Monthly Archives: March 2008

Head Tax issue not going away… interviews on CBC Early Edition, CTV + Canadian Press

The Head Tax issue isn't going away….

I was interviewed by CBC Radio's Jackie Wong Sunday morning, only hours after I posted my blog article.  Jackie informs me that:  “There is a clip with comment from Sid and a voicer with you and Sid on
the head tax application deadline set to air on CBC radio news tomorrow
morning. Newscasts are on the hour, I believe.”

Sid Tan will be interviewed live on CBC Radio's Early Edition at 6:15am and CTV Canada
AM at 7:00am

Sid also writes that there is a mistake in the article below:

“There are 150 people in hopper for approval. How could anyone know how many eligible claimants have not


Take care.    anon   Sid

Time is up for victims of Chinese head tax to apply for sympathy



VANCOUVER _ With the deadline looming Monday, many Chinese Canadians
who were forced to pay Canada's controversial head tax in the early
1900s have not applied for a federal redress payment.

There could be up to 150 people who have not yet applied for the
$20,000 payment, said Victor Wong, executive director of the Chinese
Canadian National Council.

“We've been doing some outreach to try and get those people to
apply,'' Wong said.

It's taken a long time to get the word out to people, especially
because most of them are seniors or living in rural Canada, he said.

Sid Chow Tan, president of the Head Tax Families Society of Canada,
said he once had to physically take a woman down to get some of her
documents notorized to make sure her application would get approved.

Monday marks the application deadline for people looking to collect
the compensation payment promised to them by the federal government.

Wong said the council had spoken with the government to extend the
deadline for a few more months, but he is unsure if they will get
their wish.

In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an official apology to the
Chinese community for the injustice.

“For over six decades, these malicious measures, aimed solely at the
Chinese, were implemented with deliberation by the Canadian state,''
the prime minister said in his speech.

“This was a grave injustice and one we are morally obligated to

Since the announcement, over 650 living Chinese head-tax payers,
spouses and people who were in a relationship with a Chinese head-tax
payer have come forward across the country to claim the compensation.

Wong said he suspects there are many more applications as many as
150 already in progress.

Although the federal government has been offering the payments to
anyone who was an actual head-tax payer or a spouse, Wong said the
payments do not include another 3,000 families whose relatives have
passed away.

“We are still pressing the government to include those families to
the redress announcement,'' he said.

Tan echoed Wong.

“While 82,000 Chinese paid the head tax, the federal government's
package provides no direct compensation to head-tax families without a
surviving head-tax payer or a surviving spouse of a head-tax payer,''
he said.

“The issue is closure with respect and dignity for Chinese head-tax
families and all Canadians.

“This begins when the government recognizes the redress is incomplete
and undertakes good-faith negotiations with representatives of
excluded head-tax families,'' Tan said.

In 1885, to restrict the immigration of Chinese people to Canada, the
federal government introduced a bill requiring a $50 payment from
anyone of Chinese origin entering the country.

In the early 1900s, the tax was increased to $500, the equivalent of
two years worth of wages for a Chinese labourer for the Canadian
Pacific Railway at the time.

Despite the head tax, over 82,000 Chinese people emigrated to Canada
between 1885 and 1923.

Then, in 1923, the federal government passed the Chinese Immigration
Act excluding all Chinese people from entering Canada until the act
was repealed in 1947.

Len Westerberg, spokesman for Heritage Canada, the civil servant in
charge of issuing the compensation, said the deadline is not going to
be extended.

But “if someone was unable to apply for reasons beyond their control,
the Minister of Canadian Heritage can exercise her discretion and
accept an application received after the deadline,'' Westerberg said.

“Monday is only the deadline for receiving applications, so anything
that's in process will still be processed,'' he said.

Heritage Canada requires photo identification, proof of Canadian
citizenship, proof of permanent residency, a death certificate of a
tax victim for those applying on behalf of their spouse and a head-tax
certificate number to accompany an application form.

Vancouver Sun: 100 Influential Indo-Canadians in BC

Indo-Canadians are one of BC's largest and most influential immigrant groups.  We have had an Indo-Canadian premier, union leaders, and even the husband of one of BC's biggest rock stars.

Like Chinese-Canadians who have come from a diversity of geographical origins such as South African, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Guyana, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, The United States and Europe, the Vancouver Sun's 100 influential Indo-Canadians count their geographical origins as being from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda, Fiji, Trinidad, Tanzania, England, Sri Lanka and Barhrain.

I am pleased to know many of the people listed.  Recently I was re-aquainted with MLA Harry Bains (whom I described as very inspiring) at the CUPE BC “workers of colour” conference where I also met MLA Raj Chouhan and UBC professor Sunera Thobani.  Also at the conference was Moe Sihota and the mother of basketball star Pasha Bains.  Ujjal Dosanjh has been a supporter of  the Chinese head tax redress campaign both as BC premier and as federal MP.  Both he and his wife Raminder Dosanjh are incredible movers in the community, and I was pleased to meet them when we met them asking for support of the Joy Kogawa House campaign.

I first met Manpreet Grewal, when we were both invited to give a welcoming gift to CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers, when the show “Sounds Like Canada” moved to Vancouver from Toronto.  Charan Gill, I met way back around 1993 – he is always passionate about multiculturalism and fighting racism.  Ian Hannomansing used to live in my grandmother's West End apartment and started at CBC TV, when my cousin Joni Mar was still a TV news reporter alongside him back in the late 1980's.  I've also met Belle Puri at CBC, and Priya Ramu (who isn't listed).  I know Sandu Binning from many arts events such as Word on the Street and Asian Heritage Month.  At other community events I have met Wally Oppal and Aziz Khaki. My SFU sports psychology prof worked with and spoke about Emanuel Sandhu, so I felt like I knew him. 

But the person I probably know best is Harsha Walia, one of the organizational leaders of No
One is Illegal.  I am always amazed by the energy and friendly smile of
Harsha who always sends me her event emails (which I should post more
of).  You just know more great things are going to happen as this young activist keeps widening her field of influence.

On Oct 21st 2006, the Vancouver Sun published a controversial list of 100 influential Chinese-Canadians.  Now 17 months later, on March 29, 2008 the Sun takes a look at 100 influential Indo-Canadians.

While the Vancouver Sun did an admirable job of stating that Chinese have been a part of BC since it's inception in 1958, and listing the achievements Chinese Canadians have made while also acknowledging the racist challenges they also had to face, there were problems with the list.  These problems were identified by bloggers such as myself, Chinese in Vancouver, and the Ugly Chinese Canadian.

The list of 100 influential Chinese-Canadians was considered controversial because the Canadianess of some of these Chinese individuals came into question.  For instance, the editor of the World Journal had only been in Canada for one year.  He was of Chinese ancestry, but was he Canadian?  The Sun explained their methodology in their article.  But many people in the community still had to shake their heads at the many amazingly influential Chinese Canadians that were left off the list such as Olympic gold medalist Lori Fung, architect Joe Wai and cultural engineer Jim Wong-Chu who really laid the ground work for Asian Heritage Month, Asian Canadian literature through the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop and Ricepaper Magazine.  Here is my reply to the Vancouver Sun's 100 Chinese Canadians.

At my first glances of the 100 Indo-Canadian list, it appears that the Vancouver Sun took our constructive criticisms to task.  There is nobody listed as only having spent 1 year in Canada such as World Journal editor Han Shang Ping, or 5 years such as Weihong Song or 7 years for Sing Tao editor Victor Leung Mau Ho  The shortest time spent in Canada is artist Janail Singh's 8 years, ignoring the 6 years listed for Karimah Es Sabar because her bio also states she first came to Canada in 1988.  And nobody on the Indo-Canadian list appears to be 16 years old such as the listed golfer Eugene Wong.  Maybe these are small points, but the Vancouver Sun left off actor Kristin Kreuk, who plays lead actor Lana Lang on the hit TV series Smallville and whom I would argue has incredible influence not only as a covergirl for Neutragena skin care commercials, but especially as Superboy's girlfriend.

Who was born in Canada on the two lists? 25 Canadian-born-Chinese, and 18 Canadian-born-Indians.
The Vancouver Sun later added an addtional 12 names.  3 names are very influential in Chinese-Canadian history and culture but are not or Chinese origin:  Ed Wickberg, Colleen McGuinness and Graham Johnson (whom I have all known for many years).  Of the 9 Chinese Canadians added, including athlete Lori Fung, 2 were born in Canada.

Do these observations mean anything in comparison? 

Statistics can mean whatever the presenter wants, depending how they are organized.  When the Sun's initial list of 100 influential Chinese-Canadians came out, we argued that the Sun was trying to balance between the Canadian born, new immigrants, old immigrants, and Chinese language communities.  Does it make a difference if 26 Indo-Canadians have “Western” first names compared to 83 Chinese-Canadians?  Did Chinese-Canadians feel it was more important to “change” their names in order to fit in, or were they given both Chinese names and Western names?  Does it matter?  Does it influence how they as individuals or as a community are perceived?

There are lots of ways to read into such lists, but the most important thing is that the Vancouver Sun is recognizing the important legacy that Indo-Candians have contributed to BC both as pioneers and as new immigrants.  As a community they have given us political heroes, sports heroes, community heroes and musical heroes.  And they are ALL Canadians, for ALL Canadians to share, acknowledge and respect.

Ah… but who would I add to the list?  Who do I think is missing?  That's an interesting question!

The Georgia Straight wrote:

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is happening! The city is turning pink!

Pink petals are sprouting on cherry trees all over Vancouver.  It's time for Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival!


Last Tuesday, March 25th, the Vancouver Cherry Jam kicked of the official start of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival at the Burrard Sky Train station. 

The free noon-time
concert  Chibi Taiko and Tera Taiko Drumming and
Dueling, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet with Blossom
Brass, Suzka Gypsy Jazz Violin and was emceed by Bramwell Tovey.

This festival celebrates the blossoming of the city’s 36,000 Japanese
flowering cherry trees and is the brainchild of Linda Poole.  I guess it was a sign of times to come when I first met Linda at a special cherry tree planting at Vancouver City Hall in Novemember 2005.  That was the symbolic planting of a graft from the cherry tree at Joy Kogawa House, the very tree that has now inspired Joy's new children's book “Naomi's Tree”

Check out the many events programmed for Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.  There are photography workshops, cherry trolley tours, picnic lunches and more!

Key events

April 1/2 Haiku Garden event

April 2 Pink Tie Affair Gala @ Pair Bistro featuring Cherry Blossom martini + tasting menu

April 3 Sakura Tree Planting @ Van Dusen Gardens.  All day events celebrating the planting of a new Sakura Cherry Tree grove.

April 10 7pm Joy Kogawa Reading of “Naomi's Tree” @ Vancouver Kidsbooks

April 19th Bike the Blossoms – meet 9am at Van Dusen Gardens, then bike the city underneath falling cherry blossom petals.

Joy Kogawa will read her new book “Naomi's Tree” at Vancouver Kidsbooks

It's Cherry Blossom Festival time in Vancouver, and Joy Kogawa has written a new children's book about a cherry tree titled “Naomi's Tree.

I LOVED the book Naomi's Road.  It was written as a children's version of her award winning novel Obasan.  It tells the story about the World War 2 internment of Japanese Canadians from a child's perspective.

When Joy grew up as a child in Vancouver, there was a cherry tree in the backyard of her home at 1450 West 64th Ave.  But unfortunately when Joy was 6 years old, she and her family were forced to leave their home and cherry tree behind because in 1942, they were sent to internment camps in the Kootenays.

The young Joy never forgot the home nor the cherry tree, and she wrote about them in her novel Obasan, and the children's version titled Naomi's Road. 

2005 was a busy year for Joy, as Obasan was chosen as the book for all Vancouverites to read in the One Book One Vancouver program at the Vancouver Public Library.  In September, an short opera based on Naomi's Road debuted by the Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble and traveled to schools throughout BC.  But also in September, it was learned that Joy's childhood home was in danger of being demolished. 

A campaign to save the home was launched and in May 2006, the house was purchased by The Land Conservancy of BC.  In June, Joy was awarded the Order of BC.  I have written about many of these events on this website. 
Please see

Joy Kogawa is coming to Kidbooks!!

Come celebrate Joy's new
book, Naomi's Tree, illustrated by Ruth Ohi.  This beautiful picture
book, based on the characters in her classic children's novel, Naomi's Tree looks at the internment of Canadians of Japanese descent during the Second World War.Naomissm.jpg

Date:  Thursday April 10th, 2008
Time:  7:00pm
Place:  Vancouver Kidsbooks – 3083 West Broadway, Vancouver
Tickets:  $5.00  Each person attending needs a ticket.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact us at Vancouver Kidsbooks (604-738-5335) or e-mail

Please Note: Tickets
are fully redeemable toward Joy Kogawa's books on the night of the
event only.  If you are unable to attend, but would like signed copies,
please call or e-mail us in advance.

View our Flyer  (PDF)

event is jointly sponsored by Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Vancouver Cherry
Blossom Festival, The Land Conservancy of B.C. and Historic Joy Kogawa
House Society.

Chinese head tax redress deadline March 31st: now it's time for inclusion of sons, daughters of pre-deceased head tax payers

The deadline for the ex-gratia payment is March 31, 2008.

Applicants must have been alive by Feb 6, 2006.

If my grandfather was alive, he would have been 140 years old.  IMPOSSIBLE!!!

He worked hard to pay back the head tax, most likely borrowed from
relatives and family friends.  $500 was charged from 1903 to 1923,
after initially imposed at $50 in 1885 and raised to $100 in 1900.

$500 was equivalent to two years wages of a Chinese labour at
the time. Meanwhile, Chinese were denied Canadian citizenship.
In all, the Federal Government collected $23 million from the
Chinese through the Head Tax.  It was enough to pay for the entire cost of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which many Chinese workers helped to build, enabling British and European immigrants to come to British Columbia.  What was their reward
?  A head tax and an exclusion act.

It could take 10 years or more to repay the money borrowed to pay for head tax money. 

Imagine if all Canadians were presently asked to go into debt for 2
years worth of wages.

What about Dak Leon Mark's head tax certificate? 

Dak Leon Mark (now deceased) asked NDP Member of Parliament Margaret
Mitchell to help reclaim his head tax money.  Margaret Mitchell brought
the issue before Canadian Parliament in 1984. 

Did his Mr. Mark's spouse claim the redress ex-gratia payment?  or did
she die too?  Did he have children?  Should his beneficiary's be able
to receive what rightfully belonged to their father?

It is now time for STAGE 2 of the Chinese Head Tax Redress ex-gratia program

It is time to address the 99% of head tax certificates NOT addressed by the Conservative government program

It is time to address the hundreds of thousands of Chinese Canadian
head tax descendants who will VOTE in the next federal election.

It is time to fulfill the CCNC's proposal to the Conservative
government submitted in 2005. Or did Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney
conveniently forget about the sons and daughters left behind by their
pre-deceased head tax payers and spouses.

According to the current program.

Q20: What happens if a Head Tax payer was alive on February 6, 2006, but died before applying?

In the case where a Head Tax payer was alive on February 6, 2006,
but has since died, a person that was in a conjugal relationship with a
Head Tax payer who is now deceased will be able to submit an
application for the ex-gratia symbolic payment, once the
Department of Canadian Heritage has finalized the specifics of the
application process for these persons.

Q21: What happens if a Head Tax payer dies after he or she has made an application, but before a payment could be issued ?

In the event that the applicant dies following the submission of the
application, and is assessed to be eligible to receive a payment, and
it is determined that there are no persons living who are or who were
in a conjugal relationship with the Head Tax payer who have applied for
payment, the designated beneficiary named in the application form will
then receive the payment.

ROLL BACK the age of death to 1947, when
the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted.  This is symbolic because it is
the date when Canadians of Chinese heritage were granted full
citizenship rights for the country they were born in.

It is symbolic that 1947 ended 24 years of legislated exclusion of
Chinese immigration – the only ethnic group that was racially
discriminated against in this way.

It took the Canadian government 46 years to redress the wrongful
internment of Canadians born of Japanese ancestry during WW2, in 1988. 
Surely the Canadian government can address 62 years of legislated
racism from 1885 to 1947, then a further 59 years of ignoring even an
apology until 2006.

2008 is the 150th Anniversary of British Columbia.

Chinese have been in BC for 150 years,
as long as other ethnicities or even longer than others.  It is fitting
that after 150 years, Canadians of Chinese ethnicity be treated with
full respect that other ethnicities have been.

If the government charges a wrongful tax, admits they are wrong, but doesn't give the money back… is this fair?

$500 in 1923 dollars with compound interest has been estimated to be
$300,000 in 2005 dollars.  The head tax ex-gratia payment announced by
the government in 2006 was $20,000.  The Chinese Head Tax redress
campaign is only asking for symbolic compensation

Ignoring 99% of head tax certificates is not only wrong, it's shameful.

Todd Wong

Join the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team: fun, fitness, friendship and the occasional haggis

Join a dragon boat team that specializes in multicultural and community activities:
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

Emilie grabs the flag at the 2007 Vancouver Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race. – photo VFK

Hope you can join us for a wonderful
season of dragon boat paddling.  2007 was an AWESOME year
for the
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team.  Our vision is to expand to 2 teams for twice as much fun for 2008.  We welcome our new and old paddler friends from CC Dragons to add lots of experience and fun to our team.

Our highlights from 2007 included winning a gold medal in B division at
the 3rd annual Greater Vernon Dragon Boat Festival, held on Kalamalka
Lake.  This is one of our favorite races, and we plan to be returning
to “lake of many colours.”

Other 2007 highlights include:

In 2007, we raced 7 dragon boat races + 2 voyageur canoe races.  We were filmed for German Public Television ZDF for the program “Toronto to Vancouver by Train”

a) We became the poster faces for Kilts Night at Doolin's Irish Pub, every 1st Thursday each month.
b) We raced at the Lotus Sports Club dragon boat regatta at Burnaby's Barnet Marine Park
c) UBC Day of the Long Boat – 8 voyageur canoes bumping into each other
d) Two Gung Haggis teams at the Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe regatta – our beginner/fun team beat our advanced paddlers!

Some of our activities so far for 2008! 

On February 25 2008, we were featured on Global News as part of a news series highlighting what makes BC world class.  We represented cultural diversity!
You can see the Global News feature on the web

One March 16th, we put some Chinese dragons and lions into the Celtic Fest's St. Patrick's Day Parade.  In the first three years of the St. Patrick's Day parade, we have put a Taiwanese dragon boat into the parade, but we had some technical challenges getting a dragon boat for the 2008 parade so Stuart Mackinnon and I paddled the car.

DSC_4460 Gung Haggis Fat Choy

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team practices 

Sundays 1:30 pm – 3pm  (Recreation & Beginner team)
Tuesdays at 6:00 sharp to 7:45 pm (Beginner + technique practice)
Wednesday at 6:00pm to 7:45pm (Recreation + advanced practice)

All practices are from Dragon Zone, at Creekside Park
Southeast corner of False Creek
look for Green trailer building
South of Science World – just above aqua bus ferries.

Parking – park on the street. Try Quebec or 2nd Ave.
pay parking available at Science World – no parking on city lot anymore.

Price for Spring paddling is $180 each, and will cover boat rental, coaching, and registration in Alcan Dragon Boat Festival races June 21 & 22.  Other races cost additional.

Price for Summer paddling is aproximately $120 each, and
will cover boat rental, coaching, plus registration for one summer
race.  Additional summer races are aproximately $30 each.

Other possible races are:
May 20       Lotus Sports Club “Bill Alley Memorial Dragon Boat Regatta” (Burnaby)
July 15th   
Dragon Boat Races
(Lake Meridien, Kent WA),
July 22/23 GreaterVernon Dragon Boat Festival (Kalamalka Lake, Vernon BC)
July 22       Fraser Valley Dragon Boat Festival (Harrison Lake, BC)
Sept 2/3    Vancouver
International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race

other races may be considered, depending on interest

Will we have 1 or 2 teams?
team is now confirmed for the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival – but if
enough new people come on board, we can expand to two teams –
Recreation and Beginner.

have a lot of people returning + paddler friends from CC Dragons, and we have lots of
interest from wanna-be paddlers.

invite friends to come out to try dragon boating over the next two
weeks, before the boat starts going TOO FAST!

contact me by e-mail:    gunghaggis at yahoo dot ca
home phone: 604-987-7124

Cheers, Todd Wong

Pictures from 2005
1) Drummer Todd with Flag Grabber Ed on The Eh? Team at Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race, featured in a 2007 scholastic textbook – “Literacy in Action”
2) Todd with Dave Samis, at Sea Vancouver Festival for dragon head carving tent

Gung Haggis Fat Choy goes Californian in Santa Barbara, this Vancouver idea really goes south!

The Scottish Society of Santa Barbara decided to hold a Scottish Chinese New Year Dinner as inspired by Vancouver's Todd Wong.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is spreading to California.  2008 marks a suprise appearance in Santa Barbara.  I had always thought it would start in San Francisco or Berkeley, because of my many dragon boat connections.  Indeed, the San Francisco based Dieselfish dragon boat team got a taste of the haggis during the 2006 Victoria dragon boat festival.

Officially, the only American Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner that has occurred has been in Seattle, organized by Bill McFadden of the Caledonian and St. Andrew's Society of Seattle. It has been a wonderful event that grew from 120 people in 2007 to 340 people in 2008.  Funds raised have gone to help support the Northwest Junior Pipeband, in their quest to compete at the World Championships in Scotland for 2008.

As for the Santa Barbara event, I guess it was a clandestine Gung Haggis Fat California event.  I hope I can get invited to the next Santa Barbara “Gung Haggis inspired event.”  I like Santa Barbara.  It's nice and sunny.  Okay… I haven't been there since 1989, after driving up the coast from Los Angeles after visiting Disneyland.  I wonder if they have any dragon boat races in Santa Barbara?

Check out this newsletter and report from:

Haggis and Chinese food.

Kathleen explains the haggis, and even has pictures of Gung Haggis Fat Choy – with Todd Wong wearing a Royal Stuart tartan + Chinese Lion's Head mask.

February: Scottish Chinese New Year

This month's theme was inspired by 5th-generation Chinese-Canadian
Todd Wong. In 1998, Chinese New Year and Robert Burns Day were only two
days apart. Todd had an idea to combine the two celebrations, and so
the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner began. So our recipe of the month was
haggis and, in the silly spirit of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, we feasted on
haggis won-ton and Peking haggis, among other goodies, while Kathleen
gave us an overview of haggis lore.

According to Kathleen, a haggis is a four-legged hairy creature
whose fur is used to make sporrans. The haggis hunting season is from
St. Andrew’s Day in November to Robert Burns’s birthday in late
January. The food known as haggis is made of lamb, beef, organ meats
and oatmeal stuffed into a sheep’s stomach. The filling is similar to
turkey stuffing, but with oatmeal instead of bread crumbs.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy has become quite an event in Vancouver, BC. You can read more about how the event came about on Todd’s Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner page.

Ice skating with your kilt on – John and Sinead Kerr in Scottish Highland dress

In Vancouver, there are some people who go jogging or skiing in kilts… and even dragon boat paddling in kilts!  But Sinead and John Kerr go to the World Ice skating championships, performing in their kilts.

A brother and sister team from Scotland, they are 5 time reigning British champions, winning their 5th national championship in January 2008 amidst some controversial scoring giving them many deductions. 

At this past World Championships in Gothenburg Sweden, the Kerrs placed 8th in pairs.

According to a webpost for the 2005 Skate Canada event:

Bagpipes were invented to stir fear into Scotland’s
enemies. The strange sound of this strange instrument would travel in
advance of the kilt-attired marching soldiers. Poor unsophisticated folk
who had never heard such noise or seen such beings with their painted blue
faces would flee in terror before the battle even began.

The Kerrs didn’t mean to convey quite that
ferocity, but they did want to project their Scottish heritage, something
which has never been done before on the ice.
It’s a pity the ISU rules
forbid men to wear skirts. John has always worn his kilt to functions and
skaters’ banquets and hopes to do so in an exhibition. He did, however,
have tartan as part of his outfit with tartan flares in his trousers. She
wore a turquoise and mauve outfit that had strings over a bare back and
part of the bodice with a tartan bow on one side and on her back.

Maybe the music scared the judges who dropped them from
sixth after the original to seventh overall. The British champions train
in the Deeside rink in northern Wales where their coach, Joan Slater, a
former British champion and world silver medalist, is based which is
several hours drive from their home in Livingston. When possible, she
comes up to Scotland to the Murrayfield rink in Edinburgh nearer their
home. Talking of how they performed their routine, John said, “It’s
not bad. There’s still a long way to go.

Check out this video with plenty of views of John Kerr's swirling kilt.  It's probably the most looked under skirt since Katerina Witt's “Carmen” routine.

YouTube – Sinead Kerr John Kerr 2008 Euros OD

Sinead Kerr John Kerr GBR 2008 Euros – Original Dance, Folk …

6 min –

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0

Canadians wine 3 medals at Worlds ice-skating – Chan and Leung out of medal range

Canadian ice skaters landed 3 medals for the first time in years. 

Jeff Buttle won the first gold for a Canadian since 2003 when Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz won for ice dancing.  Elvis Stojko won men's singles gold in 1997. 

Winning silver in ice dancing were Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, while Jessica Dube and
Bryce Davison won pairs bronze Wednesday.

Patrick Chan
, the 17 year old teenager who is Canada's current reigning Men's National winner  finished ninth in his World Championships debut.  Chan only last year had won silver at the World Junior Championships, and last November won gold at the Grand Prix in Paris.

Mira Leung finished 14th and Canadian nationals winner Joannie Frechette missed the podium at 5th.  But all is not lost…   There is good talk that this is Canada's strongest skating team in years, and Canada's hopes for Olympic gold in Vancouver for 2010 will be strong in ice-skating.  Bet that Vancouver's Chinese-Canadian community will strongly be following Vancouver born Leung, and Toronto's Chan.  Pretty amazing that these two are still teenagers.

Vancouver Courier reviews EATING STORIES, anthology of Chinese-Canadian and First Nations food, family and history

EATING STORIES is getting close to selling out its first run.  It's a wonderful anthology of recipes and stories about food. 

Plus it features the secret recipe for deep-fried haggis won ton, from the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinners.

It was a pleasure to take part in the writing workshops organized by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC, and contribute to this anthology.

Check out the Vancouver Courier review by Lisa Smedman.

breathe life into B.C.'s past

include cooking, gold mining



March 21, 2008



Stories: A Chinese Canadian and Aboriginal Potluck offers family
stories with food

comes in different flavours, depending upon who's doing the reminiscing. One
of the tastiest reminders of this in recent months is the book Eating
Stories: A Chinese Canadian and Aboriginal Potluck, a product of the Chinese
Canadian Historical Society of British

by Brandy Lien Worrall, the book is one part cook book and one part history
book, with a hefty dash of personal reminiscence thrown into the mix. It
came about as the result of a six-week workshop Worrell organized, in which
the 24 participants were encouraged to share family stories, with an
emphasis on the theme of food and community.

foods the participants write about–in prose and poetry–include everything
from campfire-roasted dog salmon to hot and sour soup, from potstickers to
“fusion” dishes like deep fried gung haggis won ton, the creation of the
kilt-clad Todd Wong, whose dinner celebrations blend Robbie Burns Day with
Chinese New Year. There are stories on learning to use chopsticks, favourite
restaurants, cleaning salmon, and Chinese New Year celebrations (minus the

book is peppered with family photos and pictures of restaurants from bygone
eras. Worrall has also included illustrations taken from the vintage
cookbooks in her personal collection. Published between the 1930s and the
1960s, they were intended for Caucasian cooks who wanted to “surprise your
friends” with a supposedly authentic Chinese

Stories: A Chinese Canadian and Aboriginal Potluck is available through the
Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C., at www.