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Preface by Duncan & Susan Stacey

Everyone who survives a history class comes away with someone's interpretation of the past, those facts selected from humanity's vast storehouse of experience to define who and what we are as a community. Our textbooks reveal the conventional wisdom about winners and losers, good guys and bad guys, good laws and bad laws. We can look into the alternative versions offered by our libraries, bookstores and educational television stations, and if we pursue the investigation of the past, even as amateur sleuths, we soon discover that we live in an age where many groups are defining themselves by telling their stories and creating their histories.
It seems that whoever has a voice has a story, and when a few voices speak together we have a history.

Steveston, a small farming and fishing community at the mouth of the Fraser River within the city of Richmond, has many voices bidding us to examine its past. For years it had a small and stable permanent population which hosted a very large and tumultuous transient population during the fishing season. It was, for a time, home to a vast diversity of humanity. Steveston has dealt with the challenges of pioneer experience, boomtown gusto and turbulence, multiculturalism and racism, rapidly changing technology, and encroachment by a larger population. From these experiences has emerged a hardy, vigorous community with a very strong sense of a heritage worth preserving.

In this book some of these voices speak again to tell us about the lives they led and the community they built. We make frequent use of quotations from written and aural records. People speak in the language and context of their times, which may require forbearance by modern sensibilities. Some memories, especially those generated in non-English speaking communities, found no verbal expression but were recorded in photographic images. The first chapter will give an overview of Steveston's evolution from an open, largely unpopulated bog to a modern fishing and tourism centre. Succeeding chapters will describe this history more vividly.