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Hello. My name is Ron Marsh. I am here today at Pier 21 Immigration Museum to talk about the Empress of Ireland, a model which I built.

I was born and brought up in Halifax. I was the son of a sailor and I worked 38 years for the navy in DND. I was not in the navy. I was a civilian mechanic. So being around ships that long, I have an affinity for ships.

On 23 May 1914, Komagata Maru arrived at Vancouver with 376 passengers from India seeking to immigrate to Canada. All but 20 passengers were denied entry to Canada based on two immigration rules. One required immigrants to come by continuous journey from their country of origin; the other demanded Asian immigrants have $200 instead of the normal $25 required of immigrants. Two months later, after many delays and a failed appeal, the ship and its passengers departed under escort of a Canadian warship.

A major form of communication within the steamships that brought immigrants to Canada were voice tubes, or voice pipes, as this example seen display salvaged directly from the 1914 wreck of the RMS Empress of Ireland.

We built some working voice tubes as props in our exhibit to connect the Bridge (located here) to the Engine Room (located way over there).

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