50 Years of Chinatown Stories Dinner Sept. 2002

Bringing people together 

  Good food, like good writing, can help bring people together. Barb and I believe that the more we learn about a culture's food, the more we actually learn about that culture and that this can only bring us closer together.

Roy Mah, master of bringing people together 

  Tonight's dinner honoured Roy Mah by presenting him with the first ever Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop Community Builder award. For over 40 years, he has worked passionately to bring the Asian Canadian (in particular the Chinese Canadian community) closer to the rest of Canadian culture. He has done this by tirelessly advocating (through Chinatown News which he founded and other forums) equality of opportunity and expression for all.
  Without Roy Mah, there would be no Wayson Choy, or Paul Yee or any of the current generation of writers. Roy Mah is largely responsible for growing and nurturing the Asian Canadian community of writers to the point where the designation Asian Canadian is almost superfluous because today's writers are simply writers.
  The tribute speeches by Wayson Choy, Paul Yee and today's young writers showed the community's deepest respect and thanks to Roy.
  Wayson Choy's speech was funny and moving; in his youth Wayson did not respect Roy but now Wayson appreciates the groundwork that Roy built upon which Wayson became successful.
  I also loved Paul Yee's wonderful observation that each and every one of us has our own Chinatown inside of us and our own story to tell about it.


  Hats off to the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop for organizing the event. The door prizers and raffle prizes were fantastic: copies of the Jade Peony, Paul Yee's books, poetry and many other cool prizes.
  And thanks to the Flamingo restaurant (3489 Fraser Street; we plan on coming back soon!) for providing the excellent Chinese banquet meal: an appetizer plate of spring rolls, jellyfish, pork hocks and spare ribs, deep fried crab, hot and sour soup, crispy chicken with prawn chips and 5 spice salt, sweet and sour fish, shrimp balls with scallops inside, vegetables, fried rice and noodles.

Award Photo 

  Here's a picture of Roy Mah (on the left) receiving his award from ACWW President Jim Wong-Chu.
  Roy Mah's ACCW award dinner 29 Sep 02: Roy Mah receives his Community Builder Award from Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop President  Jim Wong-Chu on September 29, 2002