Review: Dr. Anthony Chan reading at Vancouver Public Library

Dr. Anthony Chan held a very lively and interesting discussion about his book Li Ka-Shing: Hong Kong's Elusive Billionaire at the Vancouver Public Library, Aug 27, 2004.

Chan told the story of how Li Ka-Shing truly rose from rags to riches, to become one of the most wealthy billionaires in the world, first developing plastic flowers and toothbrushes in the 1940's and 1950's to controlling many container ports in Mexico, Panama, and closer to home: having a 9% interest in CIBC beginning in 1973, and later developing the Concord Pacific Expo 86 site on Vancouver's False Creek waterfront.

Chan also addressed some of the issues behind:

1) The aborted bid by Li's son, Victor, to initially buy troubled Air Canada.  

2) The influence of Chinese Culture on Vancouver and Canadian cultural and business society

3) The identity issues of Chinese Canadians, or if you prefer Canadian Chinese, as explored in his books Anna Mae Wong and Gold Mountain.

The event overall was of good quality.  50 people attended, including Dr. Edgar Wickberg, professor emeritus of UBC and current organizer of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society, Larry Wong – executive director of the Chinese Canadian War Memorial Museum, Howe Lee – president of the Army, Airforce, Navy, Pacific Unit Veterans, and my very own cousin Hayne Wai, formerly of Multiculturalism BC and who is now lecturing at UBC.

Pictures of the event were taken by me, and will be published in Rice Paper Magazine.  Canada's only nationally distributed magazine of Asian Canadian arts and culture.  Hopefully I can post the pictures here too!




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