August 17, 2017


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Some of the faces of our Asian community

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/7/2012 (1846 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Philip Lee

He was born in Hong Kong in 1944, and came to Canada in 1962 to attend the University of Manitoba. He became a research chemist, working with the city's water department until 2005 when he retired as the branch head chemist for the city's Industrial Waste Control Program. He helped organize the Chinese community's first Folklorama pavilion and later was vice-president of the Folk Arts Council of Winnipeg. He was appointed a member of the Human Rights Council of Manitoba. He pushed for the construction of the Dynasty Building, Chinese Gate and Garden, and the Mandarin Building. He has been honoured with the city's Community Service Award, the commemorative medal for the 125th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the Order of Canada, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Order of Manitoba, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Manitoba. He became the province's 24th Lieutenant Governor in 2009. He has said he took his non-Chinese first name after seeing a photograph of Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip.


Joseph Du

He is a local doctor and a pillar of Winnipeg's Chinese community. He was born in Vietnam and entered medical school in Taiwan in 1954. He later came to Winnipeg to study and then to practise, working as a pediatrician until retiring in 2003. He has served as president of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre. He was the key person behind the city being loaned a pair of giant pandas for the Assiniboine Park Zoo in 1989. He has been honoured with the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, the Order of Manitoba, and the Order of Canada.


Inky Mark

Philip Lee


Philip Lee

He was born in China in 1947 and came to Manitoba as a child when he and his mother left the country in 1953. They lived in Gilbert Plains. After getting his degree in arts at Brandon University and education at the University of Manitoba, he worked as a high school teacher and small businessman before entering political life. He also served on the board of the Dauphin First United Church. He was elected a councillor in Dauphin in 1991, and then the mayor in 1994. He became an MP for the Reform Party in 1997. He was elected as MP for the Canadian Alliance and later for the Conservative Party. He ran for mayor again in 2010, but lost.


Ken Wong

He was the first Chinese-Canadian on Winnipeg's city council when elected in 1974. He owned House of Travel and has sat on numerous boards in the city, including being a founding member of the Winnipeg Airports Authority board. He played a role in the building of the Chinese Cultural Centre and the nearby senior citizen's/family housing complex. He has worked on the Hong Kong Business Association and was chosen to be in the premier's trade delegation to China in 2011. He is an instructor in Red River College's international business program.


Randy Woo

He was a pillar of Chinatown. He was born in China and came with family to Canada in 1967. He took over the Marigold Restaurant on St. Mary's Road in 1970, and then opened the Chinatown Marigold in 1980, with it becoming a focal point there. He was honoured with the Golden Dragon award, recognizing him as citizen of the year in the Chinese community, in 1999.


Yun Cheng

Inky Mark


Inky Mark

She works with the local Chinese community and many other groups. She is on the board of directors of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre and Manitoba Great Wall Performing Arts Inc. Yun is also principal and artistic director of the Great Wall Dance Academy of Canada (GWDAC) which was established in 2007. She is vice-chairwoman of Altered Minds.


Tina Chen

She came to Winnipeg in 1999, after being recruited by the University of Manitoba as its first historian specializing in modern Chinese history. She was project manager for a digital archive and oral history on Chinese immigrants in Manitoba. She has also been active in the community, being a jury member of the Chinatown Banner Project, creating a display on the Beijing Olympics for Folklorama, and serving on the board of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre. She was honoured this year with a YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction award.


Vincent Ho

Born in Ottawa, he began his musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music, later receiving his associate diploma in piano performance. He received his bachelor of music from the University of Calgary, his master of music from the University of Toronto, and his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Southern California. He is currently the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's composer-in-residence and has composed, among other works, Arctic Symphony, The Shaman and City Suite.


Charlie Au Foo

Yun Cheng


Yun Cheng

He was born in China in 1894 and came to Canada in 1919, first living and working in Vancouver before moving to Winnipeg. He opened a shop here called Practical Tailors. He worked at Canada Packers during the day and helped at Chan's Restaurant at night until becoming a partner in the restaurant in 1945. He was honorary president of the Manitoba Chinese Benevolent Association and led the Chinese Nationalist League. He retired to Vancouver where he died in 1980.


Andrew Lam

He was born in Victoria in 1911 and became the first Chinese-Canadian ordained in the Anglican Church. He led the delegation to the British Columbia government that brought about franchise for the Chinese there. He came to Winnipeg in 1957 to minister and became involved in organizations like Age and Opportunity. He died in 1988.


Fong Kwong "George" Lee

He was born in China in 1906 and came to Winnipeg in 1920 to join his dad. He started George's Taxi in 1936, and joined his family in their Nanking Restaurant in 1940. Known as the host of Chinatown, he worked for many Chinese causes and was one of the first Chinese-Canadians in Winnipeg to be honoured with a community service award. He died in 1992.


Norman Lee

Charlie Au Foo

Charlie Au Foo

Born Lee Kwok Dow in China in 1910, he was sponsored by his father to come to Canada in 1922. He went to Somerset and Cecil Rhodes Schools and took flying lessons at the Winnipeg Flying Club. He volunteered for the air force in China in 1935, later returning to Winnipeg. He moved to The Pas in 1944 and later opened the Chinese Gift Shop. He helped to organize the Chinese pavilion in Folklorama. A member of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, he signed up more than 1,100 members to the branch in The Pas, and he also volunteered with the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival and local fishing derbies. The lieutenant-governor honoured him for his community work by giving him a Good Citizenship Award in 1979. He died in Winnipeg in 1996.


Cora Hew

She moved to Burma from China with her family when she was in high school. She came to the University of Manitoba and received her MA in economics. She married her husband in 1966 and both became high school teachers. She and a group of friends were concerned about how hard it was to teach their children about their culture and language, so they organized the Manitoba Academy of Chinese Studies. She has volunteered at the school since 1974 and has served as president and principal. She also developed a Chinese language teaching curriculum for Manitoba high schools.


Judith and Maria Cheung

Norman Lee

Norman Lee

Judith is the chairwoman of the Falun Gong religious community at the University of Manitoba while her mother, Maria (right), is a professor of social work at the university who also practises the religion. They both protested outside the Bodies exhibition in 2010.


Fang Wan

She is an associate professor in marketing at the University of Manitoba. She is looking into the role of social influence in online consumer decision making and has presented papers at conferences of the Association for Consumer Research and the American Marketing Associations.


Mark Ki

He came to Morden around 1918 and worked as a grocer. While there, he showed his philanthropy by lending the local hospital the money it needed to pay its employees during the Depression. He was president and honorary life member of the Freemason’s hospital board of Morden. He was honoured with the community’s annual citizenship award in 1948. He died in Winnipeg in 1957.


Patrick Choy

Maria Cheung

Maria Cheung

He is an international leader in the study of heart disease and the dean of medicine at the University of Manitoba.

He came to the U of M in 1979 as a researcher and professor in the biochemistry and medical genetics department and became the head of the department. His research has found connections between lipid metabolism, cardiac arrhythmias and atherosclerosis. He negotiated several agreements that allow students from Manitoba to study in China and Chinese students to study here. He has served as vice-president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.

He was inducted into the Order of Manitoba last year.


Wen Zhong

She is an associate professor in the departments of textile sciences and medical microbiology. She specializes in research into biomedical materials including ones used for targeted drug delivery and biodegradable polymers. She was honoured with the 2011 Rh Award in Natural Sciences from the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation.


Nancy Chow

She is a geology professor at the University of Manitoba specializing in sedimentology. She is working to reconstruct the history of ancient Devonian reef evolution by looking at areas of Manitoba, Alberta and Australia.


Xiaochen Gu

He is a professor in pharmacology at the University of Manitoba. He is best known for conducting a study on suntan lotions that also contained bug repellant, which found mixing the two could compromise the safety and effectiveness of both.

He advises putting sunscreen on first and then putting bug repellent on half an hour later.


Feiyue Wang

Patrick Choy

Patrick Choy

He has brought the Arctic to Winnipeg.

He is a professor of environmental chemistry and he is studying how climate change is affecting sea ice. To do that, he uses a special outdoor saltwater pool with various sensors on it to follow the formation of ice during winter.


Qiang Zhang

He is a professor in the University of Manitoba’s biosystems engineering department. He is studying the buildings used to house livestock on farms including measuring the odour emissions from pigs using electronic nose technology. As well, he is designing a mobile mass euthanasia system for swine and poultry.

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