Canadian Pacific Railway names
Kamloops’ interchange in honour of Chinese railworker
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.
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 Lome 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 the future."
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
emigrated 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
Editor's Note: Digital photographs of Cheng
Ging Butt, Chinese railway workers and Kamloops or images of the
unveiling ceremony are available.
Ed Greenberg (403)319-3686 (403) 540-8106 (cell) ed_greenb erg@cpr.