It’s been a challenging 4 years since I last posted. It feels like the world has shifted. I thank Allan Cho for posting from 2014 to 2016.
We regret to share that our mentor and dear friend Jim Wong-Chu passed away in July 2017. Jim was a co-founder and driving force of Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, Ricepaper Magazine and LiterASIAN: Festival of Asian Canadian Writing. He made invaluable contributions to Asian Canadian literature as well as the development of Asian Heritage Month. Jim was a tremendous supporter of Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy, he encouraged me in its development, attended many taste-testings, and always brought Ricepaper Magazine to promote. While he can never be truly replaced, we will ensure that his memory lives on, his legacies recognized, and that new writers will continue to be inspired.
My father, William (Bill) Wong passed away in November 2015. He was my life-long teacher and inspiration. He was the proprietor of Hopp Signs Ltd. and painted many signs throughout Vancouver, and also especially Chinatown. He loved attending my Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinners, and supported me when I spoke at Terry Fox Community Runs throughout Metro Vancouver. His memory and values continue to inspire me, and I thank my many cousins, aunts & uncles, my grandmother, my brother, my niece and nephew, our friends, for sharing our love of my father.
And on Christmas night, 2016, I survived an aortic dissection. I had emergency cardiac surgery on Dec 26th. I was in the hospital for 10 days. I especially thank my girlfriend Deb Martin for her love and support, as well my cousins Gail Young Mofrad who accompanied me to the hospital, and Shelley Ferguson who also helped care for me at home. My friends in The Black Bear Rebels, and ACWW were also especially supportive.
But while this blog www.gunghaggis.com has not been posting, it has still been busy providing information to people. Allan and I have still been active in the community. Our events and activities have also been posted on www.asiancanadianwriters.ca, literasian.com and ricepapermagazine.ca, as well as our facebook pages. Allan is Executive Director of ACWW, and I am President. We thank our wonderful board members, volunteers and staff, for keeping these important cultural institutions, societies, and events ongoing and growing.
Historic Joy Kogawa House is now owned by City of Vancouver, continues to operate by Historic Joy Kogawa House Society, and the website is www.kogawahouse.com. I stepped down as president after 10 years, but remain on the board.
Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about the Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner for 2019.