Chinese-Canadian community honours Vancouver’s Modernize Tailors, pioneer family

By Gavin Fisher, Elaine Chau, CBC News, Apr 09, 2016

In 1911 Wong Kung Lai was chosen by his small village in China to go and settle in Canada, with the village paying for his passage across the Pacific as well as the $500 head tax at the time. “They probably saw him as the boy most likely to succeed,” said his son Maurice Wong, who added that as a young child his father used to walk for hours to bring to market the bok choy his family had grown. And succeed he did — by opening his own tailor shop in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Modernize Tailors.
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Bill Wong, one of Kung Lai’s sons who currently works at Modernize Tailors (despite being over 90 years old), poses with dedicated patron and former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan. (Elaine Chau/CBC)