Skip to main content

Norman Kwong's Canadian Heritage Minute debuts

Share

A Canadian Heritage Minute chronicling the life of a former Alberta lieutenant-governor, Norman Kwong, has been released.

It opens with Kwong playing football for the Grey Cup, then goes back in time to his early life in Calgary, where he faced racism daily.

Kwong became a football star at Western Canada High School before entering the CFL, where he earned the nickname of the China Clipper.

Kwong's family was on hand at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Calgary for the Canadian Heritage Minute's official debut.

One of his grandchildren, Caitlyn Kwong, says he downplayed his accomplishments, to the point she didn't discover them until she learned of them in school.

"I was in sixth grade and I opened my social studies textbook and I was like, 'Wait a minute, why is my grandpa in the textbook?'" she said.

"And I realized, 'Wow, I think my grandpa has done something a lot bigger than just the important role of being my grandpa.'"

Norman Kwong's Canadian Heritage Minute opens with him playing football for the Grey Cup but then goes back in time to his early life in Calgary, where he faced racism daily.

Actor Patrick Kwok-Choon, who played the role of Kwong in the Heritage Minute, says seeing the story of a Chinese-Canadian hero on screen is important for all Asian-Canadians.

"To have our stories told ... is huge," Kwok-Choon said.

"It means so much to me. And I'm sure it means so much to other Asian-Canadians out there."

Kwong's son says the Heritage Minute is a fitting tribute.

"I think if my father was standing here, he would say, 'Hopefully, if this acts as an inspiration to other generations, that if you just work hard, I mean, you're not always going to make the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, but if you work hard and use the tools that were given to you, to make your life and make the life of the community better, things work out,'" Greg Kwong said.

Following his football career, Norman Kwong went on to become a successful businessman, a part-owner of the Calgary Flames and eventually, Alberta's first Asian-Canadian lieutenant-governor. 

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BUDGET 2024

BUDGET 2024 Feds cutting 5,000 public service jobs, looking to turn underused buildings into housing

Five thousand public service jobs will be cut over the next four years, while underused federal office buildings, Canada Post properties and the National Defence Medical Centre in Ottawa could be turned into new housing units, as the federal government looks to find billions of dollars in savings and boost the country's housing portfolio.

'I Google': Why phonebooks are becoming obsolete

Phonebooks have been in circulation since the 19th century. These days, in this high-tech digital world, if someone needs a phone number, 'I Google,' said Bridgewater, N.S. resident Wayne Desouza.

Stay Connected