Most of Elk Point's older residents will still remember Joe Mah. He first came to Elk Point during the early 1930s and took over a Chinese restaurant which stood on the corner lot where part of our Coâop store is now located.
Joe arrived during the economic depression, a time when money was scarce and unemployment was high, nevertheless he established a thriving business. As you will notice in his 1932 restaurant menu, his highest priced meal was a Tâbone steak priced at a modest 55 cents, coffee, soup and dessert was thrown in at no extra cost. If you wanted to spend less, you could always order a hamburger steak and onions for just 30 cents. Tea, coffee and milk sold for 5 cents and a quarter slice of delicious apple or cream pie was priced at 10 cents.
In later years, Joe went out of the restaurant business and established a confectionery store in the same building, one which he operated until about 1970.
Joe married during the early 1930s and he and his wife raised 9 children. He strongly believed in education and made sure all his children received at least a high school education. Some of his children attended university and went on to successful careers.
Joe was a good citizen. He took an interest in our community and was always good for a handout whenever called upon. He was very sports minded and followed our senior baseball team to many out of town ball tournaments.
He also attended many local hockey games. For many years, Joe curled on Dr. F. G. Miller's rink, which also included Wm. Soldan and C. A. Johnson. He played lead on his rink and was a favorite of many who watched him curl.
Mrs. Mah didn't take an active part in either the cafe or confectionery. However, she was an exceptionally good gardener who raised many oriental vegetables. Her flower garden, made up mostly of tiger lilies, was something to see.
Joe Mah and his family left Elk Point around 1970 and moved to Vancouver, BC. For many years it had been rumored that Joe owned some very valuable property in Vancouver which he purchased at a reasonable price back in the late 1920s and never disposed of. The Mahs now all live in Vancouver with the exception of one of the boys, who makes his home somewhere in the Orient.
Joe Mah passed away about 1991 and was buried in a Vancouver cemetery. Last year, 1993, Joe's oldest daughter, May, attended a high school reunion in Elk Point and renewed old acquaintences.