Many newcomers from China worked in the mines at Mt. Sicker. Among them was Shong Hai Chang, who opened a general store before the turn of the 20th century. He called it “Sam Yick Kee” (“three benefits”).
The mural portrays the store operated by his son, Ning Chang, (the first Chinese child born in Chemainus, 1913). The street scene illustrates this popular meeting place and focal point for Chinese immigrants supplying commodities and foods imported directly from China. The Changs also operated a piggery and sold meat to local markets.
Shong Hai Chang’s passing in 1934 was marked by the largest Chinese funeral ever seen in Chemainus.
His son, Ning Chang, took over the business located at the site of the 49th Parallel Grocery store on Oak and Esplanade Streets. His descendants still reside in Chemainus.