10234 97 Street, Edmonton
The Central Block apartment building on 10234 97 Street first appeared in Henderson’s Directory in 1939, and was most notable rented by a woman named Edith Mah. She was born in Edmonton and went to China in 1935 on the wishes of her father, but returned home to Edmonton on July 8, 1941 at 19 years of age. Her father, Charles Mah, was the owner of a dry cleaning and tailor shop nearby on 97th Street (see Central Cleaners).
When she was in Hong Kong in 1936, she attended a girls’ mission school on the outskirts of Hong Kong city. While she was there, war broke out between China and Japan and she joined other students in helping the war refugees and Chinese soldiers.
Upon her return, Edith was a guest of the Rotary Club’s lunch meeting at Macdonald Hotel in Edmonton on a Thursday in February, 1942, where she told of her war experiences against the Japanese advancement in China and Hong Kong and declared her confidence of China’s victory with United Nations having joined forces with China.
When the Japanese was defeated, Edmonton’s Chinese organizations held the first official celebration of the Japanese defeat in the city’s Chinatown on a Saturday in August 1945. Edith acted as mistress of ceremonies for the evening program. According to records, Edith continued to be very involved within the Chinese community after returning to Edmonton in 1941.