Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan to attend Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2006 – will read poem in Cantonese?
It's official! Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan will be attending the
2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner event at Floata Restaurant on January
But will Mayor Sullivan wear a kilt? Will he wear the Sullivan
tartan? Or will he be stylishly attired in a Chinese
Will he read a Robbie Burns poem, or a Chinese poem? After all, this mayor is known for his fluency in Cantonese – the same
language as the early Chinese Canadian pioneers, many of home all paid
the Chinese head tax to enter the country.
I have known Sam Sullivan for a number of years. We first
got to know each other when he visited the BC History and Genealogy Day
fair at the Vancouver Public Library back in 2001 or 2002. Since
then, we have bumped into each other many times at the Central Branch
Library where I work, as well as the Yaletown neighborhood where he
We initially had
a great talk about our family histories in Vancouver, and we discussed
how we both grew up in Vancouver's East Side. My father had a
signwriting shop on Venables St between Clark Drive and Commercial
Drive, called Hopp Signs. Sam's father ran “Sully's Autoparts” on
Hastings Street, between Clark Dr. and Commercial Dr.
a councillor, Sam Sullivan has also attended a number of events for
Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop. At our 2003 ACWW dinner, he
gave a welcome as deputy Mayor. At the recent Ricepaper 10th
Anniversary dinner in September 2005, he surprised people by showing up
after a long hard day, which saw him victorious over Christy Clark for
the NPA position of mayoralty candidate.
This morning, I learned that my Sam and I were both attending Vancouver
Technical Highschool at the same time. I was in grade 8 at Van
Tech when the young Sullivan was in grade 9. Then I moved to
North Vancouver. Sam will probably see some his old Vancouver
Tech school mates as some of my Laura Secord Elementary School
classmates are planning to have Laura Secord alumni table for the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy dinner. I hope they invite Howard Jang, who is
now general manager for the Arts Club Theatre. Sam went to the other
feeder school, Chief Maquinna.
Last year we started the tradition of inviting the Mayor of Vancouver
with Larry Campbell – now Senator Campbell. Mayor Campbell showed
up wearing a brightly coloured Chinese jacket over his mult-coloured
kilt. And we had him on stage reading the Burns poem “A Man's A
Man for All That A' That” along with MLA's Joy McPhail and Jenny Kwan,
along with myself and co-host Shelagh Rogers.
Mayor Larry Campbell at the 2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner:
1) reading Burns poetry in his brightly coloured Chinese jacket
2) having a slice of the haggis with host Todd Wong
3) reading Burns poetry “A Man's A Man For All That and All That” with
MLA's Joy McPhail, Jenny Kwan, and hosts Todd Wong and Shelagh Rogers.
photos by Ray Shum – Tempest Photography