True patriot Love: North Shore News article on Todd Wong, Betty Wong and Tracey Hinder re: The Chan Legacy

True patriot Love: North Shore News article on Todd Wong, Betty Wong and Tracey Hinder re: The Chan Legacy

http://www.canada.com/northshorenews/news/live/story.html?id=281951b4-4181-4c68-a39b-5e5855445271

True patriot love

Family proud of its Canadian heritage

Erin Mcphee,
North Shore News

Published: Sunday, July 29, 2007

– Generations: The Chan Legacy is re-scheduled for August 19, on CBC Newsworld at 4 p.m. PST / 7pm EST

Three generations of the Chan family: Tracey Hinder (left), Betty Wong and Todd Wong look over their family's impressive legacy.

Three generations of the Chan family: Tracey Hinder (left), Betty Wong and Todd Wong look over their family's impressive legacy.

NEWS photo Mike Wakefield

To say that Todd Wong, a 47-year-old North Vancouver resident, is proud of his roots would be an understatement.

Wong's
family is one that has greatly impacted Canada's history and as a
result its members continue to celebrate where they come from.

Wong's
ancestors arrived on the West Coast from China in 1896 and were able to
integrate into Canada despite the many barriers that existed. Inspired
by that impressive past, today, the Chan family, one of the oldest on
the West Coast, continues to thrive with its new generations working
hard to keep their legacy alive.

“We're just a Canadian family,”
says Wong, not downplaying his family's identity, but rather stating,
realistically, who they are.

Not only has the Chan family survived, its members are continuing to thrive, exemplifying what it means to truly be “Canadian.”

Wong's
family's unique story is being brought to life in Generations: The Chan
Legacy, a CBC documentary airing today on CBC Newsworld. It's part of a
series of documentaries called Generations and was produced by Halya
Kuchmij.

Filmmakers approached Wong, known in the Lower Mainland
for his unique interest in multiculturalism, community work and
activism. He's the founder of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, a website promoting
inter-cultural activities.

Wong is also behind a 10-year-old
Vancouver tradition, the Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner — a mix
of Chinese and Scottish traditions meant to play against racial
stereotypes — and he's a member of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon
boat team that further promotes multiculturalism and community spirit.

Wong's
website site also details his adventures, told at times through his
alter ego, “Toddish McWong,” further celebrating what it is to be
Canadian, he says.

The documentary discusses Wong's great, great
grandfather Reverend Chan Yu Tan and how he and his wife came to the
West Coast in 1896 to “spread the gospel” throughout, he says.
Methodist church missionaries, they were tasked with “Westernizing” and
“Christianizing” the Chinese pioneers, the majority working in
labour-based jobs like the railroad.

Filming and interviews with Wong and his relatives, encompassing a number of generations, happened last fall.

“Before
the documentary, I didn't know a lot about my ancestry,” says Wong's
second generation cousin, West Vancouver resident Tracey Hinder, 15,
who's featured in the film. Hinder attends West Vancouver secondary.

“I
only knew that I was Chinese-Canadian, that my mother was Chinese and
that my father was British-Canadian. With the making of the
documentary, I found that my family history started to unfold and I
never knew that part of myself. It was absolutely fascinating,” Hinder
says.

Hinder is a member of her school's multiculturalism club,
which organizes activities for students to participate in. She's also
learning Mandarin.

Wong says he's proud of her as he believes
it's important to ensure the younger generations of his family come to
know and recognize their ancestral roots.

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