“Governor James Douglas is coming to Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner”, along with “Nellie McClung”, “Emery Barnes”, and “Joy Kogawa” from the Royal BC Museum

150 years ago, the first Governor of BC, had a vision that BC should welcome people from all corners of the world. 

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Todd Wong stands in front of “The Party” exhibit which features (bottom row) Tong Louie, Shusma Datt, Joe Sakic, Gov. James Douglas, Expo Ernie, Kinnie Starr (second row): Ben Ginter, Diana Krall, Gov. James Douglas, Joy Kogawa, Betty Krawzyk, Karen Magnusson, Herb Doman, Don Munday (3rd row): Dorothy Livesay, Vikram Vij, Jane Rule, Premier Gordon Campbell. – photo Deb Martin

James Douglas was featured at the Royal BC Museum's display “The Party“, for the Free Spirit Exhibition, in which 150 of BC's most interesting people were invited to a hypothetical party.  Actually 132 were initially invited, then 18 were voted in by the visiting public.


Some of BC's most famous historical figures were invited, such as Terry Fox, Chief Dan George and Judge Matthew Begbie.  Some of BC's most famous contemporary figures were invited such as Sara MacLachlan, Joe Sakic, David Suzuki, Betty Krawzyk and Svend Robinson.  And some lesser known but very interesting people such as Cougar Annie, The Raging Grannies, and Mr. Peanut.

So… for this year's Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, I have invited some of these fellow figures from the exhibit.  It makes sense to invite some of the Scottish pioneers that helped build this province, such as James Douglas – BC's first Governor, and John Foster McCreight – BC's first premier, as well as the First Nations pioneers, such as King Freezy and Mungo Martin.  But the Chinese pioneers are few and far between.

The idea started when the Royal BC Museum's program curator Kim Gough, let me know that the exhibit was being dismantled, and I could have the life-sized figure of myself.  Of course, I also asked for the picture of Joy Kogawa – since I was the photographer as well as president of Historic Joy Kogawa House.  Then the idea hit me… we could display these life-size photos at the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.

Hmmm… who else could we invite?  James Douglas and Chief Dan George?  Hon. David Lam – the first Chinese-Canadian Lt. Governor?  Trevor Linden?

The choices were simplifed because of room, space and time.  It would take time to call up all the people represented in “The Party” and invite them to Gung Haggis Fat Choy.  But I knew some of them. Sen. Larry Campbell and Joy Kogawa had attended past Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners.

It would be great to invite some of my personal heroes, such as Terry Fox.  Especially since, as a cancer survivor, I have spoken at Terry Fox Runs and elementary schools, throughout Metro Vancouver.


I bumped into Emery Barnes' daughter Constance, who was recently elected as City of Vancouver Parks Commissioner, and told her about inviting her dad to Gung Haggis Fat Choy.  She was thrilled with the idea.  Other limitations were that the Museum could give me permission to invite photos that were taken from the BC archives.

So who is coming to the Gung Haggis Fat Choy party, from the Royal BC Museum “Party”?  Well… you are going to have to attend on Sunday, to find out!

Photo Library - 2905 by you.

Todd Wong aka “Toddish McWong” takes his place in “The Party” behind King Freezy, with Hon. Kim Campbell looking over his shoulder.  Front Row: Roderick Haig-Brown, Hannah Maynard, Todd Wong, King Freezy, Raging Grannies, Judge Matthew Begbie. Second row: Art Thompson, Century Sam, W.A.C. Bennett, Hon. Kim Campbell, more Raging Grannies.  Top row: Rosemary Brown, The Beachcombers, Sen. Mobina Jaffer, Chief James Sqwameyuqs. – photo Todd Wong

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