Ever watch the Tim Horton hockey dad commercial featuring a Chinese Canadian grandpa telling his son that he did pay attention?
When I first spoke with actor Russell Jung, I asked him “Who was the first Chinese hockey player in the NHL?”
“Larry Kwong,” answered Russell.
Read my 2006 story about my the Tim Horton's hockey dad commercial with a comment by actor Russell Jung http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2006/2/17/1769127.html
Kwong played in the 1947 NHL season – 11 years before Willie O'Ree became the first black player in the NHL. Long before Paul Kariya became the first Asian hockey star player.
The Asian North America Timeline Project lists this under 1947:
Last month Tom Hawthorn wrote an incredible story in the Globe and Mail about the Vernon BC, born Larry Kwong.
Check out Tom's story on his blog “One Minute to Make History”
Then check out his writing buddy Terry Glavin's blog, about Tom's story.
I emailed Tom Hawthorn asking for Larry Kwong's contact information, because Russell Jung wanted to meet him. Tom obliged and wrote back to me:
I sent back a link to Tom, showing that a Feb 7 wire service story by Deborah Jones was printed in the Brunei Times: 'Gung Haggis' bridging the ethnic gap
Small world, isn't it?