Allan (Chee Yun) Leong: Paper son. Fan. Joker. Father. Born Dec. 12, 1936, in Kwongtung, China; died Oct. 4, 2022, in Calgary, after a stroke; aged 85.
Chee Yun Leong arrived in Canada as an unlawful “Paper Son.” His household paid for him to be the son of one other household who had despatched their little one again to China, with no plans to return. He slipped out of his rural village pretending to be a member of the household strolling forward of him. He spent a while in Hong Kong, arriving in Vancouver in 1952.
After many years of inequities that began with the Head Tax, the Canadian authorities allowed him and different unlawful immigrants to reclaim their true identities in 1967. Now going by the identify Allan, he by no means held a grudge. He believed coming to “Gold Mountain” was a privilege, any unfavourable emotions belonged up to now. Apart from, assembly his spouse, Eva Lee, in Vancouver had him offered on his new nation. He met her by means of the shop he labored at which was owned by his Uncle Jimmy – an actual uncle. All it took was one dance and so they had been in love. They married in 1957, Eva was simply 17 and wanted her mother and father’ permission.
Along with Eva, a third-generation Western Canadian, they raised an English-speaking family, designed so he may study English and Western methods. The couple first had a daughter, Jamie, who, they joked, was not the first-born son that Chinese language households need. A son, Jason, adopted 4 years later. Allan was an amazing cook dinner at dwelling and identified for Chinese language doughnuts, gentle and ethereal when recent from the deep fryer however no good the following day, not that there have been ever any left.
Allan and Eva owned a nook grocery for 23 years in Calgary. It was numerous arduous work and lengthy hours – open 12 hours a day, closing just for Christmas and New 12 months’s Days. Whereas it’d sound like lots, they cherished each second. Clients grew to become associates and the neighbourhood of Banff Path grew to become central to their lives. Allan notably cherished the lunchtime crowd, when college students got here in for his or her sugar repair. Joking round with them was the spotlight of his day. Jamie and Jason had been anticipated to work, however that got here in trade for vehicles, bikes and pocket cash for enjoyable with associates.
Volunteering was an enormous a part of Allan’s character, each within the neighbourhood and thru the Shon Yee Benevolent Society, the supply of lifelong friendships. He acquired the Rotary Worldwide Paul Harris Fellow for excellent group dedication and repair. He was nominated by the son of an aged buyer whom he usually helped. Allan was not even a Rotary member and couldn’t fairly consider the charity group noticed his actions as something particular.
Allan’s large ardour was vehicles. He cherished to flip autos, because it put a couple of bucks into his pocket and time spent tinkering on the vehicles was at all times spent along with his buddies. Over his lifetime, he owned a ‘65 Mustang convertible, ‘69 Shelby Cobra GT-500 Fastback, Cadillacs, Saabs, pickups, one BMW, a number of Minis, many gigantic sedans to maintain his youngsters secure plus station wagons to haul inventory for the grocery retailer.
He additionally cherished watching sports activities on TV and was thrilled to see the Raptors win the NBA championship in 2019. Allan was the armchair equal of the crew’s Tremendous Fan, he by no means missed a sport.
Eva died in 2005, sadly just some years after that they had offered the shop and retired. He centered his vitality on being a beloved Goong Goong to his two grandchildren, having sleepovers at each alternative and giving fortunate crimson envelopes with at the least $20 (and certain $100) in every.
Allan was beneficiant and identified for making everybody chortle. The Leong dwelling was drop-in central for household and associates, together with his youngsters’s associates. This continued till the final years of his life when he lived in a supportive care group – it grew to become his new neighbourhood. Allan’s door was at all times open. He was at all times joking and making new associates.
Jamie Leong-Huxley is Allan’s daughter.
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