A Measure of Value: The Story of the D'Arcy Island Leper Colony

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Touchwood Editions, Jun 1, 2010 - History - 176 pages
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Between 1891 and 1924, D’Arcy Island, near Victoria, B.C., was a prison for a society of outcasts. The press called them “The Unfortunates.” Why? They had leprosy and they were Chinese. Their only contact with the outside world was a supply ship that came every three months to drop off food, opium and coffins.

Follow one “unfortunate,” Lim Sam, on his journey from China to Victoria to Nanaimo, and finally to D’Arcy Island, where this little society cared for each other, planted their gardens, and dreamed of going home.

They lived and died unquoted and unrecorded. That they lived is acknowledged only by fifteen unmarked graves on a tiny island in Haro Strait. It is the author’s hope that this book returns a measure of value to their lives.

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About the author (2010)

Chris Yorath is a retired professional geologist with more than 100 professional papers and four books to his credit. As a sailor in the local waters his interest in D’Arcy began with reading about Gulf Islands. He has made many visits to the island and was responsible for the finding of the original location of the colony; he also initiated plans to have a memorial placed at the site which is now a provincial park. He recently participated in the filming of the documentary Island of Shadows, the story of D’Arcy Island. He lives on Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula with his wife, Linda.

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