|Canadian Pacific Railway names Kamloops' interchange in honour of Chinese |
|June 1, 2005
Canadian Pacific Railway continues to honour the significant role of Chinese railway labourers during railway construction more
than 120 years ago. In a ceremony highlighted by a Lion Dance that symbolizes good luck and good blessings, Canadian Pacific
Railway named a railway interchange in Kamloops in honour of Cheng Ging Butt, a railway labourer who represented the
dedication of those who came forward to work on the CPR transcontinental line in the B.C. interior.
Thousands of Chinese railway workers helped build the Canadian Pacific Railway from the West Coast to Eagle Pass in the
Monashee Mountains of Western Canada and many perished.
"Cheng Ging Butt is representative of the extraordinary people who withstood hardships to not only help build a railway, but a
nation, as well," said CPR Vice President, Paul Clark. "The Cheng Interchange also symbolizes the important role Chinese
railway workers made in the development of the entire railway industry in Canada. In recognizing all Chinese workers for their
sacrifices, CPR is paying our deepest respects and gratitude."
Joining the CPR at the ceremony were members of Cheng Ging Butt's family, representatives from the Chinese community in
Kamloops and officials from the City of Kamloops.
"Our Grandfather was just one of many Chinese men who worked on this railway. These men accepted the risks involved and
many perished; but most survived. Our family was fortunate that our grandfather not only survived but also prospered after
working for the CPR," said Cheng Ging Butt's descendent, Kevan Jangze. "Today, our children are fourth generation Canadians,
and have strong ties to the history of Canada. We are proud to be Canadian and are privileged that our grandfather chose to
come to Canada to work for the CPR."
The Cheng Interchange is located just east of the CPR Station in Kamloops on Lorne Street. An interchange is a key part for
any railway, as it keeps the efficient flow of rail cars from one railway to another. The Cheng Interchange is the central junction
point for freight and passenger rail service in Kamloops.
Mayor of Kamloops, Mel Rothenburger, welcomed the designation of the Cheng Interchange. "This is a fitting honour for all
Chinese residents in Kamloops and across the country whose forefathers built the railway. As well, it demonstrates the role
Kamloops played as a centre for western railway construction and the fact it continues to be a rail hub for CPR."
In addition to the Cheng Interchange, Canadian Pacific Railway announced a special monument in honour of Chinese rail workers
would be unveiled in Kamloops later this year.
Clark added what Cheng Ging Butt and the thousands of other Chinese railway workers did many years ago made it possible for
CPR to embark on its recently announced $160 million western corridor expansion project. "Their hard work and dedication to
open up the west many years ago makes our company's current expansion possible, which will benefit Canada's economy for
About Cheng Ging Butt
Cheng Ging Butt was born in Southern China's Guangdon province in 1858, came over to work on the railway as one of the
thousands who immigrated to Canada between 1881 and 1885. After 1885 when he had completed his railway construction work
with CPR, Cheng Ging Butt settled by the tracks near Yale, where he ran a dry goods store, a temple and farmed cherries, which
he and his children sold to CPR's dining car staff and passengers on passing trains. Married with eight sons and two daughters,
he also was the founder of the Cheng Association in Vancouver. Cheng Ging Butt passed away in 1930.
About Chinese Railway Labourers
Between 1881 and 1885, 17,007 Chinese arrived in Canada (according to an 1885 Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration).
Up to 9,000 of them worked building the railway for the federal government from Port Moody to Savona and for CPR through to
Craigellachie, B.C., during the 19th century - from the West Coast to Eagle Pass in the Monashee Mountains of western
Canada. They helped greatly to achieve a united Canada.
About Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway is a transcontinental carrier operating in Canada and the U.S. Its 14,000-mile rail network serves the
principal centres of Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver, and the U.S. Northeast and Midwest regions. CPR feeds directly into
America's heartland from the East and West coasts. Alliances with other carriers extend its market reach throughout the U.S.
and into Mexico. For more information, visit CPR's website at www.cpr.ca.
Source: Canada Newswire