Gim Wong's motocycle crusade against Chinese Head Tax at Chinese RailWorkers and War Veterans Monument in Vancouver Chinatown

Gim
Wong is one of the sweetest and coolest 83 year olds you may ever
meet.  The first time I recall meeting him, was when he showed up
at a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner and offered to sing “Chinatown My
Chinatown” with me.  Gim does a wonderful impersonation of Al
Jolson… he has a wonderful spark of life, when he talks about his
love of riding motorcycles… and yet those same eyes shed tears in the
Karen Cho film “Shadow of Gold Mountain” when Gim talks about a racist
boyhood incident when he was taunted and beat by other boys.




He is now riding his motorcycle
across Canada to Ottawa to bring attention to the racist Chinese Head
Tax and Exclusion Acts from 1885 to 1947.  My friend Sid Tan is
sending me updates and pictures…

Click here for a review of the Karen Chow Vancouver premiere “Shadow of Gold Mountain” featuring Gim Wong

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83-year
old Gim Wong sitting on top of his motorcycle with son Jefferey at the
Chinese Railworker and War Veterans monument in Vancouver's Chinatown
on Keefer St. – photo Chow Gim Tan

Dear Friends and Allies.

 
At 11:00am on Sunday June 5, Gim “we're  winging it”
Wong motorcycle leaves from the Chinese railway workers
and war veterans monument at Keefer and Columbia.
Riding along will be his son
Jeffrey. 
I'm
hoping 
there will be some people there to send him off.
 
Gim, born in 83-years ago in Vancouver's
Strathcona neighbourhood, and
Jeffrey left Mile 0 in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park on Friday
June 3. A pensioner using his own money to finance this cross-country trip, he is also
a World War II airforce veteran and 1999 Chinese Canadian National
Council Pioneer of the Year. Gim expects to arrive in Ottawa on July 1 – Canada Day.
 
Last year, Gim, Jeffrey,
Mary-Woo Sims and some folks from the BC motorcycling community rode to
Craigellachie, BC, site of the Last Spike connecting the trans-Canada
railway. 
The road to justice is often lonely and challenging. A
few supporters
and none of the politican in
Victoria we invited showed up at the Mile 0 event on Friday. We did get some media though.
 
Come out and support Gim's
call on the government 
to 
redress 62-years of injustice to the Lo Wah Kiu
(old
overseas
Chinese). Gim Wong's Ride for
Redress continues the
Chinese
Canadian National Council's twenty year campaign to
bring 
a just and honourable close to a dark and racist chapter of
Canada's
history. Justice now – it's only fair!
 
Peace, love and hope. Take care.  
anon   Sid
 
Gim Wong’s Ride for Redress A Call for Justice Now
 
Gim Foon Wong has a dream of riding his motorcycle
across Canada. He will try to fulfil his dream and bring a message
to all  Canadians about Canada’s infamous Chinese Head Tax and
Exclusion Acts and the devastation they caused Chinese Canadian
families over generations.
 
“I want to do this ride for the Chinese railway
workers and all those Chinese pioneers. I want to do this ride for my
good friend Charlie Quan, who is a 98-year old Head Tax payer living in
Vancouver. I want to do this ride for my family. This is a pensioner’s call
on the on the government to quit dragging its feet. This ride is about
respect for the generations of Chinese Canadians who build this country. It’s time
for the government to apologize and redress the Head Tax and Exclusion
Act.”
 
Chinese workers made a major
contribution to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway
(CPR).  Chinese labourers were paid about half the wages of other
railway workers, and often performed the most dangerous tasks. After
the CPR was completed in 1885, due to racist public sentiment, the
Canadian government imposed a “Head Tax” on Chinese immigrants. 
In 1923, the Canadian government passed the Chinese Immigration Act,
which virtually excluded all persons of Chinese descent from coming to
Canada.  This “Chinese Exclusion Act” was not repealed until
1947. 

The 24 years of Chinese exclusion served to
separate families, condemn generations of men to a life of isolation and
loneliness, and acutely impede the economic and political development of Chinese
communities in Canada.
 
The Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) is
proud to be one of the sponsors of Gim Wong’s Ride For Redress and calls
on the Canadian Government to redress individuals who were affected
by the Head Tax and to recognize the suffering experienced by the
families and the impact on the Chinese Canadian community. Many of the
affected seniors are over ninety years old and redress will lose much of its
meaning if they do not
survive to receive it.
 
Those wishing to assist or make a donation to
Gim Wong’s Ride for Redress, can do so by
contacting:
Chinese Canadian National Council
302
Spadina Street, Suite 507, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  M5T 2E7
Phone:
416.977.9871 Fax: 416.977.1630
Website: www.ccnc.ca/redress email: national@ccnc.ca
 

Please make cheques payable to “Chinese Canadian
National Council”

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