Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bar school over Chinatown cemetery, says B.C. group

Source: CTV

B.C. group warns school development could disturb former Chinese cemetery

The demolition and construction of a high school in a Vancouver suburb could disturb a century-old Chinese cemetery and one of the last links to a Chinatown that has long since faded away, says a local Chinese-Canadian group.

New Westminster, south of Vancouver, once had a bustling Chinatown district with about 1,600 Chinese living in the community by the late 1800s.

Those who died there were often buried in one of a collection of cemeteries adjacent to an old public cemetery -- the current site of New Westminster Secondary School.

The school was erected, largely on top of the various burial grounds, in 1948.

I wonder how the school was allowed to be built on top of the cemetery to begin with!

"It's not our intent to stop children from going to school. However, we always need to bear in mind that nobody should pit the living against the dead, either."

It's unclear how many bodies, if any, are still buried underneath the school and the surrounding parking lots and fields.

It was traditional at the time for Chinese families to exhume bodies and return them to China, and the school board believes that would have happened to nearly all of the remains.

But Chu said it's possible not all bodies were removed, and more work needs to be done to be sure.

So the Chinese would exhume bodies to return to China but they can't view skeletons in video games. I think this dispute could be easily settled over a game of WoW. :)

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