Susan Chew was born in 1927 in Victoria, British Columbia. Growing up on a farm just outside the city, she and her ten siblings helped their parents, Chew Dang and Yee C. Loo Chew, with the family’s vegetable garden business. She later moved to New Westminster, British Columbia, where she was a successful business owner. In 1956, Susan made headlines in New Westminster, British Columbia, and across the country when she was denied tenancy in an apartment when American buyers of the building found out that she was Chinese. The community rallied around Susan, so the original owners cancelled the sale of the building. Susan was able to move in without further incident. Over the years, Susan has taken on a number of work, community and entrepreneurial roles: as a Cub Scout leader, journalist, hula dance performer, travel agent and tour guide, model, designer, actress, radio host, boutique owner, public speaker and real estate agent. After spending many years in Toronto, Ontario, she now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This souvenir booklet was distributed at a YWCA-sponsored tour of Vancouver, British Columbia’s Chinatown, which took visitors through stores, schools, churches and association halls. The Pender YWCA was established in 1938 by the Vancouver YWCA and members of the community to serve Chinese Canadian girls and women. The tours introduced Chinese culture to Vancouverites, reminded young Chinese Canadians of their heritage, and raised money for the YWCA World Service.