Cumyow, Won Alexander

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Cumyow, Won Alexander

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1861-1955

History

Won Cumyow, the first Chinese-Canadian born in Canada, was born on or about March 21st 1861 in Port Douglas, B .C., located at the north end of Harrison Lake. Cumyow's parents had immigrated there from Canton and his father operated a business outfitting miners on their way to the Cariboo . In addition to Chinese and English, Cumyow also learned to speak Chinook, which would prove useful in his future career . The family later moved to New Westminster, where Cumyow was educated in law and appointed court interpreter in 1888. He eventually gained prominence as a merchant, community leader, and official Court Interpreter for the Vancouver City Police (1904-1936), and was involved with several groups, including the Chinese Empire Reform Association . He married in 1889 and had ten children, including four sons and six daughters . His son Gordon succeeded him as Court Interpreter.Won Cumyow was the first Chinese-Canadian born in Canada. He gained prominence as a merchant, community leader and official Court Interpreter for the Vancouver City Police (1904-1936). He served the Chinese Empire Reform Association as well as other related groups.

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