1. #1
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    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.

    Default 23 October 1919: This Day In History

    What a change in language, attitude and general perception between 1919 and 2008.

    This Day in History

    Oct. 23, 1919: Chinese workers travelling through city

    Victoria Daily Times Published: Thursday, October 23, 2008

    For the next seven or eight months Chinese coolies will be passing through this port on their way home from France.

    Every effort is being made to return the men as rapidly as possible, but the scarcity of ships has made it a very lengthy job.

    On the termination of hostilities it was decided to send 80,000 coolies through this port and there is not steamship capacity to handle more than 8,000 each month, so that the Chinamen will be moving westward until about May of next year.

    Arrangements have been made to have the Chinese carried by the C.P.R. and Blue Funnel liners. Each of the latter ships is fitted out to carry 4,000 coolies, but there is only one of these ships sailing each month.

    The large Empresses are capable of handling up to 2,500 coolies and the Empress of Japan and Monteagle can each carry about 1,000. Difficulty is being experienced in handling the coolies on the Atlantic, owing to most of the transports being employed in bringing home the Canadian and American troops.

    However, the demand for these ships has slackened off in the last two months and the coolies are being packed aboard. All the Chinese are being handled through the port of Halifax and brought over the C.P.R. and C.N.R. to Vancouver from where they are taken to William Head and placed under canvas.

    The steamer Princess Royal is bringing a large number of coolies across from Vancouver this afternoon.

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008

    I can't help but wonder exactly what "Packed Aboard" translates into, vs how the troops coming home would have been embarked. Sounds more like cargo than human passengers.

    NFT: Since 1959, William Head is a medium security prison. However before that time it was a Quarantine Station for the west coast, from 1881 to 1958.

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    I read a book called "Combat Loaded" about a Navy owned Liberty ship that saw service transporting Chinese soldiers around after WW2 ended.Packing them aboard is just what it sounded like.
    The crew built latrine and bunking facilities for the troops only to see them "go" wherever the urge struck them and sleep on any open deck space.
    Troop ship accomodations,as I understand from neighbors who went to see Europe and western Pacific islands that way,weren't as luxurious as it seemed in "the "Band of Brothers"scenes.The bunks seemed a lot closer to the folks I asked,plus my own memory from the Navy had the bottom of the next upper rack 18" from my face.
    If the current mores and attitudes don't care,people can be packed in like cattle.This is why the steamer Sultana had such a high casualty rate when she exploded above Memphis in 1867 while carrying released Union POWs home.

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