THE TIES BETWEEN A HOUSE BOY AND HIS EMPLOYER

This piece by Lu Wong, who reports from Vancouver for Sing Tao, appeared in Sing Tao Daily on September 18th, 2010. You can also download it as a PDF (3.2 Mb). This translation is by Shan (Joanna) Qiao. A tale of a man much like the one depicted in Hong Kong’s award-winning movie A Simple Life is happening here in Canada. Former Chair of The Writer’s Union of Canada Susan Crean started her trip to Taishan, China last year in search of the untold story of Wong Chong Wong, her family servant for 37 years. Susan went to...

IN SEARCH OF A HEAD TAX PAYER’S PAST

This article, by a staff writer, was originally published in Sing Tao September 18, 2010, and later reprinted in Kang He magazine. You can also download the article as a PDF (6.1Mb). The translation below is by Shan (Joanna) Qiao.Canadian writer of Irish descent Susan Crean is searching for the past of a long deceased family servant, the Head Tax payer Wong Dong Wong, a kind and influential member of her family who is still remembered . Born and raised in a middle class family in Toronto's Forest Hill, Susan studied and travelled in Europe and...

“FINDING MR. WONG: A TALE FROM CANADA’S EXCLUSION ERA” IN NEW CANADIAN MEDIA

Article featured in New Canadian Media, June 1, 2019

The story of Chinese immigration to Canada is best known for two things. First, the arrival of Chinese labourers in large numbers in the late 1800s to build the crucial last link of the Canadian Pacific Railway—the most difficult and dangerous section which required crossing the Rocky Mountains....
Read the full article Finding Mr. Wong: A Tale From Canada’s Exclusion Era here. ...

MR. WONG’S STORY: A TALE OF SACRIFICE AND GENEROSITY

This article was originally published in The Toronto Star on January 26, 2011 as part of a special supplement celebrating the Chinese New Year. It’s the story of Wong Dong Wong who came to Canada as a teenager in 1911 to work in his uncle’s restaurant in Vancouver. He was an orphan with no future in China but he made one for himself in Canada, migrating East to Toronto in 1917 to work as a domestic cook. He was hired by my grandfather in 1928. You can download a PDF version of the piece (78Kb). I...

LOOKING FOR WONG DONG WONG

This piece was published in Tai Shan magazine in November, 2010, a scan of which you can download as a PDF (2.3Mb). I am a Canadian writer of Scottish and Irish descent. Two years ago I began work on a book which will include the story of a Chinese Canadian, Wong Dong Wong, who was born in Taishan, and came to Canada as a boy of 16 in 1911. In 1917, he relocated from Vancouver on Canada's West coast to Toronto, and by the late 1920s when he met my grandfather he was working as a domestic cook....

VISITING THE WONGS’ ASSOCIATION

This article was originally published in the Wongs' Association Convention magazine in 2011. You can also download the article as a PDF (2.3Mb). Climbing the narrow staircase to the Wongs’ Association’s third floor office in downtown Toronto, past the plaque reading Wong Kung Har Wun Sun Association in Chinese and English, you reach a nondescript door that gives no hint of what lies beyond. When the association bought the building in 1979 the entire top floor was redesigned and the space opened up. Along with offices and a small kitchen, it now accommodates a large assembly hall with...

“WRITING MR. WONG” IN THIS MAGAZINE

Article featured in This Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2012. This is the backstory to Finding Mr. Wong, the book on the life of Mr. Wong and why it has been possible for me to write it.  In the first instance, this is because of the help and openness of Chinese Canadians who made the search not just doable but successful beyond any expectation. The changes in Canadian society since Mr. Wong’s death in 1970 has meant that the close, familial association across race we had is no longer so unusual; it’s become a commonplace experience. Canadians have taken...

MEETING HOWE CHAN

Shortly after I arrived at Kogawa House, artist Laura Bucci came for an evening session of button making. She arrived with several plastic packing boxes filled with an array of coloured and patterned paper, old magazines, scissors, glue, and a collection of rubber stamps with words like “escape” and “passion” on them.  The event was part of Word on the Street, which expanded this year to three days over the weekend, and to off the traditional site at the Central Library to community venues like Kogawa House. We set up a table in the living room and over the...

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