Remembrance Day 2008: First Nations Lt. Governor Steven Point attends Chinese-Canadian veterans ceremony in Chinatown

Lt. Gov. Steven Point acknowledges the Chinese Canadian veterans for their support of Aboriginal veterans at Chinatown Remembrance Day ceremony

2008_Nov11 069 by you.
Lt.Cdr. King Wan, Mr. Gwendolyn Point, MP Libby Davies, MLA Jenny Kwan, Lt. Gov. Steven Point, Col. Howe Lee, MP Don Davies – photo Todd Wong

It was a special day at the Chinatown Remembrance Day ceremonies with the presence of Lt. Gov. Steven Point and Her Honour Mrs. Gwendolyn Point.  This was the first time in the 5 year history of the Chinatown Remembrance Day ceremonies that a Lt. Gov. had attended.  Traditionally, the First Nations veterans have always been included.  Last year in 2007, a special First Nations tobacco ceremony was included featuring First Nations veteran Louis Schmidt.

DSC_5210_95648 - The Hon Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Gov of BC by FlungingPictures Lt. Gov. Steven Point addresses the crowd – photo courtesy Patrick Tam

This year's crowd was the largest yet for the Chinatown Remembrance Day ceremonies.  It was coordinated by Pacific Unit 280's

Alfred Woo with SUCCESS and MCed by SUCCESS executive director Tung Chan. 

DSC_5233_95671a - Overview 3-foto pano4 by FlungingPictures.
Here's a 3 photo panorama taken by Patrick Tam – I am on the far right next to Col. Howe Lee

2008_Nov11 052 My grand-uncle Daniel Lee is the first to place a wreath at the monument for Chinese Canadian Veterans.  He is currently president of Pacific Unit 280 and is the only Chinese Canadian veteran to receive Awards of Merit, Appreciation and Service – photo Todd Wong

Read my 2004 story about Daniel Lee: Nov 11 – Chinese Canadian Veterans: My Uncle Dan

DSC_5151_95589 - Todd WONG & Sue by FlungingPictures

I attended the ceremonies with my new friend – author Susan Crean – photo courtesy Patrick Tam

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After the outdoor ceremonies, Pacific Unit 280 always goes for lunch to Foo's Ho Ho restaurant.  I introduced  Susan Crean to Alex Louie who is the subject of the NFB film Unwanted Soldiers. The film documents how Canada did not want Chinese-Canadians as soldiers, but was reluctantly forced to accept them.  The film was made by Louie's daughter Jari Osborne.  Susan lives in Toronto and knows Louie's other daughter there, the composer Alexina Louie.

2008_Nov11 088 Lt. Gov. Steven Point, Col. Howe Lee, City Councilor Raymond Louie and Lt.Cdr. King Wan – photo Todd Wong

At the conclusion of the lunch, Lt. Gov. Steven Point thanked Pacific Unit 280.  He said “In my culture, we always thank the cook with a song.”  He and his wife Gwendolyn Point, then began tapping the plates with forks to simulate a drum beat, and encouraged the veterans to do so.  They then began singing a First Nations song for the restaurant owner/cook Joanne. It was a very special highlight and everybody was touched by the graciousness and warmth of the Lt. Governor.

See my pictures on Flickr:

Remembrance Day 2008

Remembrance Day 2008

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