Lt. Gov. Steven Point acknowledges the Chinese Canadian veterans for their support of Aboriginal veterans at Chinatown Remembrance Day ceremony
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.
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.
Here's a 3 photo panorama taken by Patrick Tam – I am on the far right next to Col. Howe Lee.
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
I attended the ceremonies with my new friend – author Susan Crean – photo courtesy Patrick Tam
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.
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: