|The above DPF file is in Chinese|
The first organization formed by the Chinese date back as early as 1862 in barkerville. It was a clandestine brotherhood association called the Zhi Gong Tang, which was made up of merchants and gold miners tht had its origin in the secret societies of China.
The Zhi Gong Tang, also known as the Hongmen, or better known as the Chinese Freemasons, were a branch of the anti-Qing dynasty secret society. Otherwise known as Triads. They traced their roots back to five monks inside China.
The main goal of the brotherhood was to overthrow the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and restore the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), because the Manchu rulers of the Qing Dynasty were Mongolians and were regarded by the Han majority as outsiders, Between 1787 and 1911 chapters of the triad Society participated in a number of insurgencies against the Qing government.
However, in Canada, the Freemasons were more concerned with providing social welfare assistance to the bachelor workers who laboured in the mines on the west coast and Cariboo area. At the same time, these social aid programs became important tools for gathering overseas recruits, spreading anti-qing propaganda and raising money for the struggle inside China.
Interestingly, after 1911, the Zhi Gong Tang operated as a branch of the Kuomintang or Nationalist Party in China.
In 1915, the Chinese Empire Reform Association Chinese Freemasons opened its doors at 192 York Street in Toronto. Later on, the Toronto chapter was more of a fraternal association for old and single men.