Larry Kwong: A Hero to Me
Here is Gavin Donald's winning display on Larry Kwong – photo Todd Wong
Vernon student Gavin Donald creates a prize winning history display about the first NHL hockey player of Asian ancestry
Silver Star school student Gavin Donald, with his
project, Larry Kwong: A Hero to Me, one of the winners in the recent
Vernon and District Heritage Fair.
Gavin Donald, 11, is a Grade 6 Silver Star student, that I sat beside at
last night's BC Hockey Hall of Fame induction dinner.
I was surprised at how much compassion and information that Gavin conveyed when he talked about Larry Kwong. Gavin is passionate about his hometown of Vernon, and really wanted to choose a person from Vernon for his project. The young man beside me wore a tie, and was thrilled to meet Larry Kwong at the BC Hockey Hall of Fame Dinner last night in Penticton. Even though the induction of Trevor Linden, one of the greatest hockey players to wear the “C” for the Vancouver Canucks, was undoubtedly the evening's highlight – Gavin was only there to meet his hero – Larry Kwong.
When MP Stockwell Day came over to meet Larry Kwong, it was Gavin who quickly had a pen in Day's hand to sign a petition to nominate Larry Kwong for the BC Hockey Hall of Fame. By the end of the evening, Gavin was proudly carrying a newly won silent auction prize of a goalie stick signed by Mikka Kipprusoff, and asking other of the inducted hockey players Trevor Linden, Dallas Drake to sign the stick. An evening highlight for Gavin was having Larry Kwong add his signature that same goalie stick.
Gavin did his history project
on Larry Kwong, a Vernon native who was the first person of Asian
descent to play in the NHL. Gavin is 1 of 4 Vernon students who went
on to the Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair in
Kelowna and four projects from Vernon students were selected for the
prize of a trip to the Provincial Heritage Fair in Barkerville June 30
to July 4.
Here is a quote from the article:
played for the Vernon Hydrophones 1939-41. He played for the New York
Rangers 1946-48 but due to alleged prejudice played only one minute in a
game in 1948.
“Many people in Canada were racist then but he never gave up
on his dream. He was a good player. We have to learn from history. It’s
sickening that someone would not have a chance because of their race.
That should not happen anymore,” said Gavin, whose great-uncle, John
Baumborough, played hockey with Kwong in Vernon
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