Armstrong’s heritage advisory committee is looking to recognize the many significant contributions the Chinese have made to the city.
A special public meeting will be held today at noon at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery to discuss ideas for a monument or memorial.
Asia Jong, who was raised in Armstrong and now lives at Kelowna, will be at the meeting to make a presentation outlining the park concept and specifically aiming at a Chinese cultural connection.
Gail Salter, chairperson of the Armstrong heritage advisory committee, said the committee has been spearheading a project in Huculak Park west of Okanagan Street on sections once owned by the Lee Bak Bong family.
“But the public input is important,” said Salter.
“We feel it is vital to get the views of all Armstrong residents, especially when only two Chinese families are here today. At one time there were about 500 Chinese here, most of who farmed the low lands with fresh vegetables, leading the way to Armstrong being named the celery capital of Canada.”
Salter said the Chinese community was a major contributor to the agricultural industry in Armstrong for many years.
At one time there were eight packing houses along the rail tracks in Armstrong where vegetables were processed and shipped out on a daily bases during harvest seasons. The vegetables were farmed by the Chinese.
Jong has been working on the park concept for more than a year. She has worked in consultation with the advisory committee and the City of Armstrong. All of this fits into Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
“So we would like Armstrong residents to hear this presentation, offer comments and suggestions so we can develop the plan and move forward with this project,” said Salter.