Asian Ancestral Appreciation Day

Join us for the first inaugural Asian Ancestral Appreciation Day. Ancestral worship is an important tradition across communities.

As we approach the 100 anniversaries of the establishment of the first Chinese Community Section, Beechwood is proud to recognize the first Chinese descendants but also those of other ethnic communities such as Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, and Vietnamese, all of whom have their dedicated sections throughout the cemetery.

Join us for a short ceremony, followed by the placement of flowers on the headstones of those buried inside the cedar hedges section.

  • When: Saturday, May 18 2024 – 10:00 AM
  • Where: Pagoda of Remembrance 280 Beechwood Avenue (Near the St-Laurent entrance)

Food and light refreshment will be served after the ceremony.

Background: The first group of Chinese descendants consisted of twenty people – all males – who were buried during the period 1903 to 1917. In the mid-1920s, the directors of the Chinese Community Association of Ottawa (formerly known as the ‘Benevolent Society’) approached the Beechwood Cemetery Company with the idea of setting up a Chinese Section.

This proposal was approved by Beechwood’s board of directors, and the original Chinese section was set up in Section F inside the cedar hedges in the eastern-most part of the cemetery.

In 1925, funds were raised to designate an area at Beechwood as a Chinese section. The relationship between Beechwood Cemetery and the Chinese community was formally established in 1937 when the Chinese Benevolence Society, now known as the Chinese Community Association of Ottawa, erected a monument in the older Chinese section on 23 May 1937.