LARRY KWONG – the first Chinese-Canadian NHL player, will receive the first annual PIONEER AWARD from the Okanagan Hockey School.
The award is being presented at the BC Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration in Penticton on July 23, 2010. For more details, including ticket info, click www.bchhf.com
Larry Kwong is one of Hockey's great trivia questions. Who was the first non-white hockey player in the NHL? He played one shift in the 3rd period against the Montreal Canadiens, in Montreal in 1948. – photo courtesy of Chad Soon.
During the 1947-48 season, Larry ('King') Kwong is the first Chinese Canadian to play in the NHL as a member of the New York Rangers Hockey Club. Also known as the 'China Clipper' during an illustrious juniors and seniors hockey career in B.C., Kwong went on to become Assistant Captain of the Valleyfield Braves in the Quebec Senior Hockey League where he led the team to a Canadian Senior Championship and received the Byng of Vimy award for sportsmanship. Kwong later accepted an offer to play hockey in England and coach in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Larry Wong Appreciation Society Face Book Page writes:
person of Asian descent to play in the big league.
“Our goal is to see hockey hero Larry Kwong recognized for his pioneering achievements — his contributions to the game and to our society.
“We hope his incredible story of perseverance will reach and inspire new generations of fans.”
Tom Hawthorn wrote a story in the Globe & Mail: Larry Kwong Beat Long Odds
a diminutive scorer who could stretch along the red goal line and still
leave plenty of room for a puck to squirt in at either end.
“Sixty year ago, on March 13, 1948, in the cramped visitors dressing room
at the old Montreal Forum, he slipped a blue sweater over his thin
frame, the number 11 on its back, the letters RANGERS spilling across
“Little Larry Kwong, who had been born in Vernon, B.C.,
one of 15 children, who fell in love with hockey by listening to the
radio in the apartment above the family's grocery store, who, in fact,
carried the name of the store – Kwong Hing Lung (Abundant Prosperity) –
rather than the venerable family name of Eng, was about to make his
National Hockey League debut….
“The first player of Asian ancestry to
skate in the National Hockey League had launched – and, though he did
not yet know it, ended – his major league career.”
Larry Kwong at the Homecoming Tribute Night in Vernon, BC, March 27, 2010. He was honoured by the
Vernon Vipers before their BCHL (Junior A) playoff game. – photo courtesy of Chad Soon.
Here's some more information from the Larry Kwong Appreciation Society Facebook Group
against Larry Kwong in the Quebec Senior Hockey League, is backing
Larry's nomination for induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
In a phone interview, Beliveau shared:
On March 31, the Society of North American Hockey Historians and Researchers (SONAHHR) made Larry its first ever “Lifetime Honorary Member.”
On March 27, Larry made a triumphant homecoming to Vernon, BC. He was honoured by the Vernon Vipers before their BCHL (Junior A) playoff game, and received a rousing three-minute standing ovation. The Vernon Vipers also issued a “hero” card of Larry.
Barry Marsman of SONAHHR presented Larry with a special Heritage Award in honour of the 60th anniversary of his breaking the NHL's race barrier.
click here to join the Larry Wong Appreciation Society Facebook Group: