Art at Council June 26, 2012 - Chinese Opium Pipe
Tonight’s artifact at Council is a Chinese opium pipe. Between 1880 and 1885 almost 15,000 Chinese men came to BC to help build the CPR line from Port Moody to Craigellachie. Many of these men came by ship and entered Canada at the CPR wharf in Port Moody. Over these five years, hundreds of the Chinese labourers died from disease and construction accidents. They lived in work camps which offered few luxuries and little protection from the elements. To help combat these conditions, some men smoked opium. At that time, smoking opium was common practice in China and legal in British Columbia.
To learn more about the Chinese labourers who helped build the CPR line in BC, visit the Port Moody Station Museum to see Chinese Legacies - Building the Canadian Pacific Railway on now until November 2012.