“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Gim Foon Wong, an exemplary Canadian citizen and a distinguished, lifelong advocate for the recognition of the contributions of Chinese railway workers in the 20th century.
“Gim was born in Vancouver’s Chinatown. In 1944, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained as an air gunner. He served as a flight engineer on Halifax bombers and later as one of the youngest commissioned Chinese-Canadian pilot officers. Gim also served as President of Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Pacific Unit 280.
“He was extremely hard working and enterprising, running Gim’s Auto Body and earning recognition from the Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneers Society Hall of Fame.
“But most notably, Gim was a highly respected leader in the Chinese community and a strong advocate for a redress movement for head tax payers. At the age of 82, Gim rode a motorcycle from Victoria to Ottawa in an inspirational “Ride for Redress”. As Prime Minister Harper stated in the historical official apology in the House of Commons: ‘The head tax was a grave injustice, and one we are morally obligated to acknowledge.’ I was honoured to have had the chance to meet Gim and to hear his inspiring story.
“In 2012, Gim’s work was recognized when he was awarded with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Gim’s family on their loss. His contributions to Canada will not be forgotten and his legacy will live on.”