Mary Lee Chan, according to daughter Shirley Chan (my boss and CEO of BOB!) was a one woman employment agency, connecting residents in need of work to local businesses and even connecting couples-to-be on more than one occasion! She was a community advocate who energetically and tirelessly served the people and businesses of Chinatown/Strathcona. Whether lobbying hard for a community centre or against the creation of a freeway that would’ve destroyed this part of the city (she was the founder of SPOTA – Strathcona Property Owners & Tenants Association), Mary Lee Chan definitely goes down in the history books as an important civic figure in Vancouver, particularly in Strathcona and Chinatown.
Recently, historian wrote a thank you letter to the Mayor and City Council with a cc. to the Library Board concerning the plans to go ahead with the long awaited East End Library Branch on the 700 block of East Hastings. In Johnstone’s words “The people in Strathcona have been lobbying and working for a new East End Branch for over 15 years. The branch is long overdue.”
In that letter he suggests that the new East End Branch should be called the Mary Lee Chan Branch Library in her honour. Please join us in writing in support of his suggestion to Mayor and Council. As says it best I’m reposting the rest of his call to action below:
-It is a result of the leadership, community building skills and tenacity of Mary Lee Chan and the people of all backgrounds living in the East End who worked with her that we even have our old historic East End neighbourhood today–not to mention large swaths of Chinatown. Please, please, please take some time to write a short e-mail in support of naming the new East End Library Branch to be built on the 700-block of East Hastings the Mary Lee Chan Branch Library. . Here are the addresses you should send your notes to:
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Diana.Guinn@vpl.ca; email@example.com