CBC Radio: Th?nk Vancouver -Working for a Living –
– meet my friend James Yu at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens!
Imagine having a job being surrounded by beauty and culture everyday. Imagine having a job that provides inspiration to many people, and is also a major tourist site in Vancouver.
Last week, I was very surprised to hear my friend James Yu on the “On the Coast” radio program hosted by Priya Ramu. James is the chief restorer at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens in Vancouver's Chinatown. He started as a volunteer, but has been full-time since 1988. James loves his job. He repairs and maintains not only the garden and its buildings, but also the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park immediately beside the gardens.
Todd Wong with friendJames Yu, the restorer for the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens – photo Deb Martin.
James and I first met while dragonboating back in 1993. He mentored me as a steersperson, and we have enjoyed a friendship ever since, that has also included Tai Chi lessons from him. I was inspired to bring my dragon boat teams to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens for tours and Tai Chi lessons to help explore the balance of harmony, power and force. We apply it to dragon boat paddling instruction and I blend it with sport psychology for the Gung Hagggis Fat Choy dragon boat teams.
James has helped me learn more about traditional Chinese culture on many occasions. He has not only taught me stories about the Gardens, and dragon boating, but also Chinese tea ceremony. It was in 1997 that I invited James to a Chinese New Year dinner that I cooked for 12 friends. It was the following year, that I created the first legendary Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.