2009 Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.
Milton Wong (centre) is a former chair of the Festival society,
Enzo Guerrero (left) is a present board member and former race committee member.
Todd Wong (right) is former race committee member, present coach and paddler for Gung Haggis dragon boat team.
I listened to CBC Radio this morning, and heard his friend Michael
Clague speaking, followed by my Uncle Ian – one of his life-long
friends. Milton had been best man at my Uncle Ian and Aunt Sylvia's wedding. During the interview, Ian had shared some of his memories about his friend.
Go to 2:12:00 on this CBC Radio Early Edition podcast with Rick Cluff.
“Milt—as chair of Laurier
Institution emphasized the importance of education, dialogue and
debate on issues creating cultural tensions in Canadian society,” Bev shares with me. “Laurier's
research on 'Prospering Together' on First Nations communities in BC
precipitated Milt's major interest and involvement with the
First Nations groups. I believe Milt's personal experience
of racism in his business career also fueled his determination to address the issue of racism.”
involved I got in the community, the more I learned about Milton, and
would bump into him.
William (Bill) Wong, Milton's eldest brother, carving a dragonboat head with the next generation of Wongs – photo T.Wong
I also got to know
the Paddling the Wong Way Dragon Boat Team, over the years through
friendly competition and shared activities, such as carving dragon boat
heads in 2008 for a special project. When the Wong Way Dragon
Boat team folded, Milton's nephew Steven came onto our Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dragon boat team, and has become an important part of the team,
providing leadership and assistant coaching. One year, we honoured William Wong, Milton's eldest brother, as an honourary drummer.
I had always known about the Modernize Tailors shop in Chinatown, and that had belonged to the Wong family – but I also knew that my Uncle Laddie worked there too. A few years ago, CBC created a television documentary about the family history, called Tailor Made http://www.cbc.ca/thelens/
After reflecting on his death and what he brought to the community, I think I would create a New Year's Resolution to give like Milton…. to volunteer and donate to community… to recognize and share time with friends and family… and to to always remember my family roots… and to look to the future.
Here are some of the news stories about Milton's life on his passing.
This is a good story with interview by Joanna Wong, Milton's niece: