Early Lebanese beginnings in British Columbia, started with the arrival of Abraham and Farris Ray to Victoria in1888.

Early Lebanese beginnings in British Columbia   
by Vi Smith

Though they were one of the smallest ethnic groups in British Columbia, the Lebanese,
by their enterprise, their high level of education and by the strength of their extended
family and clan system, were spectacularly successful in the life of British Columbia.
The family bonds ensured first, an organized and well managed chain migration into
British Columbia, then a strong element of mutual support in the years of struggle, and
eventually a high reputation in business and public affairs, based upon living up to the
pride in the family.
The first Lebanese in the province were two brothers, Abraham and Farris Ray, who
began their careers in Victoria as itinerant peddlers in 1888. Their success, due to their
enterprise and business honesty, led them to invite their brother Richard to join them in
1889, then Solomon Ray and other members of the family, who operated a dry goods
store in Victoria in 1891. Meanwhile Sied Hassem had settled in Nanaimo, and was soon
joined by Mike and Alec Saba.
Together the brothers peddled dry goods from door to door in the Courtenay District for some years until they had earned enough to open their own store in Vancouver in 1903, the beginning of one of the most successful family businesses in British Columbia, Saba Brothers, which sold the most exclusive silks and wools from the Far East and Paris.
Read more:
Early Lebanese beginnings in British Columbia

Vi Smith , Born Shumas, she is a co-founder of Lebanese Canadian Society of BC

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