Chung Collection News


Jeremy Lin is creating serious buzz in the sports world not only for being the first American of Chinese descent to play in the N.B.A., but for the inspiring Cinderella-esque story that has seen him go from sleeping on his brother's couch to leading the New York Knicks to 7 straight victories.

While Chinese-Canadian athletic history is better known for soccer than basketball (read a description of Vancouver's Chinese-Canadian soccer team on the Chinese Canadian Stories website) the Chung Collection does have one photograph of a Chinese-Canadian basketball team which won a championship in 1946:

We would love to learn more about this team, such as what league they played in, and whether this was their only victory! If you know something about this history and would like to share your knowledge with other Chung Collection researchers, please email us at, or leave a comment in the digital image.

To search for items in the Chung Collection related to Chinese-Canadian athletics, try searching for the subject heading "Athletes" with the keyword "Chinese."


After a brief hiatus, we are recommitted to featuring monthly photograph with the aim of showcasing the diverse photographic holdings of the Chung Collection.

With Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee starting today, Canadians have royals on the mind, as we anticipate a variety of celebrations this year. The Chung Collection has a photograph album of the royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother, mother of our current Queen Elizabeth II) in May 1939, when they travelled to Canada on the C.P.R. steamer Empress of Australia.

In this particular photograph from the album, the King and Queen are being greeted by First Nations people in traditional dress. The album contains 26 photographs, many of them taken aboard the ship (check out their stateroom!)

There do not seem to be any photographs of Queen Elizabeth II in the Chung Collection, although during in 1939 she obviously would have been Princess Elizabeth. We do however have plenty of photographs of Princess Elizabeth the steamship!


Modernize Tailors is a Vancouver institution, having been operating in Chinatown since 1913. The business and the two brothers who run it, Bill and Jack Wong, was recently featured on Global News:

Bill and Jack's brother was the well-known Vancouver businessman and philanthropist Milton Wong, who passed away recently. Watch the Global News clip for the interesting story of their business, the building it is in, and why their brother Milton entered the professional world why they (both graduates of Engineering from UBC) kept up the family business.

The video above is embedded from the Global News website; the Modernize Tailors feature will play after a short advertisement.


Gung hay fat choy! The beginning of the Chinese New Year was this past Monday and there are lots of ways you can celebrate the Year of the Dragon this weekend:

The annual Chinese New Year parade begins on Sunday at noon at the Milennium Gates in Vancouver's Chinatown. The Chinese Benevolent Association also has a parade map online.

The Chinese Benevolent Association is also presenting a two-day Chinatown Spring Festival on Saturday and Sunday, at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen plaza on Pender Street.

Or, check out the great round-up of events provided by the Vancouver Sun.

The image above is from a restaurant pamphlet in the Chung Collection. According to this pamphlet, "The Golden Dragon has always been associated as a symbol of good luck and wealth to its possessor."


For a limited time, you will be able to experience a special exhibition at the Chinese-Canadian Military Museum entitled "Chinese-Canadian Veterans: Loyalty to Country." The exhibition will explore the history behind those Chinese-Canadians who fought for the Canadian military, despite being subjected to discriminatory laws. The exhibition will run from January 24 to January 27, so be sure to make it down to the museum during that time.

For information on hours and location, see the Chinese-Canadian Military Museum website.


The Chung Collection exhibition room will be closed on Monday January 23. We apologize for the inconvenience. This closure also effects the "75 Years of Controversy: Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards" exhibition. Both exhibitions will re-open on Tuesday Jan. 24.

Cross-posted with the RBSC What's New blog.


Vancouver has lost a vibrant member of its business, philanthropic and Chinese-Canadian communities. Milton Wong passed away on New Years Eve after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Like Dr. Chung, Wong was the son of an immigrant Chinese tailor, who ran the family business out of a historic building in Vancouver's Chinatown at Carrell and Pender. Their shop, Modernize Tailors, opened in 1913. Wong later purchased the building to restore it and convert the upper level to housing for seniors.

Wong was an alumnus of UBC and was active with both UBC and with Simon Fraser University. UBC has written up a tribute here, and Todd Wong has written some nice personal reminiscences and a round up of news articles here.


Where are you spending the holidays this year? Would you spend them on a cruise ship? This is exactly what passengers of the C.P.R. steamship Empress of Australia did in 1929:

The photograph above shows Christmas party decorations on board the Empress of Australia, and the wait staff all dressed very smartly, ready to serve Christmas dinner. We also have in the collection the menu for Christmas dinner on that cruise. They served:

-Melon Supreme
- Caviar on toast
- Eggs Strasbourgeoise
-Mixed olives
-Salted nuts
-Turtle au Medere
- Cream of chicken Marie Louise
- Fried silver smelts, sauce Figaro
-Supreme of Turbot Yvonne
-Breast of Chicken aux truffles
-Coeur d'artichauds
-Baron of Scotch beef a l'anglaise
-Potatoes persillee chateau
-Cauliflower sauce creme
-Punch Romaine
-Roast turkey, cranberry sauce
-Wafer chips
-Heart of lettuce
-Thousand Island dressing
-Xmas pudding
-Yule log
-Bombe Dame Blanche

Sounds... elaborate! May you have a wonderful holiday season and an easier to prepare menu than this one.

To search for photographs and ephemera related to the CPR cruise ships, try searching for keywords such as "tour" or "cruise" in conjunction with "Empress," or the name of a specific ship. Happy searching and happy holidays!

A reminder that the Chung Collection and Rare Books and Special Collections is closed over the holidays- from Dec. 24 to January 2 inclusive. We re-open at 9 am on January 3.


Have you noticed more moustaches around than usual this month? It's "Movember," which is a fundraising and awareness campaign for prostate cancer research. And so our monthly featured photograph shows some moustached men in the Chung Collection:

There are a couple of very fine moustaches in this photograph! This photograph is from a handwritten travel journal by A. E. Blake and H. A. Jamieson across Canada and to the United States of America, via the Canadian Pacific Railway and other railway routes, in the year 1900. Blake was British, and in a letter enclosed in the journal, he explains that he wrote up the journal of his adventure and also published several columns in The Field, a British leisure magazine which is still in print. Some clipped articles that he wrote about this journey in the The Field are also enclosed in the journal. The photographs from the journal, all digitized and available online, show the men hunting, fishing, camping and travelling by horse and wagon.

This photograph is captioned in the journal, "5 scouts : Harry, Kelly and Dick." The photo obviously depicts 8 men, and in the journal Blake describes meeting another party, including a lady who was a "good sport" and "had done her fair share of the work." Perhaps it was the lady who took the photograph of the men.


The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. and the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies (INSTRCC) at UBC are co-presenting a book launch and readings for a trio of books by three local authors next week. Larry Wong (Dim Sum Stories), Rebecca Lau (Mami) and Chad Reimer (Chilliwack's Chinatowns, a history) will read from their respective books next week at the Museum of Vancouver. The event starts at 7 pm (doors at 6 pm) and light refreshments will follow. The event is free for members of the CCHS or the Museum of Vancouver, regular museum admission for others. For details, check the Museum of Vancouver events calendar.

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