Monthly Archives: January 2010

Gung Haggis Dinner is Sold Out!

SOLD OUT
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner!

Sorry but there are no more tickets available for Gung Haggis Fat Choy
The Firehall Box Office closed off on tickets sales for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner on Friday Night.
We did take late reservations by phone on Saturday.


For 2010, we redesigned the dinner for only 400 guests – instead of 500+ last year.
The Firehall Arts Centre printed out 345 tickets for our guests + we have performers and volunteers – so we have reached our goal of 400 people.  We hope to have a more intimate dinner party for our 400 best friends for the evening!

But you are unsure of your ticket reservation
– please call me – Todd Wong ASAP
Call 778-846-7090,

Because the nature of the dinner is a 10 course sit down banquet – Advanced reservations is always the best.  We have to have many of our culinary specialties prepared ahead of time. 
We don't like to have to turn away people at the door – but we have to if there is nothing to serve them.
 

What to expect at the 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner


What to expect at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2010 Dinner

DSC_3644_103213 - view from middle of the hall by FlungingPictures. picture by Patrick Tam

The Arrival



Arrive Early: 

The doors will open at 5:00 pm, All tables are reserved, and all seating is placed in the
order that they were ordered.

If you bought your tickets through Firehall Arts Centre, come to the reception marked Will Call under the corresponding alphabet letters.

We
have placed you at tables in order of your purchase.  Somebody who
bought their ticket in December will be at a table closer to the stage
then somebody who bought it on the day before the event.  We think this
is fair.  If you want to sit close for next year – buy your ticket
early.

The Bar is open at 5:00 and Dinner Start time is 6:00

We expect a rush before the posted 6:00pm
dinner
time. We have asked that the 1st appetizer platter be placed on the table soon after 6pm.  Once this is done, we will start the Piping in of our performers and head table.  We sing O Canada from the stage, and give welcome to our guests.  Warning: We usually ask you to sing for your supper.

Buy Your Raffle Tickets:



Please buy
raffle tickets… this is how we generate our fundraising.  We
purposely keep our admission costs low to $60 for so that they are affordable and the dinner can be attended by more
people.  Children's tickets are subsidized so that we can include
them in the audience and be an inclusive family for the evening.
We have some great door
and raffle prizes lined up.  Lots of books (being the writers we
are), gift certificates and theatre tickets + other surprises.

FREE Subscription for Ricepaper Magazine:

Everybody is eligible for a subscription to RicePaper Magazine,
(except children). This is our thank you gift to you for attending our
dinner. And to add value ($20) to your ticket. Pretty good deal, eh?
Rice Paper Magazine
is Canada's best journal about Asian Canadian arts and
culture, published by
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop,

This dinner is the primary fundraising event for:

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team continues to promote multiculturalism through
dragon boat paddling events. Some paddlers wear kilts, and we have been filmed for German, French, and Canadian television documentaries + other

Since 2001, Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, has been a partner in this remarkable dinner event. ACWW works actively to give a voice to ermerging writers.  ACWW is the publisher of RicePaper Magazine.

Histoic Joy Kogawa House committee joined our family of recipients in 2006, during the campaign to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home from demolition.  The Land
Conservancy of BC
stepped in to fundraise in 2005 and purchase Kogawa House
in 2006 and turn it into a National literary landmark and treasure for all
Canadians. In 2009, we celebrated our inaugural Writer-in-Residence program.


The FOOD

This year haggis dim sum appetizers will
again
be served. Haggis is mixed into the Pork  Siu-mei dumplings  Last year we introduced haggis pork dumplings
(su-mei). This year we are adding vegetarian pan-fried turnip cake to represent “Neeps and Tatties.”  The secon

Soon
after 6:00 pm the dinner formalities begin. People
are seated, and the Piping in of the musicians and
hosts begins.  We will lead a singalong of Scotland the Brave and give
a good welcome to our guests, and have the calling of the clans – all
the reserved tables and large parties of 10.  This is a tradition at
many Scottish ceilidhs (kay-lees), or gatherings.

From then on… a new dish will appear every 15 minutes –
quickly followed by one of our co-hosts introducing a poet or musical
performer.  Serving 40 tables within 5 minutes, might not work
completely, so please be patient.  We will encourage our guests
and especially the waiters to be quiet while the performers are on stage.
Then for the 5 minute intermissions, everybody can talk and make noise
before they have to be quiet for the performers again.

Check this video from last year's Dinner

07:59 – 

The Performances

Expect the unexpected:  This year's dinner event is full of surprises. Even I don't know what is going to happen.  The idea is to recreate the spontaneity of the very
first dinner for 16 people back in 1998 – but with 400 guests.  For
that dinner, each guest was asked to bring a song or a poem to share.  I
don't want to give anything away right now as I
prefer the evening to unfold with a sense of surprise and
wonderment.  But let it be known that we have an incredible
array of talent for the evening. 

Todd Wong and Tricia Collins will be the hosts for the
evening.

Todd Wong is the creator of Gung Haggis Fat Choy. A 5th Generation Chinese Canadian who played Robbie Burns in the Battle of the Bards for 2008 Celtic Fest.

Tricia Collins is a actor, writer and playwright.  Recently, her one woman play Gravity performed to rave reviews in Vancouver, Montreal and Guyana – home of her ancestors.  Tricia happily brings her Irish-Chinese-Guyanese-Canadian heritage to Gung Haggis Fat Choy! 

Joe
McDonald
We always delight in having Joe and his bagpipes. Joe has been with us since 2001 and even performed in the 2004 Gung Haggis Fat Choy CBC tv special.  Joe is a multi-instrumentalist and can perform Chinese tunes on his bamboo flute or his bagpipes.

Birds of Paradox is the new group by erhu virtuoso Lan Tung, Ron Samworth on guitar and Nealamjit Dhillon on tabla drums and saxophone.  Lan is also the leader of the group Orchid Ensemble.

Larissa Lai is our featured author, author of her new poetry work Automaton Biographies, Her novels are When Fox is A Thousand and Salt Fish Girl. Larissa also teaches Burns' work at UBC English Department.

Marcus Youssef and Camyar Chai are the authors of Ali & Ali and the Axis of Evil.  This has become a favorite for many Vancouverites, as the play pokes fun at Asian Heritage Month, Multiculturalism and Scottish history.  Charles Demers performs with them

Poetry
by Robbie Burns and Chinese Canadian poets.  What will it be?  We often
like to read “Recipe for Tea” – a poem by Jim Wong-Chu, about the
trading of tea from Southern China to Scotland


Our non-traditional reading of the “Address to the
Haggis” is always a crowd pleaser.  But
this year, audience members might also be reading a different Burns poem to
tie their tongues around the gaelic tinged words.  Will it be “A
Man's A Man for All That,” “To a Mouse,”
My Luv is Like a Red Red Rose,” or maybe even “Tam O-Shanter?”

The evening will wrap up somewhere
between 9:00 and
9:30 pm, with the singing of Auld Lang Syne – with a verse in Mandarin
Chinese. Then we will socialize further until 10pm.  People will
leave with smiles on their faces and say to
each other, “Very Canadian,”  “Only in Vancouver could something
like this happen,” or “I'm telling my friends.”

Robbie Burns was born in the year of the Tiger.

Robbie Burns Was a Tiger…
what about you?
2010 welcomes the Year of the Tiger
on February 14th.

2009_Scotland_2 052

Zig Zag: The Paths of Burns exhibit, Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow

In 1759, a wee bairn of a boy named Robert was born in a cottage in the village of Alloway, in Ayrshire Scotlandm, on January 25th in the last days of the Chinese Lunar Year of the Tiger.  Four days later on January 29th, Chinese New Year of the Rabbit occurred.

250 years later, Scotland celebrated the year of 2009 as the Year of
Scotland Homecoming, from the 250th Anniversary of Burns' birth on
January 25th, to November 30th St. Andrew's Day.

2009_Scotland_1 036 by you. Kelvingrove Museum, Glasglow

Something special about Robert Burns and his poetry have endeared him to the people of Scotland and around the world.  He is said to be one of the most translated poets into almost every language around the world.  At the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, we sing the first verse of Auld Lang Syne in Mandarin Chinese.

Do you think the Year of the Tiger qualities fit Robert Burns?

Year of the Tiger qualities

The Tiger is said
to be lucky vivid, lively and engaging. Another attribute of the Tiger
is his incredible bravery, evidenced in his willingness to engage in battle
or his undying courage. Maybe he’s so brave because he is so lucky.

Tigers do not find
worth in power or money. They will be completely honest about how they
feel and expect the same of you. On the other hand, they seek approval
from peers and family. Generally, because of their charming personalities
Tigers are well liked. Often, failing at a given task or being unproductive
in his personal or professional life can cause a Tiger to experience a
depression. Criticism from loved ones can also generate this type of Tiger
reaction. Still, like all felines, Tigers always land on their feet, ready
for their next adventure
.

The Year of the Tiger seems to have been significant in the development of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner events.

On May 11th, Todd Wong was born in 1960, the Year of the Rat. He is a descendant of Rev. Chan Yu Tan, who arrived in Canada in 1896 as a Methodist Lay Preacher.  Todd is from the fifth generation that his family has lived in Vancouver.

Generations Chan Legacy 127 Toddish McWong in 1993

The first time I wore a kilt was in 1993.  Chinese New Year was January 23rd, the Year of the Chicken.  Robbie Burns Day was January 25th. I was to wear a kilt and carry a claymore (Scottish sword) in the Simon Fraser University Burns Day ceremonies.  Realizing that the two most important days in Chinese and Scottish culture were only 2 days away from each other, I coined the phrase “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” and called myself “Toddish McWong.”  My picture appeared in the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province… and even though I wouldn't wear a kilt or participate in a Burns ceremony again for years… friends would still tease me about wearing the kilt and call me “Toddish McWong.”

The next time Chinese New Year came close to January 25th was in 1998.  The Year of the Tiger began on January 28th.  This was the first Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner on Sunday January 25th.  It was held in the livingroom of a North Vancouver townhouse. My friend Gloria and I invited 14 of our friends to help create a multicultural mixing of Chinese and Scottish traditions… and everything in-between and beyond.  I had never before been to a Burns Supper before, and had to go to the Vancouver Public Library to look up directions.  I brought in poems from the 1998 anthology “Many Mouthed Birds” Contemporary writing by Chinese Canadians.  Even back then, the emphasis was on mult-culturalism and inter-culturalism, as we invited friends to play a song or read a poem.

Here are some of the words from that first invitation:
 

We are creating a celebration of Canadian culinary portions to celebrate the proximity of Robbie Burns Day (Jan 25) and Chinese New Year (Jan 28).  We ask you to help us share our unique perspective of multiculturalism with all Canadians, so that we all may better understand each other.

This Sunday, on January 25, we are creating a “Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner” for 20 invited friends.  Haggis will be bagpiped in at 6pm sharp and served with traditional “neets and taters.”[sic]  Accompanying the haggis will be an assortment of Chinese sauces such as black bean, sweet and sour & chinese plum sauce to help facilitate the palatability of this “offal” dish.

It is important for Canadians to know that we are more that “Two Solitudes.”  We are “multi-solitudes” and we must be proactive in our association and integration to avoid separation anxiety and solitary depression.  As former lieutenant governor David Lam said, “Multiculturalism is like a pot-luck dinner, everybody brings something – and if you can’t, you offer to wash the dishes.

2009 saw the closest occurrence of both Robbie Burns Day and Chinese New Year, as January 25th fell on Chinese New Year's Eve.  It was also the designated year of Homecoming Scotland, a global celebration to invite all Scots and Scottish descendants home to Scotland to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.  Chinese New Year ended with the Year of the Rat and welcomed the Year of the Ox.  The Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner was one of several Burns Suppers around the world that received one of 250 specially made bottles of 37 year old Famous Grouse blended whisky.  250 for the anniversary of Burns.  37 for the age of Burns when he died.  These bottles were auctioned off for charity.  We chose to donate 50% of money raised to go to the Burns 250 project, of the Scottish National Trust, for which I discovered that they have a Chinese punch bowl that Robert Burns used at the wedding of his brother Gilbert.

Homecoming Year celebrations went on all through 2009.  In October, I received an invitation to Scottish Parliament for the Closing Reception of the  “This is Who We Are: Scots in Canada” exhibition.  I decided I had to go to Scotland.  On November 28th, I finally arrived at Glasgow Airport for my first trip to Scotland, after spending way too many hours in a plane from Vancouver on January 27th, and a 7 hour stopover in Amsterdam.  Exhibit curator Harry McGrath had told me that my picture was “featured rather prominently” – but he didn't tell me if was life-size!

2009_Scotland_ThisIsWhoWeAre 098 Toddish McWong in 2009

My visit was only one week, but I saw many Burns exhibits at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgove and the Zig Zag: The Paths of Burns at the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow.  I traveled to Ayr and saw the same Robert Burns Statue that is in Vancouver's Stanley Park.  Further down the road, I visited Burns Cottage where Burns was born in the village of Alloway. Burns National Park contains the soon-to-be demolished “Tam O'Shanter Experience” which is being replaced by the Burns Birthplace Museum. A short walk past the Church is Brig O' Doon – the site of the bridge in Burns' famous poem Tam O'Shanter.

2009_Scotland6 116 Burns Cottage, Alloway Scotland

And now it is 12 years after that first “accidental” Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dinner.  The Year of the Tiger is again coming after Burns
Birthday.  But much later in 2010, on February 14th. For the City of Vancouver, this is also the Year of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games (Feb 12 – 28).  What is next for the Legacy of Robert Burns?  Well in 2010 Summer, the Robert Burns National Birthplace Museum will open… in the Year of the Tiger.

2009_Scotland6 132 by you.
Burns Birthplace Museum – opening Summer 2010.

2009_Scotland6 131 by you.
Here's a website for 1645-1899
http://pinyin.info/chinese_new_year/cny1645-1899.html

Year of the Tiger
http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Tiger.htm

Program revealed for this Sunday's 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

What's Happening this Sunday at Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner?

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinners always emphasize BC's cultural and historical past and present. While we acknowledge the Scottish and Chinese pioneers that helped to shape this province of British Columbia, we also look to see where we are going and what kind of cultural fusion is happening.  This year's program is amazing.

Larissa Lai is the featured author (When Fox is A Thousand, Salt Fish Girl + new poetry book Automaton
Biographies).  Larissa enjoyed last year's Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner when Rita Wong was the featured author.  Larissa teaches Burns poetry at the UBC English Department.

Lan Tung
is the featured musician with her trio Birds of Paradox, with guitarist Ron Samworth and multi-instrumentalist  NealamjitDhillon. Nealamjit has performed at Gung Haggis Fat Choy previously with Joe McDonald's band “Brave Waves.”
This will be Lan's first time at Gung Haggis Fat Choy, she is a
virtuoso on the erhu, and is well known with her group Orchid Ensemble

Marcus Youssef
is featured playwright and will perform excerpt from “Ali & Ali and
the Axis of Evil” which pokes fun at Asian Heritage Month,
Multiculturalism and Scottish history and culture.  Marcus is one of the founders of Neworld Theatre with Adrienne Wong and Camyar Chai.  Adrienne is a perennial favorite at Gung Haggis Fat Choy.  She has co-hosted and last year, she presented a preview excerpt from her Neworld theatre play “Mixie and the Half-breeds.”  In May 2009, Marcus and Adrienne co-produced and performed in a reading at the Vancouver Public Library for History Joy Kogawa House's inaugural Writer-in-Residence program with Montreal author John Asfour. This is Marcus's first visit to Gung Haggis Fat Choy, he will be joined by Camyar Chai and Charles Demers.

Tricia Collins,
is our Chinese-Irish-Guyanese-Canadian co-host. Her recent one-woman
play Gravity played to rave reviews in Vancouver, Montreal and Guyana.  Tricia has performed in many theatre plays, and recently her work was featured at the Whistler Film Festival in

Gung Haggis Pipes & Drums – including Dan Huang – Drum Sgt of the Kelowna Pipes & Drums.

Alex and Aidan Huang – Scottish-Chinese-Canadian Highland Dancers age 6 &
9.

William Saunders, president of the Vancouver & District Labour Council, will give the Immortal Memory about our Ploughman's Poet

Joe McDonald, official bagpiper of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, will help lead some singalongs and special tunes

Todd Wong, creator of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, will read poems, lead singalongs and maybe play some accordion

GREAT PRIZES….
Tix for “Monkey King” at Centre for Vancouver for Performing Arts
Tix for Vancouver Opera's “Nixon in China
Tix for Firehall Arts Centre “Where the Blood Mixes
Great Book Prizes:
Jim Wong-Chu – Swallowing Clouds
Larissa Lai – Automaton Biographies
Fiona Tinwei Lam –  Enter the Chrysanthemum
Charles Demers – Vancouver Special
Gu Xiong – The Yellow Pear
Ashok Mathur's A Little Distillery in Nowgong
+ Lots More

Larissa Lai is featured poet for 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

Larissa Lai, author of When Fox is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl – comes to Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

Larissa Lai

Last year, Larissa Lai was a guest at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner.  She enjoyed the event so much she is coming back… as our featured poet!   At a reading event at the Vancouver Public Library, Larissa shared with me that she teaches Robert Burns to her students at University of BC.  Wow… Perfect! 

But Larissa is much more than that… She is an acclaimed poet in her own right, and the author of two novels – When Fox Is A Thousand, and Salt Fish Girl.  Both books are in my personal collection.  I first met Larissa back in 1994, when I wrote an article for the SFU Student Newspaper, and she was a featured poet for the Go For Broke Festival – the forerunner of Asian Heritage Month.

But I am sorry to share that we will NOT be serving Salted Fish at the 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner.  While my mother used to (and still does) cook salted fish at home… I have selected pan-fried spicy salted prawns (Jew-Yim-Hah) for the 2010 Menu… one of my favorite dishes.

2009_Oct_CUPE_writerfest 111

From www.larissalai.com
Larissa Lai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at
The University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD from the University
of Calgary. Her first novel, When Fox Is a Thousand (Press Gang 1995)
was shortlisted for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her
second novel, Salt Fish Girl (Thomas Allen Publishers 2002) was
shortlisted for the Sunburst Award, the Tiptree Award and the City of
Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award. In 2004, West Coast Line published a
special issue focussed on her work. She has been the Markin-Flanagan
Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary (1997-8), and
Writer-in-Residence in the English Department at Simon Fraser
University (2006). sybil unrest, her collaborative long poem with Rita Wong, was published by Line Books in 2009. Eggs in the Basement, a long poem based on a vocabulary exhaustion exercise, surprised its writer by telling the story of Moses and Monotheism. It was published by Nomados, also in 2009. Lai’s first solo full-length poetry book, Automaton Biographies, has just been released by Arsenal Pulp Press.

Lan Tung erhu virtuoso is bringing her trio Birds of Paradox to Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Birds of Paradox brings cultural fusion music to Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner for 2010

STD photo 1649 small

Ron Samworth, Lan Tung and Nealamjit Dhillon make up the cultural fusion trio of Birds of Paradox – photo courtesy of Lan Tung

Lan Tung is a fantastic virtuoso erhu player who has recently toured across Europe and was just in Halifax with Symphony Nova Scotia for a January 7th concert of new music.

For the past few years I have been attending her concerts with Orchid Ensemble as they have explore Ghosts, Origami Paper Folding and Chinese-Canadian history and other special projects.  Lan came to Canada fom Taiwan in 1994, she incorporates Chinese music with contemporary
expression in her works. Her strong interest in music outside her
tradition has been a major drive in her artistic explorations, crossing
the lines between
classical,
contemporary, folk, blues, creative improvisation, and various ethnic
styles, such as Indian, Flamenco and Middle Eastern,
to expand the horizons of the erhu.


I am really excited that we can present Lan and her
collaborative trio
Birds of Paradox
featuring Ron Samworth and Neelamjit Dhillon in an exploration of composition and improvisation on the combination of electric guitar, erhu, voice, tabla, flutes and saxophone.

Lan is a dynamic force on the Canadian music scene, serving multiple roles as erhu
performer, composer, concert producer, and administrator. 
She has toured extensively in North America, working with
composers, musicians, dancers, visual and media artists of various
cultural backgrounds. She performs regularly in a number of ensembles: the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble (http://orchidensemble.com) performs Chinese and western contemporary music in a trio of erhu, zheng/Chinese zither, marimba and various percussion instruments.


Lan Tung

Artistic Director
Orchid Ensemble
Chinese Music and Beyond…
http://www.orchidensemble.com
http://myspace.com/orchidensemble
http://youtube.com/TheOrchidEnsemble

Vice President of
Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra
http://www.vi-co.org

Tandava
http://tandava.com
http://myspace.com/tandavamusic

Trio – Ron Samworth, Lan Tung and Neelamjit Dhillon
http://myspace.com/samworthtungdhillon

Special Projects
http://myspace.com/triaspora
http://myspace.com/ghostprojectorchid

http://myspace.com/lantung
http://youtube.com/LanTungErhu

Daniel Lee Rest in Peace, 1920 – January 26, 2010

Daniel Lee 1920 – January 26, 2010 

2009_Nov_Remembrance_Day 087 by you.
Daniel Lee saluting at
the November 11, 2009 Remembrance Day ceremony in Vancouver Chinatown. 
The Chinese Canadian veterans always attended the Victory Square
Cenotaph ceremonies, which Dan Lee also helped to organize, then they
would go to Foo's Ho Ho Restaurant to stay warm, before organizing the
Chinatown ceremonies at 12:30pm – photo Todd Wong


“To
be a good citizen you got to start at home. Otherwise, a nation is just
like a family.
Everybody got to be happy at home otherwise the nation
would be in trouble.”


– Daniel Lee

With sorrow… we share the news that Grand-Uncle Daniel Lee passed away this morning of January 26th, 2010.  He had been in the Burnaby Hospital since Wednesday.  His daughter Grace,  she said it was quite sudden – his going into the hospital.  I had been receiving reports from my mother Betty, as her mother Mabel (Dan's oldest sister at 99 years old) was visiting the hospital each day.

Uncle Dan was born the 11th child of 14, the 5th son of seven to jeweler Ernest Lee, and Kate Chan Lee – the 2nd child, and 1st daughter of Rev. Chan Yu Tan.  As a young child he spent some time living in Nanaimo with his grandparents Rev. and Mrs. Chan Yu Tan, after the early death of his father.

When Dan was 20 years old he tried to enlist in the Canadian Army, but was turned away because at that time they did not allow any Chinese Canadians.  Instead, he went to aircraft mechanics school in Toronto and graduated two years later.  By 1942, Chinese were allowed into the Army due to pressure from Great Britain.  Dan Lee was one of the the first Chinese-Canadians accepted into the Canadian Air Force.  Soon, he was joined in England, by his brothers Howard and Leonard, plus cousin Victor Wong, who were enroute to the Pacific Theatre to serve with the Army special forces.

In the years after WW2, Dan Lee and his fellow Canadian born veterans would continue to face racial discrimination and prejudice.  The were not allowed to join any of the existing Canadian Legions for veteran soldiers.  They turned to the oldest veteran organization, the Army, Navy, Air Force Vets of Canada and were accepted to form their own unit – Pacific Unit 280.  After
WW2, he and his fellow veterans and good friend Roy Mah, petitioned the
Canadian Government to gain voting rights for Chinese Canadians, and
also to repeal the Chinese Exclusion Act.  This was accomplished in
1947.

  Generations Chan Legacy 161 by you.

But the challenges weren't over yet.  Every year Uncle Dan
would write a letter to Ottawa asking for an apology for the Chinese
head tax and exclusion act.  The Chinese head tax redress movement took on a larger significance after MP Margaret Mitchell brought the issue up in Parliament in 1984, and also when Prime Minister Mulroney apologized to Japanese Canadians in 1988 for the the government's interning of them during WW2.

In the 1980's, Dan Lee would continue to work head tax apology issue.  With Douglas Jung, a former veteran, lawyer, Member of
Parliament, and the Chinese Benevolent Association, they proposed that a
national organization be formed to deal with the Head Tax issue.  Dan Lee became one of the founders of the National
Congress of Chinese Canadians(NCCC) and a national conference was held.  After many years, an apology was finally made in Canadian Parliament by Prime Minister Harper in 2006.

In 1998, the Chinese Canadian Military Museum was founded.  Dan Lee's air force uniform was one of the first displays.

2009_Nov_CCMM_Dinner 037

Chinese Canadian Military Museum Dinner November 7, 2009
top row: Bryan Larrabee, grand-nephew Todd Wong, Padre Wesley Lowe
bottom row: niece Rhonda Larrabee, Daniel Lee, sister Mabel Mar

In 1999, we held the first Rev. Chan Legacy Family Reunion.  Uncle Dan was a consultant for the committee.  At the reunion, it was Dan Lee who gave the Elder Address, as he talked about his grandfather Rev. Chan Yu Tan. 

In 2002, the Rev. Chan Yu Tan family was featured in the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum exhibit “Three Canadian Chinese Pioneer Families”  – pictures of Uncle Dan and the contributions of himself and his brothers and cousin were included.  

In 2007, Dan Lee is one of the lead stories in the film documentary Heroes Remember, produced by the Chinese Canadian Military Museum.

Dan Lee's dedication to community service is exemplary.  In 2004, Dan Lee received the Award of  Merit from Dominion Command.  It is one of the highest honours a veteran can receive.  Uncle Dan told me that to receive an Award of Merit, you must first receive the Medal for
Appreciation, which he received in 1987.  In 1999 he next
received the Award for Service.

And through all these years, Uncle Dan would sell poppies in downtown Vancouver for Remembrance Day, and help organize the Poppy Drive every November.  He was one of the best sellers.  He was also one of the organizers of the Victory Square Cenotaph Remembrance Day ceremonies.  In 2004, Remembrance Day ceremonies began at the Canadian Chinese Pioneer Monument in Chinatown.  The veterans of Unit 280 would attend both Victory Square and Chinatown ceremonies, even if it was raining and cold.

The contributions that Dan Lee made, will last and be remembered, while he will be missed.

We offer support and love to Uncle Dan, his wife Irene, and their children Vincent and Grace.

Peace & Blessings to all, Todd Wong – Vancouver

2009_Nov_CCMM_Dinner 057 by you.

Chinese Canadian Military Museum Dinner November 7, 2009
with fellow veterans of Pacific Unit 280 + Ujjal Dosanjh MP.



REST IN PEACE – GRAND-UNCLE DAN

As part of his commitment to community, Dan annually organized the poppy campaign in Vancouver. It's not surprising
he was a top-seller. For his community efforts Dan has received many
veteran honours, such as the Award of Appreciation, and Award for
Service – but none higher than the Award of Merit from Dominion Command
in 2004. It's a fitting tribute to the grandson who evidently learned
his values and strong faith in community from his Methodist Church
pioneer, Grandfather Chan Yu Tan.

See VIDEO of Daniel Lee from the Chinese Canadian Military Museum

www.vac-acc.gc.ca
Daniel
Lee, one of three brothers to join the war effort, worked as an
aircraft mechanic and went on to a career of dedicated community
service in Canada.

Daniel Lee 1920-2010

Daniel Lee 1920-2010  – picture album on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53803790@N00/sets/72157623292987932/

Google News Alert for “Gung Haggis Fat Choy”

Here are some of the media interviews about Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner + other stories

Every year I do media interviews.  On Robbie Burns Day, I was woken up at 7am by a request from BBC Radio Scotland.  Yesterday, I did an interview for French CBC television.  Monday was Epoch Times.  Last week the Georgia Straight did a food feature article.  Somewhere in Scotland there is an interview in the Sunday Post.  Even SFU, Seattle and North Shore News have stories about Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner this year.  Check out the links:

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is the ultimate fusion feast

Straight.com – Carolyn Ali – ‎Jan 21, 2010‎
“People really like haggis dim sum,” says Todd Wong, otherwise known as Toddish McWong. He's organizing the 12th annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner,

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Celebrates Chinese and Scottish Heritage

The Epoch Times – Ryan Moffatt – ‎11 hours ago‎
At first glance not a lot, but if you ask Todd Wong, founder of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, the two partner together quite well. “In Canada they talk about the

Food Calendar

North Shore News – Pamela Stone, Debbie Caldwell – ‎4 hours ago‎
Gung Haggis Fat Choy:
The annual Scottish and Chinese cultural, musical and literary event
featuring intercultural food, fun, poems and music, Sunday, Jan.

Join the Burns Day fun Jan. 25

Simon Fraser University News – ‎Jan 21, 2010‎
And don't forget to stay for Gung Haggis Fat Choy, a fun meld of Chinese New Year and Burns Day festivities, with dragon cart races, haggis and egg rolls.

Like a trip home

The Kingston Whig-Standard – Ian Elliot – ‎Jan 25, 2010‎
and a unique Canadian twist is a Scottish- Chinese fusion born in Vancouver known as Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners that feature haggis wontons and other

Vancouver taste treat: haggis won ton

Crosscut (blog) – Knute Berger – ‎19 hours ago‎
The menu for the 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner in Vancouver has been revealed, and it combines the celebratory influences of Chinese New Year with the

Food and Culture Topic of Presentation

Opinion250 News (blog) – ‎Jan 9, 2010‎
We also attend boundary-blurring festivals, such as Gung Haggis Fat Choy Day,” says Dr. Iwama, who has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies.



SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival – Dragon Cart Winners are the Wellness Warriors!

Dragon Cart Racing is a most excellent sport at SFU
– part of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival.

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The winners of the dragon cart races were the Wellness Warriors, from the Health & Counseling Department at the Student Services Building.  I came up with the idea of dragon cart racing, because I tried to think of ways to adapt Scottish and Chinese recreational activities into a fun way for university students to participate in intramural events.  At UBC, there is the Day of the Longboat.  At SFU, we have dragon cart racing as part of the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival.  The “paddlers” have to propel themselves by using poles.

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McFogg the SFU mascot dog and a SFU piper look on, as Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and SFU President Michael Stevenson taste the haggis.  Stevenson was doing a tour of all 3 SFU campuses.  He started at SFU Harbour Centre, then went to the Burnaby Mountain campus, then finished at the Surrey campus.  This haggis was made by Bruce Roane of Roane's Haggis.

Happy 251st Birthday Rabbie!

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Happy
Rabbie Burns Day!

Here is the the Robert Burns Statue in Vancouver's Stanley Park, yesterday on January 24th.

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The statue overlooks Coal Harbour and Vancouver's West End.

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The bronze plaque says the statue was erected on August 25th, 1928 – that's almost 82 years ago.

January 25th was a long day for me.  It started off early with a phone call from BBC Radio Scotland.

BBC Radio Scotland woke me up at 7am for a 9:30 am
interview.  There is 8 hours time difference.  After I was woken up, it was hard to get back to sleep, so I got onto the computer and listened to BBC Radio Scotland for awhile.  It's always fun to listen to them both on New Year's Eve and Robbie Burns Day.  Today was dedicated to everything Burns.  They called me back around 9: 25 am and I listened to many different aspects of Burns.  It was the program Drive, as many Scots are making their afternoon commute home. 

Just before 10am PST/ 6pm GMT, they interviewed somebody having a Burns Supper in Antarctica. It was a fascinating story, about how cold it is there, and how their haggis comes in from the supply ship. And then they said they were going to Vancouver Canada, where Toddish McWong organizes a Robbie Burns Dinner with Chines food.  I described the first 4 courses as an appetizer dish with haggis dim sum in the form of pork dumplings (su-mei), pan-fried Chinese turnip cake (for the neeps and tatties), served with honey bbq pork and jelly fish.

Second dish is deep-fried haggis and shrimp won ton, which the radio announcer seemed to like.  Dish 3 is vegetarian winter melon soup, followed by dish 4 – traditional haggis served with Chinese lettuce wrap, so people can put some of the mixed vegetable filling with Chinese hoi sin bbq sauce on a lettuce leaf, then spoon in some haggis, and wrap it up like a hamburger to eat it!

Then they asked if I read any of Burns poetry.  This was the cue for me to perform my “rap version” of “Address to the Haggis”
I rapped the first verse:

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm!

I told them that we have 500 people punching their fists into the air, yelling “As lang's my arm” and they had to laugh and say… “That's all the time we have now…”

Darn – way too short!