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authority records
Vancouver Cultural groups

Bartling, Hedwig

  • Priv 63
  • Person
  • [1907?]-1993

Rev. Dr. Hedwig Dorothea Henrietta Bartling was born in Germany. As a young child, she emigrated with her family from Germany to Canada, settling in Saskatchewan, just a year before the First World War. In 1933, she was engaged by the Woman's Missionary Society (W.M.S.) of The United Church of Canada to work among the Ukrainian people in northern Alberta. In 1942, she went to Lethbridge to work among the Japanese-Canadian internees. After the war, Bartling worked first at the Chinese Christian Community Centre in Victoria, B.C. (1950-1951), followed by several years at Steveston United Church in Richmond, helping build the integrated Caucasian-Japanese congregation (1952-1956). Following three years at Queen's Avenue United Church in New Westminster (1960-1962), and studies at Union College, she was ordained. Hedwig Bartling died in 1993.

Nihei, John Kumaji

  • Person
  • 1902-2001

John ("Johnny") Kumaji Nihei was born May 6, 1902 in Fukushima-ken, Japan. He came to Vancouver in 1919, where he worked as a "house boy" (as it was then known) and played for the Vancouver Asahi baseball team until 1923. Mr. Nihei moved to Ocean Falls in 1923, where he worked for the mill and was part of the Japanese United Church. He was inspired during these early years to become active in the social justice movement within the Japanese community. In 1942, during the uprooting of Canadians of Japanese descent, the federal government sent him to road camp in Lemperire, B.C., to work on construction of the Yellowhead Highway. He was then sent to Tashme internment camp to help build the settlement, where his family later joined him. After the war, the family lived in East Lillooet (1945-1951) and then settled in Hope. Mr. Nihei died November 26, 2001 at Hope, B.C.

Fong, Dickman

  • Person
  • 1860-1946

Rev. Fong Dickman, originally known as Fong, Tak Man, was born in 1860 in Yan Ping, Kwangtung [Canton or Guangdong], China. He came to Canada in 1884 to seek a better life. Initially Mr. Fong made a living by driving stagecoaches between Vancouver and New Westminster, B.C. While attending a mission school at night, first in New Westminster and subsequently in Vancouver, Fong developed a keen interest in Christianity. He was baptized at the Princess Street Methodist Church in Vancouver, and appointed to the Chinese Methodist Church in Nanaimo in 1898 as a missionary at large. At that time, his name was Anglicized to “Dickman.” In 1906, Fong Dickman was transferred to Vancouver to set up and produce the Wa-Ying Yat-Po, (华英日报, the Chinese-English Daily Newspaper, 1906-1909), one of the very early (if not the first) Christian newspapers in the Chinese language published in Canada. After 25 years of service, Fong Dickman was ordained by the Methodist Church of Canada in 1923. During his lifetime, he served in pastoral ministry at Nanaimo (1898-1906 and 1913-1921), Vancouver (1906-1913), New Westminster (1922-1930), and Edmonton (1930-1939). Rev. Fong Dickman retired in 1939, living in New Westminster until 1942, then residing in Vancouver from 1943 until his death on April 10, 1946.

Fong Dickman married Jane Chang in Victoria in 1899, and the couple had four daughters: Lavina Fong Dickman, who later became Lavina Cheng; Esther Fong Dickman; Anna Fong Dickman, who became Anna Lam; and Mary Fong Dickman (who died at a very young age). Aside from their loyal assistance with the church work, Anna was the first Chinese Canadian to become a registered nurse in B.C. and Esther, a school teacher in Vancouver. Mrs. Fong Dickman died in 1927. Beyond missionary work, Rev. Fong Dickman enjoyed creative writing, featuring early Chinese immigrants from his pastoral perspective. Rev. Fong Dickman was a philanthropist, who was noted to have supported a missionary in the city of Fat Shaan in Fong Dickman’s native province in south China.