Daily Archives: February 15, 2006

Happy Flag Day…. Canada!

Happy Flag Day…. Canada!

It is the birthday of the Canadian Flag – our Maple Leaf Forever, adopted on Feb 15, 1965.

This will be the first day I celebrate Flag Day, but I will be doing it in style.

The Canadian Club, one of Canada's oldest clubs, hosts a “Order of
Canada / Flag Day” luncheon.  We will celebrate the newest BC
recipients of the Order of Canada, as well as cut a huge birthday cake
for Flag Day.

Four Seasons Hotel.  12 noon to 2pm.  Tickets reserved in advance only.

This is a prestigious and sold out event.  Many members of the
Order of Canada will be attending including Patrick Reid, former Expo
86 commisioner, and present advisor for the Canadian Club. 
Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan received his Order of Canada last

The great thing about this event is that every public school in
Vancouver is invited to bring one administrator and one student
deserving of attending.  The students are sponsored, and they sit
amongst many of the past Order of Canada recipients.

This year's keynote speaker is Joy Kogawa.  (And yes, I admit to
having helped make the arrangements, as well as arranging CBC Radio
broadcaster Margaret Gallagher to be the MC.)  Joy received the
Order of Canada in 1986 and she has also received honours from 6
Canadian universities that include a Fellow, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of
Letters and a Doctor of Divinity.

Among this year's BC recipients  announced on August 29th 2005
were two of my favorite artists: writer Wayson Choy, author of Jade
Peony, whom I got to know during the Vancouver Public Library's
inaugural One Book One Vancouver program in 2002; musician Diana Krall,
whose career I have followed since she first opened for the Vancouver
Jazz Festival in 1997.

Having special meaning for me is the inclusion of  Dr. Wallace
Chung, who has made incredible contributions in philanthropy to the
Chinese Cultural Centre, the Asian Library of UBC, and the Vancouver
Maritime Museum.  Dr. Wally's wife Madeline Chung is also a
doctor… and I think she is just as proud to tell everybody that she
delivered me, as I am to say the same.  It will be good to see
them again.

The newest Order of Canada recipients were named on Feb 3, and include
David Suzuki being promoted to the Companion of Canada – the highest
honour.  Governor General announces new appointments to the Order of Canada

Sending out kisses for Valentine's Day

Sending out kisses for Valentine's Day

Close to life-size chocolate kiss wrapped in red foil…

It's Valentine's Day….

My girlfriend found this giant chocolate kiss at Purdy's. It made her laugh so she bought it.
I liked it so much I wanted to share it with everyone.

Very interesting Valentine's Day for 2006…  which actually began
on Feb 13 – Valentine's Eve… with dinner out at Aqua Riva with a specially
selected couple (which shall remain secret to protect personal privacy
– but she has been written about many times on this website because she
has authored a book).

I went to City Hall today to join the protest against City Hall's
decision to cut the funding for the Mayors from the Peace Messenger
Cities World Peace Forum
Rex Wyler and many others made statements about the City's unfortunate
plan to withdraw its participation.  Former city councilor Ellen Woodsworth
asked me to participate.  I LOVE peace and love.  I believe
Peace is an investment, and War is a cost.  I believe that
whatever we can invest in Peace beforehand helps us to never know what
it would cost us in war, hate and loss of life or economic hardship.

So…. I led a short singalong with my accordion.  I started with
the Beatles Song All You Need is Love… then a new chant…  to
the tune of She Loves You… “We Want Peace, yeah… yeah….
yeah….”  and then I closed with the chorus for “Give Peace a

Hopefully I can also attend the Peace Dialogues at Kitsilano School 7pm.

After the “Peace protest” I was chatting with some great young people
who were fascinated with the accordion.  I usually play classical
music, so I gave them some riffs.  Then…. I met Marilyn (Marlin)
Pollard who was there from the Quaker Church… a big peace fan. 
After making first name introductions she asked…. “Are you Todd
WONG?  No… are you really Todd WONG?”  Marlin said she
heard me on the radio speaking about Kogawa House, and then donated
$300, to help save Kogawa House,
the childhood home of Joy Kogawa.  She admitted to being a big fan
of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, and wished she had been able to attend. 
I invited her to attend the free poetry readings that we always do at
the Vancouver Public Library.  We went over to City Square and
shared japanese tea and sushi.

Driving afterwards…. I get a phone call.  It is Chinese World
Journal Newspaper.  They took a picture of me at the protest for
peace and will print it in Wednesday's newspaper.  They want my
“Chinese Name.”  Guess it helps to be the only Chinese person with
an accordion at a newsworthy event.

Valentine's Day….  hmmm…..
While driving along Canada Way… traffic stalled… and on my immediate left, I saw Charlie's Chocolate Factory
I popped in and bought Chocolate dipped strawberries as a present for
my girlfriend.  Owner Charlie Sigvardsen was walking around
beaming… and I told him I liked his television commercial.

Synchrohearts: a board game – described as a game for two adults to love to play, and to play to love!

On my way driving downtown, I was listening to CBC Radio 690 AM, and
they asked for ideas on what you do to keep romance alive…  I
phoned in and was able to tell host Priya Ramu that my special romance
trick is to kiss like it's the first time.  It's very important to
keep the wonderment alive.  Special guest Bev Redekop a
relationship councillor said that she really liked my comment about
“wonderment”.   Later I recieved a phone call from CBC Radio
that I had won a prize… the board game Synchrohearts… as creator Robert O'Neil had been a guest on the show. 

I spent some time at the Vancouver Aquarium while I did some respite
care.  There were many couples walking around holding
hands….  Valentine's Day is a great reason to visit the
aquarium… I guess.

Balloon sculpture… look hard and you will find a red heart surrounded by a bouquet of balloon flowers.

And after walking out, I bumped into Arty – the balloon clown
who makes balloon sculptures for kids (and adults).  I asked him
to make a valentine heart for me to surprise my girlfriend.  He
created an incredible bouquet of balloon flowers with a red valentine
heart – Incredible!!!!  If you want something special and
“baloony” – call Arty at 604-473-7100.

And now for Valentine's Dinner….