile white society. Ultimately, these associations became a political force and symbolized the consolidation of Chinese society.

The Chinese Freemasons were one such society.  The first branches of the Chinese Freemasons in Canada were formed in 1876 in Quesnel and Victoria.  Eventually, branches were established across Canada and were all affiliated under one national convention.  The Chung Collection holds archival records of the British Columbia Chinese Freemasons, including correspondence, documents related to the affiliated Dart Coon Club, donation receipts, and Chinese games and herbal medicine texts.

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