Chow Dong (Charlie) Hoy was born July 2, 1883, and landed in Vancouver
in the fall of 1902. He went to Barkerville to mine in 1909 and also
lived in Quesnel. Since Mr. Hoy was the only one with a camera at
this time, he took pictures of the other Chinese to send home to their
families overseas. Mr. Hoy brought together Chinese, Causasian, and
First Nations people in his photographs. His pictures display historical
and aesthetic recognition of this era, with the scenery of the Cariboo
always in the backround. Unfortunately, his talents were not realized
until after his death. He provided watch repairs and also cut hair
to make money to send back home. In 1910, Charlie returned to China
to be married. A disciplined man, Charlie Hoy had a clear dislike
for smoking, gambling, and drinking. When he returned to the Cariboo,
he bought a store in Quesnel that made him rich - he named it C.D.
Hoy & Co. Charlie and his wife had twelve children who all helped
out in the store. He became Quesnel's first professional photographer
in 1911, and possibly the third Chinese photographer in all of British
Columbia. Charlie also built the Wells Light and Power Plant which
serviced South Wells and Barkerville 1938-1947. He continued his photography
in the Wells area, and also built the Lode Theatre on the tailings.
Charlie Hoy passed away on March 9, 1973. "With his death in 1973
went a strong-willed, hard-working man, a man of vision to the future
in a new land." (Cariboo Observer, date unknown). A beautiful book
entitled First Son, Portraits by C.D. Hoy by Faith Moosang is now
available containing his work.